Employee blog: Taneya Pearson helps students soar
A traumatic childhood experience with bullying inspired Taneya Pearson to help youth and young adults fight bullying, find their greatness and embrace their passions.
I work two jobs.
Most evenings, I’m on the phone helping American Family customers. As a trained auto care representative in Missouri, I set up new auto and property claims. I take calls from agents, vendors and third-party insurance companies. I help our insureds with their claims and handle their immediate needs. I also help with rental reservations and explain our auto-repair claims process.
Most days, I help our youth and young adults who suffer from temptation of suicide and lack of self-love who want to live happy lives. I help them find their destiny.
My journey was not an easy journey. At the age of 15, (the first day of my sophomore year in high school) I was hit and run over by a car driven by my brother’s bully’s friend – while the bully fought with my brother in the middle of the street.
My brother also was struck by the car. I was hospitalized for several weeks, where I had to relearn how to walk, talk, eat and deal with my new facial abnormalities. Talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Nope! It turns out I was actually in the right place at the right time.
I knew it would be a long healing process. So, I took a deep breath, stood up as straight as I could at that time, and started to reflect on the goodness of my life. I didn’t want to drown in my grief and sorrow, so I put on my “LIFE VEST” and started dreaming and believing in myself.
I put my best foot forward and started to excel in school. My childhood dream was to become a licensed cosmetologist, but that didn’t quite happen. After I graduated high school, I went to college where I received an associate’s degree in business management and learned the ins and outs of operating a business. This new journey seemed fun, and I wanted to learn more. I later received my bachelor’s degree in business administration and then my MBA. I am also the mother of three beautiful girls and a pet turtle. My oldest daughter will graduate high school this year. (I know, I know!)
In 2017, 21 years after my tragic accident, I was mentally able to forgive my brother’s bully and his friend for all the pain I endured then and the pain I feel today. I forgave them and finally started living my dream.
I decided to help children and young adults like my brother. I wanted to let them know how important they are and no matter what obstacles they face in their life, it’s how they overcome their low-spirited moments that matters most.
Now, along with working for American Family, I am the CEO of Taneya Pearson LLC, where I am a mental health and suicide-prevention speaker, writer, author, leadership expert, entrepreneur and mentor.
I also am the author of Don’t Count Me Out, a children’s book about bullying. Don’t Count Me Out encourages children who are being bullied to speak up and tell someone and let their voice be heard. It also addresses how friends should not let friends bully.
I also run “She Listens by Taneya Pearson,” a discussion group founded to empower and inspire young girls and young women to be GREAT! We encourage our girls to dig deeper and embrace their passions. I am also a big sister at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri. My passion is guiding and helping our youth and young adults to see their greatness.
I also volunteer at local homeless shelters, children’s centers, schools, social clubs, crisis centers, and more. I find that the more I give, the more I heal. When there is a need for help, call on me!
I encourage you all to be kind to one another and never give up on your dreams. You are never too old to start something new. You have value to offer the world because YOU MATTER.