Your social ties help determine your success.
Dear Young Girl Looking to Make A Difference,
I remember being 11-years-old sitting in my bedroom, many days, brainstorming my next big story for my blog. Taking time in between my homeschool classes to make sure my blog posts were perfect; missing sleepovers with the besties to attend fashion events, and even bubbling with excitement before taking my seat at New York Fashion Week.
Honestly, I could say that I have always been serious about being a journalist and being recognized as a serious writer. The source of my inspiration? My parents who owned one of the first Black small self-publishing companies and entertainment blog; loads of fashion magazines, and all those free Avon books and fashion catalogs (LOL).
So why do I do it? It all began for me with girl power! Back in 2011, when I began my blog, Young Hip & Chic, I wanted to create a platform for young girls, like my sisters, where they could be inspired, motivated, and see that women can be successful, smart and fashionable—not just a sex symbol like what was heavily portrayed in the media (this was before selfies took over).
Ten years later, I am at the point where I think my message is being received, ingested, and now I am even being awarded for it.
On July 26, 2017, I was acknowledged for my journey as a woman in the business of Media and Communications. From a preteen just starting her blog in her bedroom with nothing but a dream and a blogspot.com.
When I first received notification from Yolanda Keels-Walker, the founder of Business Babes LLC and Afea Tucker, the official PR for Business Babes LLC, that I was to be honored at the Business Babe’s Women in Media & Communications Honoring Women Event, I was stunned. Not because I felt as though I didn’t earn my stripes in the business, but I think it was more overwhelming that I was to be honored beside some of the industry’s best. Women who have been in the media and communications field whose names carried weight. Women who I admired. Women who gave me a chance as a preteen.
Elizabeth Wellington- The Fashion Columnist at the Philadelphia Inquirer who highlighted me as a visionary on Philadelphia’s 25 greatest fashion folk at just 13-years-old.
Berlinda Garnett- The Emmy Award Winning Producer for Fox29 who was always online when I need to ask a question about the business.
Annette John-Hall- The WHYY Reporter who gave me one of my first newspaper interviews back when I was just 17-years-old.
Along with CBS3 Anchor and Reporter Rahel Solomon, Midday Talent on WRNB FM and Operations Manager at Radio One Karen Vaughn, Communications Manager for Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds-Brown, Haniyyah Sharpe-Brown and Deirdre Childress-Hopkins the Strategic Communications Manager at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. All women who have left a footprint in the world of media that is simply outstanding!
While anxiously awaiting my award from the Business Babes LLC as a “TRAILBLAZER” and enjoying the festivities of the Women in Media & Communications Event, it was announced before we got our awards we would be receiving a City Council Citation courtesy of Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown.
As a Philadelphia native, this was a very humbling moment. To be recognized in my home town left me in tears. Literally.
At 22, I know I haven’t made half of the sacrifices that the other women have made but with over 10 years in the field of media and communications, missed proms, loads of pro-bono work and a series of rejections; a young lady can surely reflect.
As the dust settled, the best way I can express my feelings is thankful. I am thankful that my message was received. I have been blessed to have a serious support system which allotted me such a successful start. My parents who also manage my career, my supportive sisters, family, friends, and my tribe of women in business who are always there to support me! You know who you are!
In conclusion, I found that with the right amount of drive, determination, support, and opportunities, there is no business goal you can’t achieve. I am proud to be an example of that. I honestly hope that my open letter can help inspire other young women looking to break into the field of media and communication or any career choice. I am rooting for you!