Ayesha Watson-Hawkins is the founder and owner of 5678dancenow.inc, a dance studio that looks to mentor youth through dance. Her studio caters to dance enthusiasts of all ages, mostly younger masses. Her goal is to build character and discipline through mentoring, coaching, and training her students in dance and life. The dance studio is also the mother company for a counseling program called Exploring Your Purpose (EYP). The program offers behavioral counseling, individual and family counseling, supported employment, case management, and mobile health and wellness services.
Not often does one meet people who can merge two seemingly distinct passions in a graceful display of execution. But that’s what Ayesha does daily, bringing together her love for dance and helping people into one expression of love.
The non-profit organization focuses on working with people who have been debilitated by mental and physical disabilities. They’ve also worked with individuals who are victims of housing linkage, substance abuse, domestic violence, grief, or job loss. The company is manned by a great roster of staff who look to help people. Exploring Your Purpose specializes in helping people secure employment, providing services such as school to work transition, job readiness training, job placement coaching, and employee enhancement. This service could not come at a better time as millions of people lose jobs due to the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus crisis.
Ayesha has been a dancer almost all of her life. She started by performing as a cheerleader in the Southwest DeKalb High School First Basketball back in 1987. Since then, Ayesha mostly envelopes herself in her love of dance. Twenty years ago, she started 5678dancenow.inc Studio and had been helping people of all ages cope with life’s difficulties through dance. Known today as Coach Ayesha, a Pillar of the Community, she uses her influence and skill to leave a positive impact on the lives of people.
As an active member of society, Ayesha feels attached to people who need help the most. She loves working mostly with low-income families, helping many of them live, sustain, and maintain a good living condition by helping them develop soft and hard skills that can bring more employment and earning opportunities. Even as a minority non-profit company, Exploring Your Purpose has found great partnerships. They are a recipient of support and partnership from organizations like DeKalb Recreations, Toys For Tots, Atlanta Food Festival, GVRA, and Publix, along with many others.
Through the programs, over five hundred individuals have received placements in jobs or school. Ayesha and her team have also assisted over three hundred households by helping them build skills necessary to survive within their communities. The organization never closes its door to their past clients. As a result, Exploring Your Purpose has created long-term relationships with people who have come to the program for help.
Ayesha holds a master’s degree in human behavior and is currently working on her PhD in counseling. She has held multiple community development roles in the past. Before shifting to 5678dancenow.inc. full time in 2019, she served as one of the Supported Employment Reviewers of the Department of Behavioral Health Adult Mental Health program.
Ayesha and 5678dancenow.inc Studio reside in Decatur, Georgia. To learn more about Ayesha and her programs, visit their website.