DALLAS — Say what you want about Christie Henry.
But when to comes to chasing dreams and ensuring that they become a reality, no one has to give her some long, exhausting motivational speech.
Ever since her youth, particularly when she had become of age to grasp a thorough understanding of what it means to maximize her potential, Henry steadfastly adopted a persona that suggests, among other things, that falling short of fulfilling her goals and ambitions weren’t option.
If nothing else, because of her devout faith, coupled with the resiliency for which she was taught, Henry’s reputation is such that she customarily aspires to see from beyond where she is.
In a nutshell, she’s one who doesn’t settle.
Rather, she’s one who goes to great lengths to make things happen.
“I thought I was one step closer to pursuing my dream,” Henry said during an interview Friday afternoon with longtime journalist Andre Johnson. “But God has a great way of revealing your true purpose.”
A Memphis native and graduate of Fairley High, the 25-year-old Henry is alluding largely to the events and circumstances surrounding her recent relocation to the Dallas Fort-Worth area.
Upon graduating high school in the top 10 percent of her class, Henry enrolled at nearby University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, where she studied Mass Communications and was a member of the school’s internationally-acclaimed marching band known as The Marching Musical Machines Of The Mid-South. In addition, she joined the college’s modeling club, gospel choir, and student council.
That’s when change ultimately took place. An assortment of changes, that is.
“After a heart-to-heart convo with my mentor, I decided to transfer to The University of Memphis to pursue a degree in Music and film,” Henry explained.
Still, her tenure at the U of M was short-lived, considering it had become increasingly evident that if Henry aspired to become more effective in her element, a move away from her native hometown was essential.
On to Dallas, Texas she went.
Given the immense strides she’s made in such a brief time in the Lone Star state, it’s safe to assume that her unlikely relocation was a risk worth taking.
“After some serious prayer, I decided to pack my bags and leave for Texas to pursue my music career full time and attend a music or fine arts institution to better my craft,” Henry said.
CHECK OUT CHRISTIE HENRY IN ACTION: https://youtu.be/j379iIs5MxE
Fortunately for this rising model and avid singer, Texas undoubtedly appears to be the ideal establishment. Since her arrival here, Henry has been afforded an assortment of opportunities to broaden her horizon, considering she has become a fixture and featured singing guest at the Hoops Restaurant Bar & Lounge during its Live Jazz Sunday Brunch.
Located in Carrollton, Texas, Henry customarily performs during Hoops Restaurant Bar & Lounge’s brunch times, which usually is between 1 and 3:30 pm.
A singer for the past two decades, Henry had gained a fond admiration for music, given she had become a fixture for entering talent shows and talent expos as a way to generate exposure and demonstrate to her listening audience that she could soar to immense heights in this ever-so-popular industry.
“Now I’m here in Dallas, making my dreams come true with my Father in Heaven by my side,” Henry said with a smile.
To her credit, she has every reason to display her signature, attractive smile that, along with her mesmerizing vocals, has enabled her to become one with lofty modeling aspirations.
“I love the fact that I can be myself throughout this journey that God has destined me to be on,” Henry explained. “I also love the fact that I am able to give back by helping others with their music programs at their church and learning centers here in Dallas, and encouraging others to go after their dreams as well.”
Looking back, it is because of the past struggles through which her mother, Andrea Henry-Houston, and other loved ones had weathered that greatly helped shaped Henry into the progressive, flourishing woman of color for which she is widely known.
In both Tennessee and Texas.
“My mother Andrea Henry-Houston, my grandmother Catherine Henry, and cousin Dedra Thomas…these women showed me what hard work and perseverance can do,” Christie Henry said. They were all single mothers in the struggle who were trying to make a better life for me. Every band competition, talent show, etc., they were there along with other family members. With all that is going on in our family, from struggles, deaths, financial issues, and more, they continued to press through and make it happen for our family.”
As for the critics and naysayers, Christie Henry said, “I would have to hear people say, ‘You’re not going to be serious about being an artist’ or they get upset when I share my life dreams. But I could always count on my mom to intervene and just say, ‘You can do or be whatever as long as God is first in your life and you put the work behind it.’”
The rest, as they say, it history.
Roughly a few months removed from having bolted Memphis for a city that’s nearly three times the size of her native hometown, Christie Henry hasn’t shown any signs of a letdown, much less shown any signs that she’s planning to slow it down anytime soon.
No. No time soon.
Not with so much success at stake.
Say what you want about her.
But Christie Henry is doing it big in the state where doing things big is a part of the norm.
How ‘bout that.
“In all that you do, you’ve got to put God first, in the middle, and at the end of it,” Christie Henry said. “You can never go wrong when He’s involved.”
She would know.
Because when to comes to chasing dreams and ensuring that they become a reality, no one has to give her some long, exhausting motivational speech.
EDITOR’S NOTE: If you are an honor student, entrepreneur, business owner, producer, author, musician, barber, life coach, motivational speaker, cosmetologist, tax preparer, model, athlete, or pastor/minister who is seeking exposure and would like to share your story with an in-depth news feature, call Reporter Andre Johnson at 901-690-6587 or Facebook message him under “Andre T. Johnson” for details.
Andre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism, Johnson covers the NBA Southwest Division from Dallas, Texas. To reach Johnson, send an email to email@example.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.