Dr. Zaria Davis was at rock bottom. She lost a thriving business. She faced a life-threatening medical emergency. She lost her mother to the same condition.
To make matters worse, she was then tried for billing irregularities at her business and sent to a federal prison camp, having to leave behind her teenage daughter.
But in time, Davis discovered she could use her overwhelming adversities for a purpose. Her downfall, shame, and loneliness helped her grow as a person. They helped her acknowledge her faults, understand the importance of second chances, value her loved ones, and become healthy. She also found herself with help from God.
When she arrived back home, Davis was a new woman, but she had lost a year of her teen’s life, her home, and all of her money. That’s when she found Dress for Success, which, she says, transformed her life. She received a warm welcome, non-judgmental support, and an interview outfit for her job search.
Davis joined Dress for Success Cincinnati’s Professional Women’s Group for women who have found a job and want to advance their careers. She participated in all the support and expert speaker sessions and even serves as an ambassador doing public speaking and representing Dress for Success in the community.
The organization invited Davis to a re-entry panel for women re-entering life after incarceration. That experience inspired her to further share her story and provided motivation to explore a new career in criminal justice reform.
Davis started her own nonprofit organization to help women with their reentry journey. She is currently the owner of New Direction Coaching & Consulting, LLC, contracting as policy specialist with operation restoration, was recently hired as senior associate with Pretrial Justice Institute, and is now a member of 2019 cohort of the JustLeadershipUSA Leading with Conviction Program.
Perhaps even more importantly, Davis is enjoying life again with her child. She knows she is worthy of success, and it is reflected in her local, state, and national involvement.
Davis says she has been fortunate to have Dress for Success open doors and dreams for her and she now views her time away as preparation instead of a punishment. She believes that she is living her purpose, which is to serve others and be a voice of change.
Dress for Success Cincinnati thinks so highly of Davis and the work she is doing for other women in the community that she was recently elected to the Dress for Success Board of Directors.
Learn more about Dress for Success Cincinnati’s mission to empower women at dfscincy.org.