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NSU Student’s Determination Shines Spotlight on Service to Others

Rickkita Taylor doesn’t know the meaning of the word quit.

 She didn’t quit when she suddenly became a single mother, raising two boys on her own. She didn’t quit when the COVID-19 pandemic forced her employer to close, and she lost her job. And she didn’t quit when the ELLEN Show twice rejected her requests to be a guest.

Last April, Taylor, an NSU sophomore social work major, decided to give it one more try and write to the Ellen Show once more. This time, she got the attention of the show’s producers as she described the work of her nonprofit organization.   

“Sisters Healing Sisters started as an idea I came up with when I was going through a rough time in life about 7 years ago,” said Taylor. “When I was going through these things I felt alone and wanted to create an organization that not only helped women in need find the resources that they need but also form a sisterhood while helping each other.”

Since its beginning in October 2018, Taylor said the organization has fed hundreds of people in need, held free educational workshops on issues relevant to the community such as financial literacy and career readiness, created a free closet of gently used and new clothes for people in need to shop for free, and sponsored families for back to school and Christmas.

“ During the current pandemic, our organization has continued to provide hot meals to the local shelter biweekly, provided groceries for families in need, and helped families on a case-by-case basis with shelter and other necessities,” she said. “We believe that it takes a village and a sense of community to get through these uncertain times and we will continue to do our part.”

That’s what impressed Ellen DeGeneres and the show extended an invitation for Taylor to sit in the audience during a taping of the show that aired in October. “The surprise was that I was going to be the VIP audience member of the day,” said Taylor. “When it was time for the show to tape, I was led to the skybox and had the best seat in the house, or at least I thought.”

But Taylor could have never imagined what would happen next. DeGeneres called her down to sit on the stage with her.

“My jaw dropped. I ran up to meet her and could not contain my excitement. I now was in the best seat in the house being interviewed by a person who I admired so much and waited so long to meet. She was amazing, natural, and she made me feel so comfortable,” said Taylor.

“ I answered questions about my organization and my sons. Then she surprised me with a $10,000 check for Sisters Healing Sisters Inc., and shortly after she said she knows my situation and how I have been out of work and not receiving any type of income and she wanted my boys and I to have some money too since she knew I would use most of the first check on my organization. She then blessed me with another $10,000 check.”

“I can't explain the feeling in words of how grateful and thankful I was at that moment because it’s been a rough year,” Taylor said. “But the one thing I have held onto all year was my faith. I prayed for this very moment and to see it happen was mind blowing.”

See Rickkita Taylor’s appearance on Ellen here.

Since her appearance on Ellen, Taylor has been contacted by many individuals and corporate companies that want to help or partner with Sisters Healing Sisters and she’s also been contacted by other media outlets. “Our reach is now global as we have been contacted by people as far as Australia and the UK. We look forward to working with these newfound partnerships and doing even more to help our community.”