Keisha Hawes was age 31 when she had a heart attack. She was a wife and mother, who was holding down several part-time jobs in the Charleston area to help to make ends meet. She has taken the experience of her heart attack as a way to “serve another purpose.” She said, “when I was stuck on the fact of suffering a heart attack, I actually suffered. I continued my suffering. When I took a moment and I stopped and I said, ‘no, let's look at this from the lens of you survived a heart attack. So now, what is the purpose in your survival? How can you repurpose this to now be a benefit to people?’ " Hawes has been tireless in her work to benefit people. She was the first American Heart Association national spokesperson from the state of South Carolina, and she has lobbied for better health care overage, research and treatment of women’s issues. She is a PreK teacher, actor, voice-over artist and a youth pastor, as well as an active community volunteer.
About the Honoree
Keisha Boyd Hawes was born raised and educated in Orangeburg County. She is a 2001 graduate of the College of Charleston with a degree in Urban Studies with a concentration in policy and social problems.
In April of 2003 she married the love of her life, Michael Hawes. She is the mother of 2 sons and 1 daughter, Mason, Morrison and Madison. She also is the stepmother of 2 daughters and 1 son.
In May of 2011, Keisha, at the age of 31, survived a heart attack. She describes her experience as a perfected interruption. In January of 2013, Keisha attended the local American Heart Association Go Red For Women Casting Call to share her powerful story. What Keisha didn’t know was that she would be chosen as a national Go Red For Women spokeswoman. Nearly 10,000 women were submitted, and Keisha is one of the eleven who were chosen to represent the national Go Red For Women campaign. She is the first American Heart Association national spokesperson from the state of South Carolina.
She lends her voice to make women and others aware of the risks, signs and symptoms of heart disease. She has shared her story on all forms of media both locally and nationally. Notably, she has been featured on TNT’s Dramatic Difference and NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams. She has lobbied alongside the AHA for better healthcare coverage, research and treatment of women’s health issues. She participates in several groups locally advocating for increasing fitness levels among women and girls, including Black Girls Run, Girl Trek and Junior Girls Day Out Community Project. She and her family were chosen by Lowcountry Parent Magazine as a Fit Family Challenge Spotlight Family and championed the region in the competition.
She has been recognized on two separate occasions by the Charleston Regional Business Journal – 40 under 40 and Healthcare Hero. She also has been named one of Charleston’s Most Influential Women by the Charleston Center for Women. When she is not working as a PreK teacher, actor or voice over artist, she is empowering women to take action to see massive growth in their life and business through a healthy living business.
She is the Youth Pastor of Increasing Faith, a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Alpha Phi Omega Fraternity Inc., an active parent volunteer at three local schools, volunteers with Trident United Way, the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry and several local anti-bullying initiatives.
She is most proud to be alive and well to be a wife and mother! Throughout all her experiences she’s learned to never forsake any part of her journey and to be fully present in life
About Women Vision SC
Women Vision SC is a program that focuses on issues affecting women throughout the state and the nation and a new generation of young people pursuing public service for their communities and the state at large. The program is produced and hosted by former SCETV president Linda O’Bryon.