DALLAS - You may not guess it now, but life's had its rough spots for Serita Jakes.
“My husband lost his job at Union Carbide," she said. "We went down to nothing -- no lights, no water, no phone. All of the utilities. We had to balance which one was going to be on.”
But it was during those rough times she found her strength.
“I trust my faith is what keeps me going," Jakes said. "It wakes me up in the morning. I know I've got another opportunity to get it right."
And getting it right means giving back. Especially by mentoring young girls.
“Inside every little girl there is a woman," she said. "And inside every woman, there is a little girl.”
As a girl, she looked up to the pastor's wife as a role model, and to this day shares with others their gifts of guidance.
“I let the young girls know, they don't have to be a product of what they are surrounded by," Jakes said. "It's okay to be different."
Jakes works with groups like God's Leading Ladies, hoping to mold strong futures. But she says in turn, she too, ends up taking away with life lessons.
“Life is a class, you take it every day," she said. "Sometimes you do well, sometimes you have to repeat the subject.”
But she says there's one lesson easy to master: kindness.
"It’s time for us to wrap our hands around each other like never before," Jakes said. "And it is not, 'What can I get?' It's 'What can I give?'"
This is the fifth piece in a series about Groundbreaking Women in North Texas. Yesterday, we profiled U.S. Attorney Sarah Saldana. Read that here.