With all of the glitz and fame, Kash Doll, also known as Arkeisha Knight, never forgets where she comes from. The Detroit native traveled back home for the holidays to hand out three scholarships to students enrolled in the Phlebotomy Express Training Centers. The scholarships are part of the singer’s Kash Doll Christmas Giveaway . To participate, the women had to submit an essay on why they should be the lucky winner.
One of the recipients, Cheetara Smith, 33, told the Michigan Chronicle that she had been trying to enroll in the training center but didn’t have the money. The remaining funds she did have were use to bury her father, who died suddenly.
“I basically wrote Kash Doll to tell her what my barriers were to getting into school,” Smith told the Michigan Chronicle. “I have been trying to be in the medical field since 2004 and I’ve always wanted to do more in my career. But with me having children, it became difficult. This is my second chance at a better life for me and my kids.” Thanks to Kash Doll, the mother of three will enroll in the phlebotomy program on January 7.
Tykeisha Campbell and Deneshia Reese were the other winners. The scholarships will cover the women’s tuition ( which costs $5,100), uniforms, transportation, workshops, and any other services they may need while in school. The classes at Phlebotomy Express are one day a week for four weeks and three days a week for six weeks for medical assistance. Once the classes are completed the women will be able to pursue medical careers as in medical and diagnostic laboratories, clinics, hospitals, private-practices or donor collections centers.
During the ceremony, Kash Doll touched on her own life experiences while growing up in the Motor City and says she has a different connection with girls there because she can relate to their struggles. The eldest child of six children, Knight grew up in a single-parent household with her mother. She started stripping in her early twenties to make ends meet until she got her break in the rap industry with her mixtape, “Run Me My Money.”
“I was a girl once in Detroit trying to figure it out and I’m in this position now to be able to help others,” Knight says. “My heart is always about giving.”
With the help of her aunt, Phlebotomy Express CEO, Kim Harrington, Kash Doll plans to make the Christmas Giveaway for scholarships an annual event. She also launched a Detroit based non-profit, BAD Girls (Black American Doll). Just this year, the 26-year-old sponsored proms for girls in need, hosted a skating party and fulfilled a Christmas wish list for a family in need. She says she doesn’t make a big deal about whether these actions are publicized because you don’t give to be noticed.
“That’s something that should be from the heart and now that I’m able to make it public, I’m ready to do more,” she says.
A working journalist, entrepreneur and founder of RoyalTee Enterprises. Born and raised in Tampa, Fla. The vision of RoyalTee was inspired in 2015 by Alexia’s ambitions to return to her passion for creative writing and publishing and create a platform to showcase the excellence of minority women across the country through professional, personal and social ventures.