Dawn Runyon is a knowledgeable and engaging speaker and her passion for people comes through as she leads trainings and workshops for both adults and youth throughout Kentucky. A graduate of the University of Kentucky with a degree in Integrated Strategic Communications, wife of 21 years and mother of two boys, Dawn—like many of today’s women—wears many hats. She is an author, life-skills trainer, motivational speaker, mentor, radio show host, and a marriage and family group ministry leader.
Prior to her return to college, she served throughout the United States and abroad as a soldier in the U.S. Army where she earned numerous awards for her dedication and support above and beyond the call of duty. Credited as having a lively and bubbly personality, she was featured in TV Guide Magazine and has appeared on national television as a contestant on the #1 rated game show, “Deal or No Deal” (2007).
Born to a young teen mother in Huntsville, AL, Dawn knows firsthand the challenges that face many of today’s youth. Throughout her childhood, Dawn moved countless times throughout the Southern and Northern regions of the United States as her mother fought to continue her high school education, escape domestic abuse and provide shelter for her child. As a victim of sexual abuse, and a survivor of suicide attempts, Dawn has overcome many of life’s struggles and draws upon her experiences to reach out to young women and at-risk youth, challenging them to see their future potential despite their troubled past.
As a child, I faced various struggles and dealt with many hurts and pains, including sexual abuse and my father's suicide. Those experiences plagued me throughout my teen years and well into my adult life. I became a chameleon in order to disguise myself from predators and to shield myself from pain. For years, I went through life in the dark, afraid, unable to trust and unsure of what love really was. I was lost within myself, not sure of who I was, who I wanted to be, or whether I would ever become someone worthy of loving. Despite my own battles (or possibly to hide them) I always provided humor and laughter into every setting that I entered; using laughter as a way to keep myself and others from crying. This was my survival.
Somehow, through the pain and despair, there seemed to remain a light within me—a warm light, which drew people to me and put them at ease. I was a shoulder to cry on, a calm voice in the midst of confusion, and a friend to those in need. I believe my own experiences enabled me to relate to others who were hurting and unsure. I’ve always desired to lift others’ spirits and give them hope and encouragement. It is by that light, that internal desire to shield others from pain, that I found my purpose, my destiny.
We have it within us to fulfill our purpose, but life often seems to beat it out of us. I believe, just as people have always remarked about the light in my life, that YOU also have a light and by it, YOU too can be built up!
I encourage you to reveal your light and by it, to discover the potential of who you are and what you are meant for. Regardless of where you've come from, where you are, or what you have done; despite the pain you may have suffered or may have even caused others, please know that you are better than your worst moment, more than your small sense of self -- you are destined for greatness, because He who created you is Greater than all. You have a future and a purpose that awaits you.
I want to inspire you with words spoken by a man who only a few short years ago was homeless, living out of his car, a victim of child abuse and poverty and whom now is considered to be one of the most talented and influential playwrites, directors and philanthropists of the 21st century--
"You can be born into a nightmare and God can usher you into a dream!"
-- Tyler Perry
I too, have felt that my past was one big nightmare with tiny moments of fantasy thrown in, but now I am living out my dream and seeing it become a reality. If you are looking for a speaker that can captivate, motivate, inspire and aspire, you have found the "LYTE". I hope you will give me the opportunity to pass on a message of hope, inspiration and love to your group, whatever the occasion.