Editor’s note: All throughout March, 9OYS is showcasing women in the Eastern North Carolina area. It’s part of Nexstar’s Remarkable Women contest. Four finalists have been chosen by WNCT. The finalists will be showcased all month with the winner announced at the end of the month. That winner will advance to the national competition where a winner will be announced later in the year.
KINSTON, NC (WNCT) — By day, Ika Grant can be found at Lenoir Community College.
“I assist individuals that are considered low income as well as individuals,” Grant said. “At that time were dislocated workers, they have been laid off from their jobs. With retraining, those retraining this can be dealing with on-the-job training, or going back to school.”
At night, you’ll find her at home taking care of her special-needs son.
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“Doctors pretty much said he wouldn’t make it after the third day of life,” Grant said. “So when I leave here from doing a day’s work, and I’ve worked past lunch, and sometimes we’re after hours, I go home and it’s my second job trying to care for him. So it gets kind of challenging at times. But he is my joy.”
It takes a remarkable woman to juggle so much. Grant said that it’s her faith that keeps her motivated.
“God, Jesus, I mean, because it can be hard,” Grant said.
Grant makes the hard look easy because she’s dedicated.
Her friend and co-worker, Tammy Childers, said that she is reliable and prepared to “show up” when needed.
“That’s probably the biggest compliment you can show anybody is that they show up. With being a mom, a daughter, a wife, a career adviser playing multiple roles but always making herself available as needed,” Grant said.
Grant is a motivator.
“A lot of my participants that I work with, I can observe and I listen to you,” Grant said. “And as you’re going through, I may be able to relate to your story, I may have actually gone through some things.
“I’m like, ‘Okay, let me tell you this, you can do this, it’s not impossible. It may take you longer, you may go a different route, but it can be done. So don’t give up on yourself.'”
She is also a realist.
“I’m gonna tell you the truth, it might hurt you,” Grant said. “Because sometimes the truth hurts, but at least you appreciate it in the long run that she did look out for me, she told me the facts about myself. And they allow me to get myself, change myself and want to be a better person.”
Grant is surely a humble and remarkable woman.
“I try to treat people the way I wanted to treat and that’s it,” Grant said. “And I’m not, I’m perfect as we are all human. But at the same time, I want to be treated in the same way, with respect. I think there’s a scripture that says to be kind to people so I want to be kind and have it reciprocated back.
“If you sow good seeds, you reap good seeds.”