Real Moms of East Nashville: A Network of Single Moms to Share Resources and Find Support

May 2012

“Are you Develle’s mother?” a young brunette’s voice pierces a clamor of roiling teenagers as she catches up to a pair of moms in a Stratford High School hallway. “I’m his Spanish teacher,” she says. “It is so great to see you guys here!”

Kim Tucker and a petite mom named Tiamecca are here to find out how Tiamecca’s sons are doing in school. The news isn’t good. Develle, a tall, articulate junior who’s failing Spanish and English, tends to disrupt class and argue with his teachers. His brother Tyshawn is a freshman with spidery dreadlocks who holds his mom’s hand with unabashed affection. He’s failing algebra.  

“Not doing well at all,” says Tyshawn’s math teacher, frowning. The boy looks downcast, mutters something about losing his book.

Tiamecca’s worried about her boys. She wants them to achieve more scholastically than she did, but she’s not sure how to attack the problem. So her friend Kim Tucker, sporting a t-shirt that reads "Promoting the Excellency of Motherhood", steers the conversations, asking each teacher how the boys might finish the year with passing grades.

By the end of lunchtime, Tucker’s marched the boys upstairs to enroll them in after-school tutoring and made them promise to attend. At one point, Tucker corners Develle in a stairwell. “I need you to step up,” she says, holding his eye. 

“Yes, ma’am,” he nods, looking chagrined.

Kim Tucker isn’t the mother of these boys, or of any of the kids in the building, for that matter. But there’s something innately motherly about her — kids high-five her as she passes, and Tiamecca’s sons submit quietly to her authority.

A single mom herself, with one son at a local private high school and another at Berea College on a full scholarship, Tucker is guiding Tiamecca through the morning’s teacher conferences because the school system, motherhood, and the world at large feel a little less intimidating with a knowing, assertive girlfriend at your side. Especially a girlfriend who’s raised smart, motivated sons of her own.

“She’s so helpful,” says Tiamecca, smiling at Tucker. “Like a second mother that I need if I’m not confident enough. I know she’s gonna pull it through.”

Kim Tucker never thought she’d be a single mom. She dropped out of Lipscomb after two years to marry and start a family. But after a divorce, she found herself without income or a college degree, raising two young boys on her own.

Tucker quickly learned to scrape out a living, by selling calendars and t-shirts and catering meals out of a mobile kitchen. It was painful, terrifying, and often humiliating. “Being single and seeing how people pretty much loathe you,” she explains. “They think you’re the dregs of society and you must be on welfare. They’re like, ‘OK, what do you want?’ Everybody’s suffering because of that stereotype.”

Tucker quickly grasped that she needed backup. She started talking to other single moms, learning how they survived, discovering resources they knew and used. She found herself wondering, What if the moms joined forces? “[Single moms] need a network,” says Tucker. “They need somebody to count on and to feel like they’re not alone.”

At her cheery pale-lavender brick house on Douglas Avenue in East Nashville, Tucker offers a place to meet. It’s the headquarters of her nonprofit, the I.C. White Stone Foundation, informally known as “Real Moms of East Nashville,” a small community of like-minded mothers struggling to raise kids on their own. They gather for pizza-cooking parties and movie nights and whenever a mother has a problem to discuss. “We help each other,” says Tucker. “We provide a community, so that we’re not in a cocoon, locked in our houses. We share resources.”

Chief among those resources, for Tucker, is education. In 2003, she went back to Lipscomb, at age 37, to finish her degree. Now she’s encouraging other moms to do the same — like Sally Woodard, a 46-year-old single mother who’s just enrolled at Tennessee State.  

Woodard says that the support of women who know firsthand what single motherhood is like helped bolster her through the most despairing moments of raising her children. And the Real Moms’ mentoring and encouragement emboldened her to go back to school and to start her own business, creating poetic greeting cards for African-American clients. 

“My dream is to walk across the stage at TSU with my bachelor’s degree,” says Woodard, “and to have my cards sold all over the world!”

Tucker smiles at the idea of someone, as she puts it, “Walking into their dreams.” She’s undeterred by long odds, because she has backup. “Single mothers are an untapped resource,” Tucker says. “People are so used to us being in need that they never thought about us being able to help someone else. “

To learn more about the Real Moms of East Nashville (aka the I.C. White Stone Foundation), visit


Neal1122's picture

Your website is really cool and this is a great inspiring article. Thank you so much.
Forex Income Engine

Thank you for taking the time to publish this information very useful!
Look for Hessi China Here

It is a great website.. The Design looks very good.. Keep working like that!.
independent medical PA NJ DE MD DC

I really appreciate this wonderful post that you have provided for us. I assure this would be beneficial for most of the people.
official source

It is great to hear that love makes me do and i am depression and writting depression quotes

zion1122's picture

Wow what a Great Information about World Day its very nice informative post. thanks for the post.
Texas all star cheerleading

Being a single mom with kids could be very difficult. From my point of view it is not the end for them and they have the right to fall in love again. I know over 50 dating site where someone single could find the perfect match.

zion1122's picture

Really a great addition. I have read this marvelous post. Thanks for sharing information about it. I really like that. Thanks so lot for your convene.
Disconti News Tips And Tricks

Hi my friend! I want to say that this post is awesome, nice written and include almost all significant infos. I’d like to see more posts like this . buy youtube views cheap

This blog is so nice to me. I will keep on coming here again and again. Visit my link as well..
unlock his heart

roger1122's picture

This article gives the light in which we can observe the reality. This is very nice one and gives indepth information. Thanks for this nice article.
interior treestone lebanon

Nice to be visiting your blog again, it has been months for me. Well this article that i've been waited for so long. I need this article to complete my assignment in the college, and it has same topic with your article. Thanks, great share. Déménagement particuliers

roger1122's picture

This was really an interesting topic and I kinda agree with what you have mentioned here!
gamble with bitcoins

Really it is quite difficult to handle children being a single mother. It is more important that we should be very careful while we are dealing we are various types of situation and scenario which needs to be faced by the women who is handling the two children. But now it would be more easier to find support for these type of mothers as they are gaining support by a group of mothers working for the benefit of other moms. Indeed a great work by the women.

EllaRochelle's picture

It's sad when a woman has to drop school because she's pregnant, I wish these situations happened more seldom, especially when she didn't plan it. Kim is very lucky to have such a great friend and especially teachers to help her as a single mother, because friends must support you, but a prof doesn't have any obligation. They sure deserve some of those personalized teacher notes I saw on!

Her Well Being: Stories of Health, Survival, and Livin' It Up Her Style

Delicate Lives
Jennifer McCloud always wanted to be a mom. That's why, after difficulties getting pregnant, the native Nashvillian was elated to discover she was pregnant. With triplets!

To read this and other Her Well-Being stories, click here.
Real Estate: Home Video Tours
Searching for a new home? Her Nashville is excited to partner with, offering buyers easy-to-view video tours of Middle Tennessee's hottest homes.

108 Shorecrest Cir, Hendersonville TN 37
Price: $384,000
Bedrooms/Bathrooms: 5/3

51 Farmington, Clarksville TN 37
Price: $0
Bedrooms/Bathrooms: 0/0

View More Homes

Mailing list sign-up

Copyright © 2009 Her Nashville