Nikeidra DeBarge, a wife and mother of four, started her career at Wedgwood Christian Services as a youth treatment specialist in 2003.
DeBarge completed her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice at Ferris State University and has since worked her way through various programs at Grand Rapids-based Wedgwood, including foster care and currently as coordinator of the Manasseh Project.
In 2012, DeBarge, along with two other women, opened a nonprofit called New Destiny Pathways in Grand Rapids, where they provide clean, affordable and supportive housing to young women aging out of the foster care system.
Biggest career break?
After working in various roles at Wedgwood over the past 12 years, I have been groomed for a level of leadership working as the coordinator of the Manasseh Project. This has allowed me to be recognized by organizations, such as the Grand Rapids Business Journal, Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, United Way and others, for the work that I do. Working in this capacity has allowed me to build diverse relationships on various levels and use my passion for people to make a difference in my community. I would consider this to be my biggest professional break!
My proudest moment was in 2012 when my dream of becoming a business owner of a residential home for young women came to fruition. Not only have I had the opportunity to help others, but I have been able to watch my dreams grow legs as well. This is a part of my professional journey that has made me exceptionally proud.
Best advice you’ve ever received?
To be unapologetically confident in what and who God has called me to be.
How did you make your first dollar?
By sitting on my Uncle Floyd’s lap and looking up at him, just as sweet as pie. He had no choice but to honor my request.
Otherwise, I earned my first dollar babysitting!
One of my current roles: executive director of our nonprofit New Destiny Pathways, owning homes for young women around the world
If I were president for a day, I would . . . ?
Provide food and stable housing for the homeless
Last book you’ve read?
“Too Busy Not to Pray,” by Bill Hybels
Last thing you Googled?
Can family be a possession?
Your worst habit?
Eating Snickers (my fave)
To unwind, I like to . . . ?
Cuddle in the corner of my red sofa and watch TV or scroll on Facebook
A family vacation to Hawaii
Person you most admire?
It’s a toss-up between my mother, Vivian, and my sister, Kim 🙂