Whit Devereaux is an Award Winning and Bestselling Author of “Not By My Own,” “Unraveling the Layers: Memoirs of a Wounded Soul,” “There’s a Jewel in You, Volume 2,” “The Girl With The Crooked Smile” and “Blacks in Nonprofits: Marketing, Branding & Social Media.” She is a Domestic Violence Survivor Advocate, Mentor, and Motivational Speaker. She is also the Founder and Executive Director of the 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization Not By My Own Community; helping survivors of domestic violence to rebuild their lives by giving them a safe place to experience a life of wholeness through Jesus Christ.
Whit holds an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Paralegal Studies and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Applied Behavioral Sciences where she studied human behavior and has over a decade of experience working in social services settings. Through her company, Whit Devereaux Enterprises, she assists Entrepreneurs with obtaining sponsorships and gaining the attention of their target audience through media exposure and local partnerships. Whit has been featured on the cover story of the Chicago Defender, Soul 106.3, WVON Radio 1690, SHEEN Magazine, Fox 32 News, WGN 9 News, and is an active member of the Chicago Police Department District 006 Domestic Violence Subcommittee. Whit was recognized and awarded as one of the “Women Who Won in 2020” for the work she has done through her nonprofit.
As the mother of two, one of which she had as a teen mom, she enjoys taking family vacations, spending quality time with her daughters and showing them that with hard work, faith, and determination – nothing is impossible.
Who is Whit Devereaux?
I am a multi-passionate woman who refuses to be boxed in. I am a mother of two beautiful daughters; I’ve been a mother since I was 18 years old. While being a mother has been my absolute joy, I am more than that. I am a survivor turned advocate who writes and hosts classes and events through my books and nonprofits, teaching abuse prevention and recovery tools. I am an award-winning author and have written a total of 5 books to date. I am intentional about the way I choose to lead my life. I am a firm believer that we must maximize the time we have now; this very moment because it’s all that we know we have for sure.
What inspired your start in writing?
Writing has always been the outlet to my soul. I had a very vivid imagination that transcended through my short stories and poems as a child. When I was 5 years old, I was molested and silenced by shame. I didn’t feel safe speaking about it, but I could write and make the characters feel my pain. The first time I shared my writing was on Grandparent’s Day at my elementary school and the short poem was entitled, “Kids.” I was shy, but it was something about my writings that made me feel bold and confident when sharing. From there, I joined the school newspaper called “Calvary’s Voice” which I named, and got to collaborate with other students on weekly news updates. I knew early on that I had a gift with words. My mother affirmed this and my best friend bought me a journal in high school where I enclosed very personal writings detailing my struggles with depression, drinking, and abuse. I went to college for a semester for Journalism at Columbia College Chicago before having to drop out due to being pregnant and financially unable to pay for classes. I kept writing throughout my life experiences in a blog and finally put my writings together in my novel, “Not By My Own” in 2017. That book won an award in 2018 and is still one of my most transformational stories.
You are an author of several books, if you could sum up your message in a few words, what would it be?
The message is clear: “We overcome by the words of our testimony and by the blood of the lamb.” Simply put, I survived so I could teach others how to thrive beyond their circumstances. My faith is a big part of my story and I share it in a non-threatening way that readers both young and old can relate to.
What tips do you have for teens beginning to date?
February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. The number one tip I share with teens is to love yourself first. Take your time dating and if someone mistreats you do not stick around hoping to change them. Learn who you are and what you enjoy. If I could tell my teenage self anything it would be to go to school and not abort your life dreams for another person. I have a blog on my website that specifically speaks to teens and their parents as well entitled, “Overcoming Teen Dating Violence.”
What is next for you and your brand in 2022?
2022 is all about living intentionally. In September 2021, I suffered a tragic loss and went on a sabbatical at the end of the year. During that time, I did some soul searching and the clarity that I gained led me to do something every day that makes my heart smile. That meant shifting my focus back to full-time domestic violence advocacy and writing. My readers can look forward to more blog posts that will help them overcome what has been a transitional period for most of us during this pandemic. My mentees and community can look forward to a retreat and additional outreach opportunities that focus on abuse prevention and recovery after abuse.
What is your definition of a Pretty Woman Who Hustles?
A Pretty Woman Who Hustles is one who works smart, lives intentionally, knows when to rest, recognizes when to pivot, and stays committed to her purpose. I am a Pretty Woman Who Hustles.
Connect with White via email at email@example.com or via the contact form on whitdevereaux.com.