The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

November 2, 2012

16-year-old Early College student relishes community service

The Daily Southerner
Calvin Adkins

TARBORO — Take a look at Timiya Murphy and the first impression that you probably will have is she’s just an ordinary 16-year-old girl enjoying her teenage years. A second look may reveal her extraordinary persona beyond her years that has already done more to help improve her community than most adults.

The 11th grade Early College honor student volunteers at the local hospital, host cheerleader camps in her community, is a member of the National Honor Society and gives motivational speeches to teenagers when she called upon. Murphy also formed her owned organization, M.I.Y.A. (Motivation to Inspire Youth in the Area). The acronym was creatively taking from the last four letters of her first name.

And that’s not all.

Murphy, the daughter of Timothy and Tiffany Bridgers, was named North American Miss North Carolina State Ambassador during a competition in Winston Salem in July. For her efforts, she will represent North Carolina in the National American Miss competition in California during Thanksgiving week.

In another competition, her essay won her the Edgecombe Martin EMC  Electric Youth Tour 2012.

“I feel that I’m blessed to be where I am so I should show my blessing by giving back to the community,” Murphy said. “It was hard to get to where I am, so I would like to help others.”

Under her organization, M.I.Y.A., Murphy organized a motivational workshop Thursday at Edgecombe Memorial Library to share here experience with girls.  

She spoke poignantly about receiving a good education while telling the girls to believe in themselves. During an activity, the girls were asked to write personal motivational words on a small sheet of paper. After writing them, they decorated their message and made bracelets. Each attendant were asked to read their message.

Zikiyra Roberson read, “You can be anything you want. Never give up.”

Aleysia Pittman read, “If you down and miserable you can get back up if you motivate yourself.”  

Tiniya Bridgers, Murphy’s sister, read, “If you don’t motivate yourself you will start doubting yourself. The choice is yours. Be miserable or be motivated.”

Although turnout was small, Murphy said, with a glowing smile, she considers her workshop a success.  

While Murphy is pushing to improve her community, she is fighting two dreadful diseases — diabetes and asthma. Instead of throwing herself a pity party, she found a way to fight that, too.

“Most children her age don’t want anybody to know that they have diabetes,” said her mother. “She’s not like that. Last year she formed her own team that walked in Raleigh for the Juveniles Diabetes Research Foundation. She’s going back on Nov. 10. She talked about organizing an event in Tarboro. Maybe that will be her next project.”

The future appears to be bright for Murphy. She has aspirations of attending college. She credits her parents and family support as well as God for her success. One of her favorite sayings is, “We walk by faith and not by sight.”