Latoya endured years of physical and emotional abuse at the hands of a man she believed to be her “rock.” Brick by brick, the self-esteem she worked so hard to build began to crumble. She tried to run away from the pain, but fell into a downward spiral of drug abuse, leaving her hopeless and desperate for a way out.
Eventually Hawthorne saw the light and decided to escape her troubles and follow her dreams, moving to California to pursue a career in the arts. She instantly began modeling and started shooting with some of Southern California’s finest fashion photographers. But it was when she began to explore the other side of the lens, working as an assistant photographer, that found her passion for the craft. Her confidence and self-esteem returned with a vengeance, motivating her to push herself to the next level: creating A Walking Virtue.
A Walking Virtue is a media platform that celebrates women who have overcome adversity and are living a life of love through social entrepreneurship. Using photography, Hawthorne is dedicated to the creation of photographs that tell stories about life, experience, and sometimes hardship. Through these stories, she hopes to bring insight and inspiration to women and girls who have encountered difficulties, as she did. By sharing her skills and experiences, she hopes to inspire young women as others have inspired her.
Nowadays, Hawthorne spends most of her time supporting women-led small businesses, nonprofits, and social enterprises that focus on empowering women. She still resides in California and is currently writing her memoir on overcoming domestic violence, low self-esteem and drug abuse.
Her story was featured in Complex’d Magazine’s Island Issue in 2008.