My name is Jasmine J. and I’m a rising junior at Thompson High School. I joined Girls Inc. of Central Alabama during the early breakout of the coronavirus pandemic, so the activities that were offered were all virtual.
This past month, Girls Inc. gave me the opportunity to attend their three day Teen Leadership Entrepreneurial Workshop, which was my first in person event with Girls Inc. of Central Alabama.
On the first day, I decorated cookies (and yes, they were very similar to the cookie decorating you see on TikTok). During the process of showing off my amazing cookie decorating skills, I was educated about the resilience of entrepreneurs and how you have to be willing and determined to invest in yourself.
Next, I learned about makeup, beauty branding, and different tips I can use to make my makeup look better. I really enjoyed being able to listen to a professional on ways I can look better when I’m representing myself, my brand. Afterwards, I got the opportunity to get my makeup done and take headshots! I love when I get to dress up, wear makeup, and take pictures! I absolutely enjoyed it!
Then, two ladies from UAB’s entrepreneurship program came to talk to us about how we can get anything from just a simple paper clip. It taught me how to keep wanting more for myself and my brand and never settling for just one thing. Coming into the Girls Inc. facility, I was so nervous because I knew absolutely no one, but at the end of the day, my nerves were gone. I had an amazing first day and was so ecstatic to see what else this workshop had in store for me!
On the second day, we got to build our business and make decisions about how we are going to invest in ourselves and our company, with the CEO of Iconic Minds, Ms. Brianna. This activity made me realize how much time, determination, and confidence you need to have when you are starting a business. Ms. Brianna not only talked about entrepreneurship, she also talked about graphic design, which is something that I am very interested in.
Next, I met Ms. Starr, who is a brand designer. She designs websites and helps people start their brand. I really loved the way she interacted with us. She helped me think of what I want my brand to be like. She was one of the main inspirations I had that made me start working on creating a blog.
Then, we met a lawyer, Mrs. Daiquiri. I used to want to be a lawyer, so to meet one was so exciting and cool. She is an HBCU graduate, which was so inspiring because I’m starting to see that more African American girls are becoming more fond of and considering attending an HBCU after they graduate. She gave all the girls cups with our names on them! It was so cute! I loved our session with her! Afterwards, we had a painting session; it was so fun and relaxing! I love painting, so any opportunity I get to paint I take advantage of the opportunity and focus on what I want to do when I am painting. This day made me realize how much commitment and persistence you need to have in order to reach your goal, especially when wanting to take the next steps to creating your brand.
On the third day, which was the last day, we did yoga! Normally, I would have fallen asleep, but this time it was so relaxing and calming I absolutely loved it! It set the tone and put me in the right headspace going into the last day of Entrepreneurial Workshop.
Next, we met a blogger, Ms. Ty. Ms. Ty was so nice and kind. She made me realize how blogging is more than just one topic. It is so broad. She encouraged all of us to write about anything. She was also one of the main reasons I decided to start working on a blog. She was absolutely amazing!
Lastly, we met Danielle Tuwano. She is a screenwriter. I’m interested in TV & Film Production and Broadcast Journalism and when she came I was ecstatic! Her story was so motivational. Everything she faced in her life resembled resilience and strength and I was here for it!!! Mrs. Tuwano was so energetic and fun! She was so inspiring.
At the end, I got the opportunity to talk to her about my passion and she informed me about the Sidewalk Film Festival and how I can get myself out there into the Production field. After hearing how I could gain more experience in this field, I’m so happy to say that I am taking the opportunity to volunteer there and get that hands-on experience. I also got her book Lights, Camera, #LevelUp.
In conclusion, Girls Inc. gave me the opportunity to learn more about entrepreneurship, figure out what I want to do and how I can do it! I met not only professional and successful entrepreneurs and boss ladies, but gorgeous women, who looked exactly like me! Being able to be in an environment with such strong women like Ms. Dominique, Ms. Marlesa, Ms. Tasha, Mrs. Danielle, Morgan, who became someone who I call a friend, and so many more women and girls, was so positive and empowering.
Thank you so much for giving not just me, but so many girls opportunities like this and being able to experience an amazing couple of days of motivation and empowerment. I’m so grateful for Girls Inc. and their drive to keep uniting, uplifting, and helping girls like me.
— Jasmine J.
Special thanks to all of our amazing speakers!