RIVERVIEW, Florida — This week's Everyday Hero is a woman who doesn't let life's setbacks stop her from achieving her dream.
- Aicha Ayana is this week's Everyday Hero
- She dropped out of school, lost her mother to cancer
- Overcoming those obstacles, she started Woman Up
- Have an Everyday Hero to nominate? Email us
And she's inspiring other women to do the same.
"Woman Up" was started three years ago by Aicha Ayana, who as a 16-year-old mom had to drop out of school and then lost her mother to cancer.
But refusing to let it beat her, she pushed on.
"I had a rough upbringing myself, and I wanted to make sure that I passed the wisdom that life taught me down to the next women," Ayana said.
Her organization offers hope and motivation through numerous programs.
"Empowerment, inspiration, encouragement and programs to help them succeed with their business if they're a small business, if they're an entrepreneur or if they're seeking mentorship.
For young Courtni Jenkins, Ayana became a "mom."
"I wouldn't ever be able to explain," Jenkins said. "Like, I, literally, she is literally like my biggest motivator right now. My strongest life support system. She is my support system right now."
It was the same for Dariona Pease when starting her nail business.
"It's something a lot of people didn't support me with but she told me to just follow my dreams and don't look back," Pease said.
Candace Tellis said Ayana make her feel "like I can do anything."
"I believe I was put here to fulfill a purpose and my purpose is to spread goodness in the world, and to me that's not being a hero," Ayana said. "That's being a human."