This year, however, that could change for those who seek out the help of Charla Young.
Young, a former WAVE 3 reporter, will host “Power to Change,” a new talk show debuting at 9 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 7, on Fox 41. The empowerment show is designed to help you, your family, the community and the world.
“This is not just a talk show, it’s a change movement,” said Young, who is president and CEO of Power to Change Communications, a for-profit business offering communication, customer-service training, leadership development and marketing services.
The idea to take on the endeavor of the company and talk show was inspired by a struggle Young experienced first-hand in early adulthood.
Twelve years ago, while working in Columbus, Miss., at the CBS affiliate news station, Young decided to take the leap to the ABC news affiliate in Lexington, Ky.
“It turned out (to be) the worst move I ever made,” Young said. “I was literally sitting in the dark because I could not pay the light bill and I was eight months pregnant. I was $3,200 in the hole.”
For about five months, Young avoided her landlord as she continued to collect debt and eventually packed her belongings to head home to Mississippi.
“I said, ‘I am so sorry, I will find a way to pay you, but we packed up our car and we’re headed back to Mississippi,’ ” Young said of the message she left her landlord upon departure.
It was then during Young’s attempt to flee, that everything suddenly changed for her. Young’s landlord called after receiving her message and gave Young the gift of a second chance.
“She said, ‘Your future is so bright it burns my eyes,’” Young recited her landlord’s words. “‘One day you’re going to be destined to help thousands of people, but today, I’m going to help you.’”
Young’s landlord wrote a check out to Young for $28,000 to help pay off her debt and get back on her feet. “On that day, she gave me the power to change, and now I have the opportunity to help others do the same.” Young said.
With her show “Power to Change,” Young will feature segments on such topics as childhood obesity, following your passion, living above your financial means and weight loss.
“All of our shows come from one question: If you had the power to change, what would you change?” Young said. “This show is a breath of hope. We not only give (viewers) the issue and talk about the issue, but after the show they can be a part of an online forum and discussion.”
“Power to Change” is taped before a live studio audience inside the Muhammad Ali Center, though on occasion, the show will be filmed on location at various sites around town.
Guests of the show will mainly include people from Kentucky but also feature individuals from outside the state, including Mozziz “Coach Mo” DeWalt, a contestant from the hit NBC show “The Biggest Loser.”
“Power to Change” will also appear on the Internet at yourpowertv.com, where visitors can access live chats and forums in addition to the show. Young and Coach Mo will also host a family-friendly “change event” from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 7, at Louisville Slugger Field that will include Zumba classes, circuit training courses and a variety of free fruits and vegetables.
Eventually, Young also hopes to one day syndicate “Power to Change” and isn’t intimidated by the competition her half-hour program faces from other morning shows airing in the same time slot.
“I realize this show is going up against (“The Today Show”) and CBS, but we believe this is a nice alternative and it’s something different,” Young said. “I’m competitive. I don’t want to just do this show, I want to be number one. My goal is to start weekly, then daily and grow into syndication.”
Having grown up in Mississippi, Young has no doubt that she can fulfill her dream. After all, someone else from her home state achieved the exact same feat – a lady by the name of Oprah Winfrey.
“I’m not trying to be Oprah, though,” Young said. “I just want to be Charla making change happen. And, I believe if I’m true to that goal and true to what it is I’m supposed to be doing, then the success will come. It’s not about me, it’s about something much bigger. I’m just trying to drive it.”