Celebrating WomenWe are storytellers, highlighting local female leaders who have been tirelessly committed to the cause of advancing women, the next generation of emerging female leaders who are inspired to make a difference, and those women who have weathered their own life transitions while moving forward on their leadership path.
Passion to improve the lives of others, especially women and children, is a character trait that epitomizes Kathy Hykes.
Originally from Pennsylvania, Hykes and her husband came to Alamance County in 1974. Two years later, a rape here shook the community when it became apparent that there was not adequate support for victims. Hykes stepped up along with others to form the Rape Crisis Alliance in 1976 which is now Crossroads Sexual Assault Response and Resource Center.
“I have this tendency to raise my hand,” Hykes said. She remembers that her mom encouraged her to “toot your own horn.” Looking at her resume today, she admits that starting organizations – “That’s my schtick!”
She attended an all-girls school where she excelled but learned about competing with men once she attended college as she vied for the editorship of a publication.
Hykes’ pioneering spirit and her love for improving the lives of all women led her to also create and lead the Alamance Coalition on Adolescent Pregnancy in 1986. Eventually other community agencies took over the work of the coalition. Then in 1990, she was the founder and executive director of Childcare Resource and Referral of Alamance.
Another example of her boundless community service can be seen in her tenure on the Burlington City Council. Her hope for the future is to ensure that Burlington and all of Alamance County will be a better place to live for all people.
What advice would she give to a young Kathy Hykes just starting out?
“Perspective!” she thoughtfully responds.
What is she most passionate about right now?
Hykes answers the Newlin Elementary School Partnership where she listens to a student read every Friday morning.
“I’m passionate about kids and education,” she said.
Who are her mentors? Hykes responds, “I have a support group. There are six women who are powerful in their own right who are lifting me up!”
Finally, what gives Hykes hope are the endless opportunities now available to women. She sees that her granddaughter has a bright future ahead. The time has come for women to lead, she said. And we have no doubt that Hykes will be raising her hand again!