Photo courtesy of Dr. Stephanie Iglesias.


FRANKLINVILLE — An inspirational author, art therapist, entrepreneur, and “warrior,” Dr. Stephanie Iglesias has survived abuse and racism and wants to help as many people as she can build the inner strength she has to overcome the many challenges people of color face.

A lifetime resident of Southern New Jersey raising two boys, Iglesias is described as a “champion for the voiceless.” She is a proud Latina who knows her worth to society and her place in it.

“I am a Latina who is built of Spanish, African, and Taino bloodlines,” Iglesias told Front Runner New Jersey. “I am a warrior who will fight for justice and the inequities of my people. I believe that we must show people we are a group of people to be reckoned with; that we are educated, we know the law, and we know how to create change even if it seems like we are not making any.”

Hispanic Leadership and Community

Iglesias’s experiences and talents have led to numerous accomplishments in a varied number of fields. She co-authored “Motherhood Dreams and Success: You Can Have It All” in 2014, an anthology by women all over the globe who, despite adversity, conquered their dreams. It became an international bestseller.

She developed the Tasteful Art Experience, a hands-on business that fosters health, healing, and well-being through the use of art, based on her own research. As part of the Tasteful Art Experience, Iglesias implemented a 24-week program called the Inside Out Experience.

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Iglesias said the program “fosters communication, self-esteem, and positive behavioral expression through my private business. I have completed three other publications as part of my self-acclaimed ‘Dr. Stephanie Chronicles series: Far from Perfect and But God…Will not HE Do It,’ and ‘A Survivor’s Guide After Abuse: 3 P’s’.

Iglesias took part in the local play “Alterations,” where she spoke on mental health issues that are often hidden in communities of color.

She also developed her own skincare line called Testify Skin Care Boutique. She said the line was “birthed” from her experience personally with domestic violence.

Photo courtesy of Dr. Stephanie Iglesias.

“I am a survivor of domestic violence who endured 11 years of physical and emotional abuse,” she said. “It was not the physical abuse that debilitated me. It was the emotional/mental abuse; the words that pierced my mind and soul. Although I had enough strength to get out of this toxic relationship, the residual symptoms of the relationship created a profound effect of whom I became.

“The old me was gone and the new me was staring at me right in the mirror. I felt pure ugliness and unworthiness from the depths of my soul. I just couldn’t see ‘me’ in the mirror. It was then as a therapist, I said I would no longer allow my circumstances to define me and I would define my circumstances by creating an all-natural line of skin care products. These products are not just any products, they are products that promote health and wellness for your skin, body, and soul.”

Photo courtesy of Dr. Stephanie Iglesias.

Iglesias said her journey — the depths and how she rose out of them — are now part of her testimony in overcoming challenges.

“As a solopreneur, someone doing it all on her own, the best advice I could give someone is to keep pushing forward regardless of how many times you fail,” Iglesias said. “Fail forward and don’t be afraid to create your own lane. Not everyone is going to like what you do or how you do it. Just go out there and be the best version of yourself and keep creating, making change one person at a time.”

The Rest of the Story

Iglesias shared more with Kevalyn Corley-Tiggett in her interview. Here is a continued question-and-answer dialogue.

Kevalyn Corey-Tiggett: Please give a brief description about yourself: (area you grew up in, educational background, social activities, and titles)

Dr. Stephanie Iglesias: My name is Dr. Stephanie Iglesias and I am a lifelong resident of Southern New Jersey. My first real job in my career began when I became the parent of my two boys, Xavier and Joziah. This will always be my first ministry and the one career that I will never retire from. It is my beginning and my end, the place where I have learned so much as myself and the world around me. Although many don’t see parenthood as a career, I beg to differ. It’s a career with no time limits and no end. Although I was a single parent, my circumstances did not hinder me from pursuing my dreams. I earned my bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Rutgers University, where my primary focus was social work. While completing my master’s degree, I decided to devote myself to helping children and families in the state of New Jersey in Cumberland County.

Photo courtesy of Dr. Stephanie Iglesias.

In 2015, I completed research with art therapists throughout the United States, examining the therapeutic processes utilized while working with aggressive youths. In 2016, I completed my doctorate in counseling at Capella University. During my research, Dr. Iglesias discovered the importance of cognitive assessments, the therapeutic relationship, and the use of creative means to positively express one’s thoughts and emotions.

Since the publication of my research, I have developed the Tasteful Art Experience. I am an active humanitarian and was given the Global Leadership award in 2018. More recently, I was inducted into the Cumberland County Women’s Hall of Fame in 2020. I am an active member of the Hands Foundation and Global Legacy Leadership Institute. Currently, I am a psychologist, completing clinical research trials at the Hassman Research Institute in Berlin, New Jersey. But my passion is serving the Kingdom and walking by faith.

I am currently working on several projects, including expanding my skincare line into a mobile boutique and café. I have developed a foundation after the life and legacy of African American Inventor Bessie Blount Griffin. I am active in her local community supporting inclusion and diversity, a senior editor with TASA Global Publishing and has a 501c3, Redeemed for Life, that will provide sustainable housing for recovering addicts and survivors of domestic violence.

Kevalyn Corey-Tiggett: What gives you the motivation to wake up and continue to pursue all those activities successfully and take care of your daily responsibilities?

Dr. Stephanie Iglesias: As an active member in the community, a full-time psychologist, and full-time single parent, my deepest motivation comes from my children and building a LEGACY of a life worth living. Life can hand you many lemons; we have to make lemonade. I have to be a living example that regardless of what life throws at you, you can and will overcome. It’s a journey, not a race. We must endure the bad with the good. 

Kevalyn Corey-Tiggett: You were also in a local stage play named “Alterations” where you spoke on Mental Health issues. What gave you the courage to step out on stage and talk about a “hush-hush” issue such as Mental Health? Why do you feel that speaking out about Mental Health is important?

Dr. Stephanie Iglesias: The stage play was definitely a breakout play that allowed the author to discuss the deepest thoughts, feelings, and perspectives on mental health. When I was asked to speak, I just wanted people to understand and not just any people — people of color, my people — to understand mental illness is real. It’s something you just can’t “pray” away. It’s something that must be spoken about and not hidden. It affects everyone regardless of where you sit at the table. Mental health issues have been hidden for so long that people have been suffering. People do not have to suffer. There is help.

When we lack the knowledge of what mental health illnesses are, then we will not be able to actively help someone. These are issues that are at our forefront. If we look around, we have celebrities jumping off buildings, elementary students and business professionals all taking their lives because they couldn’t handle life anymore, enduring depression — what I call the “silent killer” — while everyone thinks they are ok because they are smiling. It’s so much deeper than that.

Kevalyn Corey-Tiggett: You were also instrumental in planning and developing the Annual Franklinville Stands Together Unity Block Party two years in a row. What gave you the courage to stand up against and become a warrior for racism in that small community?

Dr. Stephanie Iglesias: I live in Franklinville, a small town where the majority of its residents are Caucasian. I have two bi-racial men that I am raising in this small town. It’s not just a small town; it’s a racist town where people sweep under the rug the wrongdoings of its community members. We live in a district where the majority of school teachers and students are white. For me, my courage to be a voice stems from the young men that I’ve raised and the experiences we have endured being different.

When you have a principal who attempts to label your son as a problem, you fight. When someone’s license is run when picking up a child from school and told they can’t pick them up after they have full permission, then there is a problem. When computers get shut on your kids’ hands because the teacher was told that your son was a difficult child and she was not tolerating it before there was any problem, I must fight. I must be a voice. If I don’t do it. Who will? We are just one of many who have been treated differently.

Kevalyn Corey-Tiggett: Who are the people in your life who gives you motivation to continue when you are tired and want to give up?

Dr. Stephanie Iglesias: First and foremost, my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is my motivation within the spiritual realm. In the flesh, my children are my greatest motivation. I wake up every day to create a Legacy for them. I want to show them that no matter what happens in life we must forge forward. We must be focused and ready for what comes before us. 

Kevalyn Corey-Tiggett: Can you tell us about your feature in the “SISTAH’s Global Style” magazine? What is the magazine about? How can someone find it?

Dr. Stephanie Iglesias: SISTAH’s is one of five magazines that I have been featured in, but additionally, I’m also the senior editor for this magazine along with ICONS Seeing Beyond. SISTAH’s magazine is an all-inclusive publication that sets to empower, encourage, and enrich the lives of others through powerful stories from people around the world. My initial feature discusses a small portion of my life and the skincare line. This magazine can be found by either contacting me or through

Kevalyn Corey-Tiggett: In your first book titled “Dr. Stephanie Chronicles: Far from Perfect,” you were candid and open about some of your life experiences, your relationships, and your home life. Why did you decide to share these moments? I believe you touched on domestic violence as well. Why do you feel it was important to expose that part of your life as well?

Dr. Stephanie Iglesias: My first book is a breakthrough testimony of my life, how I grew up, the things I endured, and the triumph that comes out of pain. I decided to share these intimate moments of my life because I am just one of many women who have endured some type of abuse. I am one of many who grew up in a home where abuse (regardless of the form) was occurring. This not only was my testimony, but my written journey of part of my healing, to no longer be quiet about what happens behind closed doors, to share my hardships, my losses, my own wrongdoing, all at the same time showing someone else it’s okay to speak your truths even when it hurts. We make mistakes, make wrong decisions, and sometimes end up in the wrong relationships. However, this book shows that regardless of what we face, we can make it through. There is triumph and purpose in the end. 

Kevalyn Corey-Tiggett: Another one of your many projects includes Art Therapy. Can you describe what you offer and how the therapy is designed?

Dr. Stephanie Iglesias: Within my business Tasteful Art Experience, we use a holistic approach to work with individuals to help them decrease stress, positively express themselves, and develop coping mechanisms and positive self-esteem through each experience. Each experience incorporates a variety of art projects and meditation. Art is a method that I use instead of having someone sit in a chair or on a couch to talk to me. It’s so much easier to talk to someone when you are actually “doing something.” My art therapy is just an “experience” where we use various methods of art to help explain what one feels.

Kevalyn Corey-Tiggett: What is a famous line or quote that you live by?

Dr. Stephanie Iglesias: That is Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

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