Kia’s Story of Adversity to Advocacy


someone believed in me

I didn’t know anything, I didn’t have a college degree, I had done barely a year in college. But somehow, somebody believed in me and through connections they took me on.
— Kia Graham
“My mother definitely is my biggest advocate.” - Kia

“My mother definitely is my biggest advocate.” - Kia

Kia’s story is one of extraordinary triumph and fortitude. At the age of eighteen, Kia was an expecting mother who had doubts whether she could raise a child—she was not sure if she could have done it all on her own. Fortunately, with support through an organization that focuses on helping women plan their pregnancies, Kia received the assistance she needed to care for herself and her child. More than anything, the aid that she was getting allowed her to get her life back on track. She realized then that her life was not over, there was hope. With this in mind, Kia was not going to give up—she was going to persist against the odds of being a single mother.

“Just the understanding that my life was not over, like I could still do something with my life,” Kia says. “And that aborting my baby or giving the baby up was not the only solution, there were other solutions.”

Indeed there were other solutions—through the organization, Birth Right, Kia connected to her first job at an Aerospace manufacturing company. There, she supported the Vice President of the company, while she pursued an education in engineering. And while she was there, her peers and her mother advocated for her. They believed in her. Ultimately this gave her the confidence to believe in herself. As a result, the amalgamation of encouragements lead her to have the drive and determination to soar high in her career: from administration, to becoming the Vice President of Pratt and Whitney, and lastly to working on an engineering project.  

Coming full circle, at the Day of Empowerment Kia inspires the attendees to believe in themselves and invest in self-care. Today, Kia is working on new technologies at Google X - The Moonshot Factory as an established engineer, inventor, and entrepreneur.

Janice Hoang