Nikkie Pittman once saw herself as a statistic: a teenaged mother raised in a single-parent home.
She once failed to see her own life’s worth, and tried to end it.
Pittman survived. And today, she’s a 20-year banking veteran with a law degree, whose mission in life is to help girls and women see that they matter.
“When I realized I had beat the odds, I felt like it was my duty to go back and help other girls and other young women,” Pittman said. “It just gave me a newfound look on life. I knew I needed to go back and help others, to let them know that they are worth it and they could be appreciated.”
Pittman founded Woman of Worth (WOW), a 10-week mentoring program that teaches girls and women how to bounce back from poor choices and make wise decisions to build successful lives. Her WOW course was adopted by the Birmingham Board of Education as part of the character education for middle school girls.
Pittman also provides help and hope to the homeless and underserved in her community. She volunteers with Abba’s Heart, a nonprofit organization that offers financial literacy training, peer counseling, life coaching and motivational speaking to help others rebuild or change their lives. Pittman helps the organization provide meals for the needy and prepare and distribute personal hygiene kits at local men’s and women’s shelters.
When I realized I had beat the odds, I felt like it was my duty to go back and help other girls and other young women. It just gave me a newfound look on life.
Nikkie Pittman, Regions Bank Secrecy Act investigator
Applauding her courage and determination to give back to others, Regions Bank presented Pittman with the Better Life Award on Wednesday. The Better Life Award is the top honor given to a Regions associate for outstanding dedication and job performance, as well as exemplary involvement and commitment to the community.
In addition to the Better Life Award, Regions donates $1,000 in the name of the recipient to a nonprofit organization of the winner’s choice. Pittman chose Abba’s Heart.
“This money will allow them to feed more homeless people, provide more care packages,” Pittman said. “They do so much for so many people.”
These days, whenever Pittman feels pessimistic, looking outside herself provides a cure. She recommends the practice to anyone who might be feeling despair.
“Get YOU off your mind,” Pittman said. “My everyday statement is: ‘It’s not about me.’ It’s about getting out here to do something to help someone else to see the light, to help them smile.”