Born in Hagerstown, Tekesha experienced placement in the foster care system due to her mother’s mental health challenges. As a ward of the state, she faced a loss of identity and, at the age of 17, became a mother while still in high school. Seeking refuge in a maternity home in Hyattsville, she grappled with homelessness, trauma, and a sense of frustration, ultimately choosing to avoid returning to Hagerstown due to perceived limited opportunities and systemic failures.
In her mid-twenties, with five children and limited support, Tekesha resolved to break the cycle. Channeling her emotions into spoken word poetry, she used her own journey to inspire her daughters and son. Engaging in ministering through poetry and organizing open mic nights, she aimed to facilitate healing for others as well.
Upon returning to Hagerstown, Tekesha navigated various employment roles, from forklift operation to hotel front desk staffing. Despite these challenges, her commitment to community service persisted. Working at a local community center, she discovered a passion for community mediation. Trained as a mediator, she helped resolve diverse conflicts, ranging from landlord-tenant disputes to relationship issues and neighborly quarrels.
Tekesha’s impact on her hometown grew, leading to her name being written on ballots for several years. With an unwavering commitment to accountability, transparency, and community presence, she entered the citywide Hagerstown City Council race. Despite lacking a formal campaign, she secured a position on the council, making history as one of the second and third Black council members in the city.
Midway through her term, Tekesha was unanimously appointed as the first Black Mayor of Hagerstown. Since assuming office, she has prioritized public safety and worked diligently to bolster the local economy. Focused on promoting union-strong job opportunities, she emphasizes accessibility through education, training, and improved transportation. Tekesha remains dedicated to serving the community and advocating for positive change in local government.