Leigh Hicks

Core Faculty
College of Social and Behavioral Health
Barbara Solomon School of Social Work
Master of Social Work (MSW)

Dr. Leigh Hicks graduated from Walden University with a PhD in Human Services, concentration on Clinical Social Work. She has over 20 years of professional experience. She specializes in restorative justice, juveniles, mental health, human sex trafficking, domestic violence, victims advocacy, social work, law and criminal justice. Dr. Hicks' role at Walden University is a Core Faculty Member in the Barbara Solomon School of Social Work . Her dissertation was published through ProQuest in May of 2017.

Dr. Leigh Hicks is the Founder and Director of Footsteps 2 Success, Inc., a former Richland County Deputy Sheriff, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker Associate, established the Miss Willow Lane Pageant in February of 2007 to promote inner beauty and to strengthen the mind, body, and spirit of young ladies at the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice. Dr. Leigh Hicks went on to establish the Miss Footsteps 2 Success Pageant in the community as well. Dr. Leigh Hicks has received numerous support from community leaders and celebrities to include; Sheriff Leon Lott, Richland County, Major Benjamin, City of Columbia, Former 1st Lady Jenny Sanford, Curtis Wilson, BI-LO Charities, the Rotary Club of Irmo, Rasheeda of Love and Hip Hop, Atlanta, GA, Neek of Hot 103.9, WLTX and WACH FOX. Dr. Leigh Hicks received letters of support from former Mayor Bob Coble and President Barack Obama for continued success of the Miss Willow Lane Pageant and the Miss Footsteps 2 Success Pageant.

Dr. Leigh Hicks received the DJJ Champions for Children Award in February of 2008 and March of 2009. Her community and professional involvement included serving on the South Carolina Women and Girls Task Force Committee. Dr. Leigh Hicks is a certified mediator through Midlands Mediation Center. Dr. Leigh Hicks is active member of Trinity Baptist Church. In June of 2023, Dr. Hicks received the Emerging Community Star Award, through a nomination by the Richland County Sheriff, Sheriff Leon Lott, and Homeless No More, a non profit organization, in South Carolina, on behalf of the work she continues to do in the community. Dr. Hicks also received the Pioneer Award in August of 2023, from M.O.S.T., Inc., a non profit in South Carolina, that provides resources to parents of slain teens, for her effort in creating this non profit, for the founder.

She is proud to have achieved athletic distinction on the national ranked 4x100 meter relay at Benedict College in 2000. She was a former attendant to Miss Benedict College, a former contestant of the Miss South Carolina USA Pageant, and the Miss South Carolina Teen USA Pageant. Dr. Hicks was Miss Young Alumni Benedict College 2009-2010 and 2nd runner-up to Miss Benedict College National Alumni Association 2009-2010. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., which promotes public service.

Courses Taught

SOCW 6101 - Essential Skills for Social Work Practice

SOCW 6200 - Changing Lives

SWLB 0651 - Social Work Skills Lab 1


PhD, Walden University

MSW, University of South Carolina

BS, Benedict College