Some may know Tunya Griffin as an astute bible teacher and orator. She has a distinct ability to transcend tradition in her delivery of the gospel through widening spiritual parameters in order to reach diverse people from various cultures, denominations, and backgrounds. She is one of four children born to Frank Griffin, Sr. and Alexzina Griffin. Tunya Griffin was raised along side a diverse array of siblings: Frank Jr., Sonya, and Antoinette. She was born and raised in Rochester, NY. When she meets people they often ask her, “How did you grow up?” She always responds that “I grew up like the Huxtables. Really, I did.” The only difference was that her father was not a doctor, nor was her mother a lawyer, but the same values that were instilled in the Huxtable children were similar values that her parents instilled in her and her siblings. She is a proud mother of three children: Lavonne Richards Jr. (25), Franseau Richards (22), and Mahalia Rivera (17).
In 1982-86, she attended and graduated from East High School. Thereafter, she attended Kansas State University where she majored in Business Administration. At the age of eighteen she returned to Rochester, NY and attended Monroe Community College. After transitioning from MCC she decided that she would become a homemaker, but instead God had a different path. In 1995-96 she continued her education and graduated from The State University of New York College of Brockport, Rochester Educational Opportunity Center. Additionally, she decided to further her education so she enrolled once again at MCC. During the time of attending MCC,she felt that God was calling her to be equipped to teach the Body of Christ. “One day I decided to drive out to Roberts Wesleyan College and the rest was history,” she recalls. In 2007, Tunya Griffin went on to attain a Bachelors Degree in Organizational Management from Roberts Wesleyan College. In that same year Tunya applied to Northeastern Seminary and was accepted. Today, she is working towards her Masters of Divinity. “My goal upon completion of my Masters degree is to further my education by earning a Doctorate of Ministry,” she says.
We interviewed Tunya for the Positive Sisters edition of www.shalenadiva.com and here are her responses on life and her company, Life Givers.
Please list a quote or motto you live by and state why.
“Brand me original” is a quote and motto I live by and created. I live by this quote and motto because I believe that every person should have the freedom and flexibility to be an original work opposed to any copy or imitation. Therefore if I am going to be a Brand that is original then that allows me the right to be authentic with all my flaws. As Lisa Marie Carroll stated, “I will act original, be original, I will not die a cheap copy.
Describe your platform: what issues are you passionate about and why? Who is your target audience?
Lifegiver Inc. understands that in a constantly fluctuating and changing economic climate, companies, brands, and businesses have a tremendous opportunity to stand up, take a leadership role in their industries and marketplace and clearly explain to my audience that my passion is to Empower, Encourage, and Inspire young women and women; one woman at a time to live a Happy and Healthy Life.
I am passionate about:
Teaching Biblical Principles that will empower, encourage, and inspire young women and women to live a happy and healthy life.
Healthy Living: mind, body, and soul with a focus on assisting women throughout the whole journey toward total healing
Imparting vitality of life to others
Target audiences are: Young women ages 16-25 and women 25-40
What motivated you to help this group of people? Do any of your own life experiences play a role?
What motivated me to help young women and women were various reasons. One specific reason I wanted to help young women was born out of my experience as a teenage mother. At the age of sixteen I had become a teenage mother. I can remember stating that “it was the day that changed my life.” As a result of becoming a teenage mother at a young age the odds of being successful were stacked against me.
Statistics on Teenage Pregnancy
- Teenage mothers are more likely to drop out of high school – fewer than 2% earn a college degree by age 30.
- Children of teen mothers do worse in school than those born to older parents they are 50% more likely to repeat a grade, are less likely to complete high school than the children of older mothers, and have lower performance on standardized tests.
Each of these facts about teenage pregnancy was the driving force behind why:
- I completed a Bachelors degree and pushed me to work towards a master’s degree.
- I have successfully raised my children. My eldest is working on a Master’s degree. My second child is a sophomore in college and my daughter is a senior in high school.
What motivated me to help empower, encourage, and inspire women was born out of my lived experiences of overcoming various obstacles and standing under the criticism and pressure of those obstacles. In particular, in 2009 it seemed as though everything that could go wrong did. Specifically, I thought that I was on my way to being engaged, but a secret life of the person I was dating unfolded after four years of dating. My findings were that he secretly flew to Las Vegas and married someone else whom he was already living with. It was tumultuous in that, I had not dated anyone in ten years, I was just launching Lifegiver inc., working over forty hours as a Market Area Sales Representative, and completing my core seminary courses.
Out of this experience, I learned that although people may have good intentions on helping a person through a difficult time, the fact is that many people lives are too busy to commit to: late night phone calls, unwanted visits, crying, praying; and staying up late at night to help a person receive his or her total healing. As I stated, one of my passions is to help women through this journey so that they are empowered, encouraged, and inspired to live a happy and healthy life.
I am in the process of writing a book that will outline specifically these difficult challenges.
How do you serve your target market? Do you have a website, radio show, television show, business, organization, etc?
I serve my target market in a few ways:
Lifegiver Inc. Foundation: In 2009, Lifegiver Inc. has partnered with a teenage advocacy program in the Rochester, New York area. Lifegiver Inc. goal is to reach teens all around the world with media, campaigns, and workshops to help those who are teenage mothers and to assist in teenage pregnancy prevention. We go beyond raising awareness; our goal is to influence a culture.
Website is: www.tunyamgriffin.com
We offer various workshops
In-Print Magazine will be released in March 2011
Training videos will be available in Spring 2011
Motivational work is not one size fits all. How did you develop your unique way of serving? What makes your work different?
I agree motivational work is not one size fits all. In consequence, the workshops that Lifegiver Inc. oversees are tailored made to fit each of our clients needs. Specifically, we schedule a meeting with each of our clients prior to hosting a worship to hear what the needs of the clients are. Most of our workshops are interactive so we focus our interactive workshop around the specific needs of the client. Keep in mind, we believe in empowerment so as the old Chinese proverb proclaims “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. “
Did you have any initial fears or concerns that you had to overcome when pursuing your passion?
Absolutely I had initial fears. It is my belief anytime that you start any new venture it can be scary. It reminds me of the lobster, who like the new shell; but the lobster does not like the process. From time to time we are like the lobster that has to abandon its old shell in order to grow. However the growth may not occur because we have become familiar with the old. The new causes us to step out of the boat by faith like peter. As we follow the new, we will change, risk, grow and leave our “old shells behind.” For me, I had to overcome the fear of ‘stepping out’. Keep in mind that ’The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it’
If your motivational work is a business also, how much money did you need to get started? Did you use any creative funding sources? Did you need any certifications or licenses?
As I read this question, I am laughing so hard because we all understand that it takes capital to start a business and any good financial investor or advisor will advise someone who is going into business do not start without capital. For me, I walked by faith and not by sight so to get started it took me $0. Did I use any creative funding sources? Certainly, my friends and family members believe in what I am doing and as a result they sow into the business. Also, my eldest brother Frank Griffin is the Chief Financial Officer of Lifegiver Inc. he utilizes his ten years of leadership experience and financial background to help in the company’s financial planning and record keeping and finding financial resources.
How can people reach you to learn more about what you do? Are you or your business on Facebook? Twitter? Linked In? Please list.
People can reach me various ways:
Facebook – Tunya Griffin
Website – www.TunyamGriffin.com
Email address for workshops: [email protected]
Linked In- Tunya Griffin
What brings you the most joy from your work? Any struggles?
What brings me the most joy from my work is when I see young women and women walk away with a confidence that they did not have prior to meeting me or attending one of my workshops. I get a joy out of seeing lives changed.
Any advice you’d like to offer to anyone interested in your line of work?
It is my belief that the work that I am doing is heart-work so I would advise anyone who is considering my line of work:
1. You must love and have a compassion for people
2. Servant heart is a must – Keep your focus (serve not to be served) –although you may get served by others
3. Check your motive in why you want to do what it is that you are doing
a. Are you looking to become famous – Wrong
b. Are you looking to make your name great – Wrong
Although becoming famous, your name becoming great, and you may be served by others these are only by-products; but they should never be your motivation. The motivation should be born out of a love and a concern for people to see that they are happy, healthy, and whole.
Keep up with Tunya!
© 2015, Shalena D.I.V.A. – Author| Speaker| Life And Business Coach. All rights reserved.