My earliest childhood memory was being molested at the age of 5. I didn’t realize until I was of age and more educated that I was a victim of sexual abuse. The act itself was far behind me, however the unaddressed lasting affects is what led me to have abortions, suffer from low self-esteem, prostitution….Yes! I said prostitute and no I was not on the streets doing it. The mere definition of prostitution is the practice or occupation of engaging in sexual activity with someone for payment. The idea that only “street-walkers” engage in sexual activity in exchange for something of value is false!
I mean if you’re honest, you are or know someone who’s living with a man because of what he provides. Rent was paid by “ol’ boy” because you take care of his sexual needs. He pays for your hair and nails because you just got off your back.
So please…save the judgement. I’ve dated the dope boys and fought with them too! Yes, abuse relationships as a teen, though then I didn’t see it that way.
Nonetheless, my lack of self-value led to another pregnancy that I wasn’t ready for, a rushed marriage and a quicker divorce. All of this before graduating college.
Because of all of the aforementioned, I found myself divorced with a baby and depressed. I was hopeless in some regards. Soon after my divorce, my daughter and I experienced homelessness, but thank God for friends who opened their doors.
But with the help of God, I refused to give in to the unhealthy and festering circumstances that surrounded my youth. Determined not to quit and fully understanding that surviving hard times breeds both strength and resilience, I graduated from Grambling State University with a B.S. in Education and then went forward to receive my M.A. in Guidance and Counseling from LA Tech University.
Committed to becoming the change I wanted to see, I found my calling as a transformational educator, teaching K-12 for over 10 years. Yet I knew that there was more to my life’s assignment of making a difference, so I went on to become an inspirational author, workshop facilitator, empowering speaker and passionate advocate for girls and young women, as well as a member of the John Maxwell Team.
Eventually, following my own light, I transitioned from being a transformational educator to a Master Certified Transformational Coach focusing on helping women transform into their 2.0 self by mastering their mindset, so they thrive in life, love and career. I’m the curator of Dez Three Sixty, my multimedia brand that includes a podcast, blog, books and apparel, and coaching and more!
Now based in Houston, TX, I’m happily married to the love of my life and gratefully accepting the challenge of raising three gifted children. I also remain a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and serve as the Executive Vice President of MC Lyte’s Hip Hop Sisters Foundation, as well as the Executive Producer of an international radio show, “The Millionaire’s Roundtable.”
My greatest pain has become my greatest blessing, and the world is now the biggest classroom that I’m honored to attend. You can connect with me on all social media platforms @dezthreesizxty and on Youtube @dezthreesixty. For more information please visit my website www.disereeclay.com and for all upcoming events visit www.dezthreesixty.info
KISH: What is your dream and how will accomplishing your dream benefit you and others?
Diseree “Dez” Clay: My dream is to become a world- renown speaker and coach. I want to do this because I believe there are too many broken girls inside the lives of women. I want to provide the tools necessary in order to move them from where they are to where they want to be. I want women to not change their lives because change is temporary. I want them to TRANSFORM their lives by breaking unproductive cycles of self-sabotage and generational curses, so they see self-actualization in their lives and thrive in life, love and career.
KISH: Who or what inspired you to pursue this dream?
My inspiration comes from all of the people who placed enough trust in me to help me along my journey. You can see from my bio that I’ve made enough mistakes for me and a couple of more people! Therefore, the only way I can truly pay them back is to pay it forward. After playing small most of my life, God instructed me to move forward. So here I am! Walking in faith transforming the lives of others as God continues to transform mine.
KISH: What challenges have you encountered while pursuing your dream?
Diseree “Dez” Clay: One of the biggest challenges that I’ve faced is the lack of exposure as myself, separate from the celebrities that I’ve worked with or currently serve. Getting in front of people is key to the overall goal and vision for Dez Three Sixty. It’s a challenge to be genuine without all the fluff and be accepted as an expert in my field. I just simply refuse to not show up as me, authentically.
KISH: Who or what inspired you to keep pushing regardless of the challenges you’ve encountered?
Diseree “Dez” Clay: My husband is literally the wind beneath my wings. There are so many days that I want to quit, but he reminds me why I started and those that I am/ have impacted through my work. He reminds me when I’m frustrated about not meeting a sales goal or attendee goal that God’s plan is the ultimate plan. He reminds me to push past my quit™ (PPYQ™)
Additionally, my brand manager. She is my sounding board of all things Dez There Sixty. I’m sure I wear her out! But she recognizes who I am at the core and the work that I’m doing.
So, for each of them I am grateful.
KISH: Please provide final thoughts/advice for others by finishing this sentence… dream.
Diseree “Dez” Clay: Whatever you do, think big, start small™ and in all your doing, don’t forget to dream