An award-winning author, producer and journalist shared her story with a standing-room only audience of Kentucky State University students, faculty, staff and administrators during the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis lecture.

Georgia Dawkins shared the story of how her life changed drastically in seven days.

Dawkins’ long-term relationship ended abruptly and she was laid off, sending her into major depression.

“Has anybody been heartbroken and broke?” Dawkins said.

Prior to being laid off, Dawkins was finding success as a television news producer. She would later go back to the industry before finding her path as a purpose producer.

After those major setbacks, Dawkins wrote her book, “Everybody Knows: The Power of Being in Position,” in eight days. Dawkins also produced a docu-series to accompany “Everybody Knows.”

Dawkins explained how she turned her pain into production.

“The book is just one example of pushing through the pain,” Dawkins said. “I’ve been pushing through things since I was a child. Just keep getting up every day. Even when you don’t want to leave the house, eat or talk on the phone.”

Dawkins also described gaining a full scholarship to any institution in Florida at the age of 12, only to lose the scholarship by age 14 because she got into a fight.

Losing the scholarship taught her so much about life, she said.

“It taught me about the value of people around me,” Dawkins said.

Dawkins also recounted being institutionalized for 24 hours after cutting her wrist.

“God was working on something so much bigger than me,” Dawkins said. “I put in the work because of loss.”

A graduate of Florida A&M University, Dawkins said she would tell her college self to be present in the moment.

“It’s important for me to be present and catch everything in this moment right now,” Dawkins said.

Dawkins emphasized developing as a person.

“I can’t help anyone else anymore unless I do it for me first,” Dawkins said. “Become that thing you’re looking for. If you want success, you have to become success. Be honest with yourself. That’s the hardest thing to do sometimes.”

After the lecture, students were invited for lunch in the Carl M. Hill Student Center ballroom, where they received a free copy of “Everybody Knows.”