Interview With The Honorable Tenisha Yancey
Who is The Honorable Tenisha Yancey?
The Honorable Tenisha Yancey is serving her term representing the 1st House District, which includes the cities of Harper Woods, Grosse Pointe Woods, and parts of the Village of Grosse Pointe Shores and Detroit.
Where does her passion for serving others come from?
Yancey was born and raised in Detroit, the youngest of three children. Her mother worked at GM Poletown until early retirement, and her father was a bus driver for the City of Detroit Department of Transportation. Yancey became the caretaker for her mother at a young age, who had suffered two strokes. A few years later she lost her father in an accident caused by a drunk driver.
Yancey graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Science Degree from Eastern Michigan University. While working full-time for Wayne County, she attended law school and graduated, receiving her law degree from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law in 2013. Yancey worked as a project manager for the Wayne County Land Bank and a government relations executive and community outreach program coordinator in the Wayne County Executive’s Office. She then transferred to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, where she worked as an assistant prosecuting attorney in the Juvenile Division. In June 2016, she was appointed to the Harper Woods Board of Education and later elected. She was elected state representative in 2017 in a special election, now serving her final term, and is now running for Judge.
We Empower Magzine obtained an exclusive interview with The Honorable Tenisha Yancey.
What was your experience like attending Eastern Michigan University?
Tenisha: I attended Eastern Michigan University as a non-traditional student. My son was barely 18 months at the time. However, it was EMU’s Children Center and Student’s With Children Organization that made me successful there. I was able to complete my remaining two years in less than two years (attending OCC’s two year program)
How did obtaining a law degree and working in government relations prepare you for running for a Judge position?
Tenisha: Obtaining a law degree was absolutely crucial in preparation to run for judge. It is required that you practice law for five years before being eligible to run for judge and without obtaining my law degree, I would have not been eligible.
Working in the Wayne County government was also very helpful in preparing to run for judge. I met a lot of people who have supported me throughout my journey. I also learned a lot about campaigning during my time at the county.
What impact do you want to make as a Judge?
Tenisha: I would like to make an impact, particularly on young people who are making poor choices and decisions because I was once a young person making those same poor choices. I want to help provide hope to those who are hopeless. Give guidance and alternatives to the lifestyles they are currently choosing.
What is a quote that you live by?
Tenisha: If I’m the smartest person in the room, I need to find a new room to be in.
Don’t let anyone define your destiny but you and God!
What else would you like our readers to know about you?
Tenisha: That I’m just like them. I grew up on the eastside of Detroit. My mother worked at GM, my father was a bus driver. My sister was the first in the family to graduate from a 4-year university. I grew up in the same neighborhood as White Boy Rick and on the same street as Shaka Senghor. Not everyone is born into privilege and sometimes the odds are stacked against us. However, each and every one of us have the ability to overcome any obstacle thrown in our way. You have to dig deeper, but you first have to believe that you can do anything you put your mind to.