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Lekesha was born and raised in Franklin, Kentucky (Simpson County), and after spending only a few years living away, she returned to Franklin, where she currently resides. She loves traveling, reading, listening to music, enjoying good food, spending time with family and friends, and loving on her precious fur baby, Lady.
Lekesha graduated from Franklin-Simpson High School in 2005. In early 2007 she was presented with information about becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant. To be honest, at this point, Lekesha wasn’t too sure she wanted to be in the medical field, but she was ready to start a career, and thought this would be something meaningful to do until she figured out what she really wanted to do.
Lekesha enrolled in the Rosewood Healthcare Program, where she received her CNA in late 2007. She began her journey by working at a skilled nursing facility for one year, and then moved to a hospital setting where she worked for the next four years. Following that, Lekesha worked in a doctor’s office for 3.5 years. She then became a supervisor at a residential care home, where she worked for one year, and subsequently became a respite provider, which she still remains.
Along the way and out of the blue, in 2008 Lekesha met a wonderful elderly lady and her family at work one day. As it turned out, the woman needed occasional care, which Lekesha provided over the next few years, and over time, this woman and her family became a part of Lekesha’s life. It was this relationship that motivated Lekesha to make the decision to open up her own home care agency one day. More on this later …..
Very soon in her career, Lekesha’s dedicated care and nursing skills were noticed. She was encouraged by many people to go back to school and study to become a nurse. She even had individuals offer to pay her way through nursing school, but Lekesha still was not sure this was her path and so she turned down both the advice and the offers. It seemed that others could see what she herself could not see --- that she was born to be a caregiver.
As time passed, Lekesha found that she really enjoyed what she was doing. Many patients and their family members looked forward to seeing Lekesha on her work days and missed her when she wasn’t there. One thing Lekesha will always remember is that so many people commented that her smile lit up the room when she came in to care for them and that her smile made their day. She was always told she cared from the heart and seemed to like what she was doing.
Even though Lekesha truly did enjoy caring for others, she still was not sure that she’d found her purpose, so she decided to go back to school. In 2013 she enrolled in Western Kentucky University’s Interdisciplinary Studies Program, with a dual emphasis in Health and Business. She received her Associates Degree from WKU in 2015. Lekesha then continued her education at Southcentral Community Technical College, where she graduated with a certificate in Human Resource Management. It seemed that, no matter what Lekesha did, or tried to do, she was always attracted to and pulled back into the medical field.
In October 2017, when the elderly woman who had become a part of Lekesha’s life in 2008 needed extra care, she began providing full time, private care for this woman in the home where she had lived for almost sixty years. Lekesha’s care enabled this woman to be able to remain in her home and at the same time receive skilled, dedicated care.
Caring for this woman in her own home taught Lekesha so much more about herself than anything she’d ever done in life and, most importantly, it helped her truly find her purpose. Lekesha learned that she was put on this earth to be a caregiver. She learned that she eats, sleeps and breathes taking care of others. She understood fully that her caring comes from deep in her heart. She learned that she wants to spend her life caring for others.
Lekesha feels that, without a doubt, God could not have placed a more loving, determined, strong, wise individual in her life than Mrs. Rebecca Shugart Searcy. Mrs. Searcy gained her heavenly wings in February 2019 ….. and that is when Caring With a Smile was born.