BATON ROUGE, LA (LOCAL33) (FOX44) – A local woman is teaching others to give back to the community through years of volunteer work.
Tamiko Garrison is no stranger to hard work.
“It was kinda natural to me, if I can say that. The responsibility to give back was laid a long time ago,” said Garrison.
Her parents started the first Juneteenth Celebration in Donaldsonville back in 1996.
“I just wanted to mirror what they did and to give back,” said Garrison.
After her parents passed, Garrison took over the annual event.
“We pulled together local community members who actually donated some money, and we had just a music festival. Then it grew from there. We’ve been doing it since 2011.”
Service became a big part of Garrison’s life.
“My family gives back; that’s just what we do.”
She started volunteering with The Mayor’s Youth Advisory Board, it’s a program that educates and empowers young people.
“I saw that there was a gap when it came to civic responsibility, and understanding the government. To see them now, some are in college, some are cheerleaders, some are on the dance team, some are pledges, some are in the SGA. So it feels really good to see that.”
She’s also passionate about empowering women.
She wanted to honor local female role models, so she created the Ascension Parish Honoring Women Event.
The inaugural celebration is set for March 7, 2020.
“It’s just to say thank you for what you do, thank you for following your dream, your passion because that passion and that dream has impacted so many people.”
She became an advocate for health while her father battled Polycystic Kidney Disease.
She later found out she too had the disease and needed a transplant.
“He’s like my role model when it comes to surviving, keep going, never stop, keep giving back to the society.”
After her own experience, she deiced to do what she does best, give back.
“Whatever I learn, I share. Even in the midst of going through the dialysis and the kidney transplant I was like, you know what, I should put together a health fair to talk about the aspects, and I did.”
She’s devoted her life to serving others.
“There’s a quote by Shirley Chisholm, and this is practically what I live by, service is the rent you pay for the room living on this earth. You have to provide service. That’s it.”
She hopes to inspire others to do the same.
“I would hope that the kids that I’ve helped, I would that anybody that I’ve touched if they are in that arena to give back that, they should.”