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About Us

Rise Above Defeat

Our Story

Rise Above Defeat derived from the desire of one person wanting to inspire and help younger individuals strengthen their personal self-image, practice self-love, and exercise respect for others and self. Rise Above Defeat has a niche for transforming negative thoughts into positive motivation that helps with rising above defeat. Rise Above Defeat originally started as life coaching services for adolescents. Rise Above Defeat Coaching was licensed as a business in July 2018 and was available for business as of January 2019. In May 2021 Rise Above Defeat became a Non-profit organization 501C3, which offers resources for individuals seeking guidance and direction in life. 


Rise Above Defeat provides Christian Life Coaching and mentoring for adults and adolescents starting at age 12. Rise Above Defeat offers once a week 60-minute sessions ranging from 4 to 8 weeks depending on monthly low-cost special. Monthly low-cost specials are combined with free sessions that are listed on the website. After all scheduled sessions are finished based on the initial number of sessions agreement form, an extension payment is required by client or parent/guardian for additional sessions. Rates are determined based on a sliding scale fee. Rise Above Defeat will help jump start the journey to freedom for individuals living in unhealthy cycles, worry, and doubt about their future. Rise Above Defeat is linked with Christian Life Coaches/ mentors who come from different walks of life and now live a life of serving others by giving them tools to overcome and push forward in life. We offer our travel base/ virtual Strongman Program; this program helps identify and effectively work through and dismantle mental strongholds. Rise Above Defeat is also great for churches, residential group homes and community resource. Rise Above Defeat holds every client's best interest as priority.

Our Founder

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We must all use our gifts where we know they belong

I'm a natural listener, encourager, and love to challenge others to snap into their inner warrior to rise above every obstacle that comes at them. Freedom happens when real problems are discussed and not hidden... and tools to help overcome them. 

Markeya McConnell

Board Members

  • Brian P, CFO
  • Rachel Hicks, Board of Directors
  • Kia Dupclay, Board of Directors/ YAB Coordinator
  • Portia Howard, Event Coodinator
  • Elaine Miller, Board

With 14 years of experience working in the mental health field; guiding and encouraging adults in a mentally healthy lifestyle, Markeya decided to take her experience and passion for helping to the younger generation. She became a Certified Adolescent Life Coach. She's also a Licensed Mental Health Professional where she gained experience by working in several different settings that range from behavioral modification programs, forensic mental health, home health, lockdown facilities, rehabilitation mental health centers, and FSP's (Full-Service Programs) working with the homeless in mental health population. She is also experienced in inner healing, trauma- informed and Trauma responsive care. Having an adolescent of her own, Markeya understands how emotional and hormonal changes can affect the minds of adolescents that sometimes requires positive mindset guidance to pull them through. She would never recommend or use a tool for your child, that she wouldn’t or hasn't used to help her own.

Our Team

Our Team
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Yavon Smith

Certified Holistic Counselor/ Christian Life Coach

" I assist individuals who are in the foster care system, those who have backslidden from their desired walk-in life, and single or married mothers experiencing challenges raising a family. When you come in with issues, situations, dilemmas or whatever the case maybe, I want you to be able to enter into my safe haven to share your most inner feelings and thoughts, so when you leave, you leave with a solution and awareness of how to handle situations that occur"

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Regina F.E. Smoke 
Certified Master Life Coach & Victims Advocate

"I specialize in helping individuals reaffirm what's already inside them, rebuild self-love and confidence, learn how to forgive oneself and others, and heal from any depression, anxiety and insecurities that past pain and trauma may have created. Most importantly, my desire is to help individuals understand perfection is not the goal. Progression is a process!"

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DShaunte Mcknight

Holistic & Freedom Life Coach

"I specialize in heart healing and restoration. Life's experiences can often inflict deep pains and traumas that leave our hearts closed off and withdrawn. This prevents us from embracing life to its fullest. However, this isn't how life is meant to be lived. As a coach, my aim is to guide you on a journey towards freedom, allowing you to truly live and enjoy life once again"

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Lanicee Causly

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

"My goal is to help individuals on their mental health journey discover the tools within themself to help them cope with life stressors and ultimately build resilience to keep moving forward. Ultimately, my hope is that when you put in the necessary work, you’ll find your voice and strength and be able to make meaningful changes to lead a healthy life"
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Angelica Lopez

Christian Life Coach/ Informal Counselor/ Mentor 

"I focus on the heart of individuals to expose what has been hidden. Using strategy to dismantle false perceptions and implement truths that will help regain strength and confidence"

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Caprice Purnell

Christian Life Coach/ Informal Counselor

 "One of the main focuses during sessions with those I work with covers inner healing from past traumas. This does not happen overnight but is a process of making healthy choices and decisions. One must be willing to walk away from the past, let go and forgive"

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