Lifestyle • Career • Business • Education • Religion
Are you looking for a life coach...an author, a speaker or a minister? Well Detra Trueheart fits the bill as she is all of that and then some. She was born in Buffalo and her family moved to WIlliamsville when she was eleven. Her mother and father were loving providers for their family as an NFTA bus driver/ticket inspector and commercial plumber respectively. Her parents provided her first exposure to entrepreneurship as they owned a beauty supply store for many years in addition to several properties. Detra’s parents established traditions that she still cherishes to this day such as Friday family dinner, Captains Cove and traveling to Georgia every Thanksgiving for their family reunion. Detra was raised as an only child as her brother was fifteen years her senior. He passed away in May 2019.
Detra’s mother was the disciplinarian and was very intentional about ensuring Detra had great experiences and pushed her towards success. It was her mom that got Detra involved in pageants as she thought it would be a “great experience” and although Detra was resistant to the idea, she won! That win began her journey to competing in AND winning pageants throughout high school and college.
Upon graduating from Williamsville East High School Detra went on to earn a B.S. in Business Administration from Canisius College where she was a cheerleader, a member of the Campus Programming Board and the Afro American Society to name a few. As a first generation college student, Detra admits she struggled the first two years of undergrad. After catching her stride she was unstoppable and went on to earn two graduate degrees. The first was a Master of Public Administration from Baruch College in NYC with a concentration in nonprofit leadership and the second was a Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling from Medaille College.
Detra’s foray into public speaking began after being crowned Miss Buffalo in 1997 and being invited to speak at St. Aloysius middle school. The fire for speaking was lit and she’s been fanning the flames ever since. She began a nonprofit, the Young Miss Buffalo Pageant: Scholarship & Enrichment Program, Inc. (YMBP, Inc.). YMBP, Inc. provides four-month enrichment and leadership programming for girls, ages 13-17 via personal workshops and an annual scholarship pageant.
With more than twenty-five combined years of pageantry, performing arts, leadership and personal development Detra combined her talents and began TrueheartSpeaks Enterprises, LLC, a lifestyle and empowerment firm that provides personal development and faith-based strategies that equip women of faith to get “unstuck and push into purpose”. One challenge she faced was people constantly expecting her to speak for free and accepted that everyone will not be able to afford her services.
Detra’s motivation comes from helping people and freedom of choice. Having options and the freedom to do what she wants, when she wants is important to her and she is finally in a space where that is becoming a reality for her. Seeing others, especially people she knows personally “killing it” like fellow Griff Dennis Wilson, provides her with inspiration to stay focused. Nothing trumps encouraging her to push forward like her son.
In this new season of life, Detra is enjoying the freedom that she has worked so hard to establish as her only regret is living her life for other people longer than she should have. In her free time she enjoys rest, naps, sunbathing and reading. She has a penchant for fun and funky earrings and looks forward to traveling more with her son to expose him to more places and his own “great experience”.