FORT MYERS, Fla. — FOX 4’s “Living the Legacy” segment spotlights local change makers in our community.
They might be people you recognize from the work that they’ve done to impact others, or it could also be someone who touches lives simply by being who they are.
Niki Lynch-Escobar falls into both of those categories.
While most of us sleep, Niki’s leaving for work.
A radio host for a local morning show, Niki says her career launched on a whim.
Twenty years ago, she was working in data entry – a job she said she loved.
But, her mom and aunt heard of a radio opportunity that they knew would be a perfect fit.
“They were looking for a girl to fill in and read the news for them,” Niki says.
With a push from family, Niki auditioned and landed the job.
But the new gig didn’t come without challenges or naysayers.
She recalls some of the feedback received.
“I don’t think you’re a fit for this.”
“There’s no way.”
“You won’t be able to do it.”
“I was to urban.”
Though it was hard to hear those words, the Southwest Florida host made a decision.
“I’m going to study my craft, and I’m going to knock this out of the park.”
Years later, she’s a well-known and well-received voice in the community.
But she says her career is more than just a “job”.
Between playing the latest hits and providing news updates, Niki’s inspiring her listeners with the first-hand knowledge and experience that landed her exactly where she is.
“Someone needs to hear something that is going to keep them going another day. And sometimes that’s all you need to be like ‘I am bomb! I am awesome'”.
Amidst work and volunteering in the community, Niki is a wife and mom of five.
She admits balancing it all is not easy.
“There are dinners that I don’t cook. There’s laundry that I don’t do.”
But, she says family is her number one priority.
“I’d rather lose everywhere else than with them.”
Inspired by her own tribe and working every day to inspire others, Niki says her love for people is equivalent to her love for Fort Myers – her hometown.
Raised in the Dunbar community, she says she doesn’t plan to ever leave.
“I’ve always felt that. I don’t want to live anywhere else but there,” she tells FOX 4.
Her dedication to the Southwest Florida spans beyond radio, as she’s often seen volunteering for multiple causes – including March of Dimes.
Niki says she hopes that her road to success encourages others, including some of the youngest eyes that may be watching.
“Me getting in this. Me being African-American, me being a woman, and kids having some that they see that looks like them. They can say ‘I think I can do that, too.'”