An avid wordsmith in her own right, long before she was known as Speaker of the House, Ty wrote her first poem entitled, Why Can’t I Be Free at the age of 14. This poem catapulted Ty into her destiny and strengthen her aspirations to become a prolific writer and public speaker. Despite being discouraged by her teacher, Ty joined her school’s literary magazine Rising Surf and later tapped into her gift of speaking while involved with Jack and Jill, Inc., an organization that provides social, cultural and educational opportunities for youth. During her tenure, Ty won several oratorical contests and became an instant local sensation. Her efforts continued through college where she was bestowed with the nickname Speaker of the House.

“Actually, I wrote that poem and that was my first time ever writing a poem like you said, but I signed up for a literary arts class where they actually published a magazine. So, when I walked into the class the teacher said okay, today we’re going to write poems, short stories, and essays. So I raised my hand and said, “Ma’am, I’ve never written a poem before. I don’t know how to write.” She looked me in the face and she said, “Well, you shouldn’t have ever signed up for my class.” I got so angry. It was just something inside of me, just a fire within me. I said, “Okay. I have you.” So, I went back to my desk and that was actually the first time I was ever inspired to write a poem. Writing that poem actually, got me in trouble. So my mom came up to the school and we had to have a conference. I explained to my mom that the teacher really hurt me and instead of helping me become a great writer, she actually damaged something on the inside of me. But because of her, I was able to write my first poem and I developed a love of writing. So that in itself was a gift and a curse. The curse was the words that she spoke over me, but the gift was my ability to write. So I saw that and I didn’t know that I had it. But it was out of my anger that I produced something that would actually inspire me to write forever. So that’s how I wrote my first piece and it was like, ‘Can I be free?’ I was just saying I want to be free to be able to write. I want you to inspire me and that’s how it came about… I received the name [Speaker of the House] when I was pledging on line for Delta. When it was time for us to receive our line names, they named me Speaker of the House. It was at one point at night time that we had to speak or say some arts and I said it with clarity and I was very loud and my big sisters were taken back by how well I spoke that night so that is how I received the name Speaker of the House.”

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