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Aug 19, 2021

Who is Karena Washington? “I am an educator, author, and someone who enjoys the serene moment's life has to offer,” she says.

A native of West Helena, AR, she graduated from Central High School in 2000. Next, she enrolled at Central Arkansas and received her undergraduate degree in business in 2007. With her academic accomplishments taken care of, she then worked with kids with special needs. “This had nothing to do with my degree in business, however caring for kids truly pulled at my heart, so much so that I decided to make a career of it,” she says.

She then moved to Missouri in 2007, settling in the area of St Louis where she eventually learned of a school district whose sole purpose was to provide education and inclusion opportunities for kids with special needs. She got a job as a paraprofessional and the rest is history. She began working on her master's during the fall of 2009 and graduated in December 2012. Three months after receiving her Masters of Arts in Teaching, she was hired as a Special Education teacher.

As an author, the first book she co-authored was The Lost Coin.  The collaborative works make reference to women who have lost something, and instead of seeking God, they relied on their intuition and direction for self-fulfillment.  Karena shares her decision didn’t make her situation any better, it actually made it worse.

In the other part of the book Karena talks about losing her parents. “When you lose your parents, both of them, it makes you feel empty,” she shares.  While enduring her loss, someone came along, and made her feel loved again, and provided a sense of family.  However, this was far from what was about to happen.  The person she thought was her saving grace would turn out to be a nightmare.  She lost emotionally, financially, and physically.  All because she wanted to be a part of something.

With all that Karena has endured, the loss of her parents, and being trapped in an unhealthy relationship for years, she is still able to smile.  It’s hard to take the joy from a person who has seen life at its darkest levels, losing on all fronts, and still hanging in the fight long enough to see God move.  This proves that her joy has been validated.

The advice she offers to others who may follow in her footsteps as an author is to follow your heart.  “Be authentic. Speak from your heart.  Listen to your inner voice so that you are following the path that needs to be followed. This will ensure that you reach the people who need you the most.  Stay real to yourself and understand that no one cares more for you than you do for yourself." 

It hasn’t been a smooth ride, but it's the road that God prepared for Karena to travel. “Honestly, I wouldn’t change anything. Every part of this journey has taught me lessons that have not only been beneficial to me, but have helped others that I’ve crossed paths with,” Karena says.


To learn more about Karena Washington, please visit her website at  You may also visit

To purchase your copy of It's My Turn Now: Caregiving 101, please visit  You may also contact Odell Cleveland directly at 336-895-8995

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