For Denita Lacking-Quinn, the phrase “can’t never could do anything” was deeply embedded in her psyche at an early age by a favorite high school teacher. Today, this 1998 graduate of Justin F. Kimball High School uses those same words as a catalyst to keep moving forward as a lifelong learner, accomplished business woman and entrepreneur.
AlumNow, The Hub feature that profiles Dallas ISD alumni, caught up with Lacking-Quinn for an update on her journey since high school.
What are you doing now?
I’m President and CEO of Achieve PR.
Briefly list a few of your career and/or personal highlights
Achieve PR (est. 1998) – President/CEO
2016 Dallas Business Journal 40 Under 40 honoree
2015/16 Who’s Who in Black Dallas recipient
Press Club of Dallas – Board Member
DJ Spinderella (Salt N Pepa) – Publicist
DFW Minority Supplier Diversity Council – Marketing Chair
DFW Black Bloggers – Founder
The Golden Circle – Executive Director
Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce – Communication/Program Manager
Google & Bing Professional Certification
What was your favorite subject or activity/involvement in high school?
My favorite subject was English. I enjoyed writing and illustrating my thoughts and ideas through essays. It also gave me the freedom of expression and allowed me to explore through the eyes of authors and journalists. English class was my first introduction to Toni Morrison, Langston Hughes and Alice Walker. My favorite activity was attending athletic events on Friday nights with family and friends and supporting my school. Once a Knight, always a Knight.
Who was your favorite teacher?
My favorite teacher was Mrs. Bostic; she was the best EVER! She constantly pushed me to be my best and taught me how to depend on myself and build self-esteem and character. Her words were “can’t never could do anything,” and that if I continued saying I can’t, then I would never know if I could. She allowed me to work and read in her classroom during lunch and taught me how to write AP style.
What lesson did you learn in high school or beyond that has served you well through the years?
I started my first business as a Kimball High School senior. My teachers and principal, Mr. Eugene Young, encouraged me to start working for a local newspaper to get hands on skills. I developed my first SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis in the library. Many times when I wanted to give up and do something else, I thought about the time they spent with me and their words of wisdom. Mr. Young encouraged me saying, “Education is the one thing no one can take from you.” He was right. I’m constantly learning and taking classes all over the U.S.
What advice, if any, would you offer to high school students today?
My best advice would be to stay in school and learn as much as you can while you can. Build a strong relationship with your counselors and teachers. Take advantage of scholarships and opportunities to give back to your community to help build your college resume. Enjoy high school while it last.
College/University and degree earned:
Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, 2012
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