FUAN is proud to announce that Lynda Steele has been chosen as FUAN February 2021 Advocate of the Month. She was born in Phoenix, Arizona, where she lived with her mother until she was 17. It was then that she contacted her biological father despite her mother’s warnings. As a result, her mother dropped her at the airport, telling her to go live with her father.
Confident that things would work out, she boarded a plane with a ticket purchased by her dad. She was positioned to be the first person in her family to graduate high school, was finally meeting her dad, enlisted in the army planning to do basic training that summer between her junior year and senior years in high school.
Unfortunately for Lynda, plans did not go according to her expectations. Upon meeting her father, she found a shattered, abusive man with a record. After three months of basic training, she returned to her father’s only to run away. Lynda lived with a boyfriend’s mother while attending high school and continuing activities with the National Guard. She found out that she could not attend public school because of a law prohibiting minors from attending school if they were not living with their biological parents and were not emancipated. She was only two weeks away from graduation when all this transpired. Thankfully, a week later with the help of the National Guard, she was able to take her GED.
Lynda spent four years homeless, traveling between states, living in random places trying to find her way. Like many fatherless children, she did not graduate from high school, was a teen mom, and divorced twice. She struggled with drinking and was in trouble with the law. But in spite of adversity, Lynda persevered. She became a combat soldier years later as an Artilleryman. She found others that had grown up fatherless and were now weekend dads. She began to question whether her father was just a deadbeat dad by choice or if he was “created.” Listening to the men in her unit was like hearing the story that her father couldn’t tell. It was like watching how a father becomes an addict and a criminal. She does not excuse her father’s behavior but understands a little what the long-term effects are of being taken out of your child’s life and where it begins.
After 12 years in the National Guard, Lynda now spends her time serving her community as a creator instead of a defender. Lynda is a woman of empathy and resourcefulness. Both traits allow her to maintain a positive attitude, which she exhibits in her organizations and partnerships where she pours her energy. Lynda loves the work she does within her community, the organizations she partners with and is always excited to collaborate. Lynda has created a community that fosters and builds relationships and family ties with the soldiers in her battery. In 2016 she became the first female Artilleryman in the Oklahoma Army National Guard. This pivoting point in her life sparked a flame for community and fatherhood advocacy that will inevitably become her legacy.
Lynda Steele is of humble roots. She grew up fatherless and was led to the service as a means to achieve greater accomplishments in her adult life. Throughout her life she has been blessed with a perspective for new and innovative solutions and resources through her own adverse experiences from her childhood. Lynda’s contributions to her immediate community and fellow service members have been a continuous personal achievement.
“Change is the effect from the actions of those who care to make a difference, not for themselves but because those around them deserve the world to change so we can all progress.”– Lynda Steele
As a new and upcoming community influencer in Oklahoma, Lynda enjoys being a part of the intimate process of getting to know her community’s struggles and needs, always listening and applying her creativity for positive solutions to strengthen the individual lives of those around her. One of Lynda’s proudest achievements was becoming one of the first trained female Gunners in the Field Artillery and the first for the Oklahoma Army National Guard. This promotion was earned because of her strong leadership attributes and willingness to apply herself above the standards of a cannon crew member.
As the founder and Executive Director of A Child's Worth, Lynda Steele directs and administers all programs and operations to fulfill the organization’s mission to enrich lives through community involvement, support, innovative resources, and cultural diversity. The organization is community and nonprofit based, which features community outreach and resource programs for noncustodial fathers and their children. Lynda interacts effectively with her peers, maintaining open lines of communication in the District and in the community, as well as creating pathways with creative partnerships.
Serving and leading others to their fullest potential has always been Lynda’s passion. Lynda has been driven by God and her community to instill and empower those around her to face their adversities and achieve their greatest potential.
Lynda Steele has a wonderful, blended family and is the proud mother to her two handsome sons, Keegan and Dylan Thompson, as well as her two bonus sons, Dominik and Isaiah, with fiance’ Brian Slater. They have a daughter, Anna-Marie. Her family has a total of 27 combined years of military service and continues to extend their service and sacrifice to the State of Oklahoma and families.
Congratulations to Lynda for being named FUAN February 2021 Advocate of the Month!