Nadia Oakley is PurposefullyPretty

 

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Where I grew up, no one wanted anything for themselves. People who had an opportunity to attend school saw it as a joke, as they didn’t care for their education, and me? I blended in with the crowd. No matter how much help you asked, no one would help you to succeed. Education wasn’t an option because no one ever felt good enough.

They thought we would all be the same, just another black female destined for failure. I remember my elementary school teacher telling me “ I wouldn’t amount to anything” , my middle school teacher swore I wouldn’t make it into my performing arts high school, and that was only the start of the never ending cycle of always having to prove myself because to them, I was never good enough. But I knew my worth. I knew I had to be confident in my own skin knowing that there’s a chance I wouldn’t be accepted. Understanding that if I don’t do things for myself then no one else would. It meant spending my free time at a children’s center helping, rather than at home sleeping. I used my time and devoted it to working with other volunteers, helping people who didn’t see education as option and made it a priority.

Currently, I am seeking to help the community through volunteer work, being apart of leadership organizations— the one I am currently a part of is Union Settlement Leadership—, tutoring, being a mentor to not only my 7 siblings, but students that look up to me, doing internships with nonprofit organizations ( Bloomberg Arts and Culture internship and Poets House intern), singing to autistic students in elementary school, while also participating in monthly cancer walks.

So, some people may ask me, what is my goal? Well, I want to change the expectations. We should work together and not against each other. This is the purpose of Purposefully Pretty. Purposefully Pretty is an organization who strives to identify girls who have and will continue to aspire to greatness. I am seeking more knowledge to being an effective leader and contributor in my community. Growing to be stronger, more independent, and more collaborative, I will set an example and enable others to make empowering decisions for themselves. I will aspire to help and educate, so that they can do the same for someone else, since we will achieve and we will conquer. My name is Nadia Oakley and I am Purposefully pretty because I am a girl taking action to make reforms, help the community, and eventually work my way up to being a civil rights lawyer. I am a change agent.

 

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Tiara Adams is PurposefullyPretty

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I am beautiful and fearless!

This is something that I remind myself of daily. It isn’t easy living in a world where minority women today are still oppressed and the average man, earn more than women in virtually every single occupation. My inner strength, patience, passion and confidence gets me by and it is what allows me to want to make a difference. Amongst a world that carries so much hatred and negativity, I still remain expressive of love and kindness towards others. Yep… That’s me. A bonafide lover and helper! I love helping others simply because I enjoy seeing people genuinely happy. Currently, my greatest joy in life is my pursuit of ambition. Building a brand and becoming a successful young entrepreneur. I believe my contribution to this world is reflective and measured by my faith.

Hi there! My name is Tiara Adams, 24 years of age. Director and Co-founder of I AM DANCERS of Nassau County; alongside my amazing partner Désa Bowers. Born and raised in Long Island, New York. I am currently a Full-time student at SUNY OLD WESTBURY COLLEGE studying American Studies and expected to obtain my B.A. this spring 2017. I am honored to be a full-time Teaching Assistant at an Elementary School where I graduated. I have been a Teaching Assistant for the past 5 years. I have also been the elementary cheerleading coach for the years that I’ve been with the school-district.

My love for children comes natural. My motivation for teaching is that every child can do what they set out to, with the right support. My goal is to inspire, motivate and empower young children of today to achieve their goals while someday pasting this to the next generation. Most of my time is dedicated to the youth of my community. I enjoy dancing, instructing and teaching. Whether it’s with students during school instruction, after-school extra-curriculum activities or the long weekends back at our business with dancers… I care and embrace every child with love!

Back in 2015, My partner Désa Bowers and myself started “I AM” DANCERS; a community organization that enriches our young girls to work together through the art of dance by adding love, partnership, fun and creativity to our community.  We are passionately committed to providing girls a positive, structured and inspiring environment. In our community we lack affordable recreational activities for girls. Boys have sports but when it comes to girls there’s not much of anything left besides school activities. Through I Am Dancers, girls are able to learn different styles of dances without breaking their parent’s wallet. Désa and I plan to put the community back together one dance at a time. We encourage girls to become leaders and we push our girls to become technically proficient, yet at the same time build strength and self-esteem. We inspire our beauties to follow their dreams and pursue their passions unapologetically and against all odds. Our desire and commitment to reconstruct our community exemplifies what makes us PurposefullyPretty.

Nefertiti “Neffy” Anderson is PurposefullyPretty

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Nefertiti “Neffy” Anderson is a media correspondent, video producer, and social media strategist who helps entrepreneurs and brands achieve their business goals through multimedia storytelling. Her ability to meet the needs of various target audiences stems from her training abroad in Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Shenzhen.
Throughout her career at Black Entertainment Television (BET) Neffy interviewed some of your favorite celebrities such as Nick Cannon, K. Michelle, Ciara, Kandi Burress, August Alsina, Diggy Simmons, Keyshia Cole and Nelly to name a few. As the network’s social media strategist, Neffy spearheaded the digital campaigns for tier 1 shows and specials such as the BET Awards, 106 & Park and Black Girls Rock.

With 6 years of professional experience spanning television, digital, print, and radio, Neffy balances a career both in front and behind the camera as the creator, producer, and host of her very own show, The Path Less Traveled Series, a web series that spotlights millennial entrepreneurs. Each episode is packed with actionable tips on how to successfully turn your passion into a lucrative career.

Neffy launched her series on the heels of an unexpected layoff. Instead of going on the typical job hunt, she used the bulk of her unemployment money to fund the show’s equipment and staff. In under 12 months the series received an offer for a radio deal, syndication on a Forbes listed top career website, and various forms of press coverage.
In response to audience requests, Neffy has created, Lights, Camera, Action!, a one-day media training intensive designed to teach entrepreneurs, students and professionals of all backgrounds how to grow their personal brand or business through public speaking and original video content. The inaugural event will be held in Manhattan on February 25th where Neffy will announce the opening of her Media Mastery Coaching Program — private one-on-one coaching designed to teach you everything you need to know about leveraging media to grow your business, credibility, clientele and revenue streams.

What makes Neffy PurposefullyPretty is her commitment to helping others close the gap between setting goals and reaching them. She is a change agent who jumps at the opportunity to use her skillset, time, and network in service to helping individuals and businesses actualize the vision they have for their lives and careers. There are so many people waiting to tell you that you can’t, Neffy is waiting to show you that YOU CAN.

Named as one of Innov8tiv Magazine’s “Top 100 Women Visionary Leaders to Watch,” Neffy has been recognized for her work by national outlets such as the American Marketing Association, Z100’s Elvis Duran Morning Show, Blavity, Mediabistro, Women Doing It Big magazine and more. Neffy’s global reach and ability to remain relevant in a changing world has allowed her to work with clients such as Adelphi University, Adweek magazine and The Jasmine Brand.
Neffy holds a Bachelor’s degree in communications from Adelphi University. She lives, works and plays in New York — devoting much of her time as a mentor, public speaker and coach.

Stay in touch with Neffy on social media @neffyanderson. Visit Neffy online a NeffyAnderson.com.

 

Ashley ‘Keiko’ Chambers is PurposefullyPretty

Ashley Keiko Chambers, Founder and President of music school Keiko Studios, Inc., is an up and coming musician who has studied classical piano for fifteen years, the alto saxophone for ten years, and has been teaching piano for ten years.  Ashley recently received her master’s in Music Education at Columbia University, in May 2016. Through Columbia University, Ashley studied abroad at The Arts College at Xiamen University, Fujian Province, China, where she studied music and reflected on the ways in which culture, language, and the arts intersect in an increasingly polyglot and trans-cultural world. She received her bachelor’s degree in Jazz Performance at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. Ashley has participated as a member of the York College Blue Notes, playing as the lead saxophonist for venues such as Minton’s Playhouse in Harlem, Live at the Gantries, and the Louis Armstrong House Museum to name a few. She has also been featured on the game show Family Feud where she played for host Steve Harvey. In the future, Ashley hopes to not only be a performer but a music educator and advocate, especially to children, exploring the importance of music and how they can express themselves through it.

Ashley believes that her determination and undying passion for the youth and their musical education is what makes her PurposefullyPretty. Ashley goes great lengths to provide musical opportunities for the youth in her community. “It is such an important cause for  because when I was young music pulled me through some tough times. Music was, and still is, my number one outlet to express myself and be creative in ways that no other activity allows me to be”, Ashley states. She desires to give this experience to a younger generation who doesn’t have the same access to music programs as she did growing up. Ashley believes that inspiring young people to go into music is her purpose and she won’t stop until she can do just that.

Ashley is working on a major project in order to expand her reach of musical opportunities to young people in her community. Ashley is working on creating her very own musical studio in Queens, NY. In order to successfully do so, she needs your help. Please feel free to click the link below to help Ashley provide even more musical opportunities for young people. Please support!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1267095307/kids-need-more-music-keiko-studios

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Tola L. is PurposefullyPretty

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When asked who she was, Tola L. described herself to be creative. She is a marketing genius turned faux educator. She is a gyrl wonder on a mission to shift the culture. Tola L. is a Pace University graduate with a degree in English Communications and a minor in Marketing. She interned at Jive and EPIC records and MTV while in college. Currently, Tola is straying away from traditional marketing to a career in education. She states that she is taking some time to “kick the truth to the young black youth; word to Wu Tang”. In her current position she is helping young people  with their transition from high school to college; from college to beyond. From good to great!

In addition to her regular job as Assistant Director of College Success at a high school in Brooklyn, she runs a non-profit called Gyrl Wonder. Gyrl Wonder’s mission is to provide and cultivate resources while teaching girls (ages 13 to 18) how to leverage those tools to facilitate their personal and professional goals. The program targets forward thinking young women seeking to identify and explore their purpose through mentorship and objective alignment. Tola also curates a dinner series called ReservationFor 10 for college students interested in a career in media!

Despite being faced with challenges, self-doubt, self-sabotages, tests upon tests, and failures, Tola found a way to overcome it all. Despite the challenges that she experienced she made it through and is thriving in her purpose today.

When asked what makes her PurposefullyPretty, Tola states “Pretty is a funny word. We think of pretty in the “physical”. I think of pretty as in the soul. My soul is beautiful. I know it is. Its full of determination, beauty, restored faith and today, my soul is 95% clear on its purpose. That makes me PurposefullyPretty!”

 

Rhonesha Byng is PurposefullyPretty

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photo credit: Rhonesha.com

“I am all about creating something bigger than myself. I am doing this for all of the women who are coming behind me. I want to show them what is possible by highlighting the inspiring women who are already living their dream. I really believe you can’t be what you can’t see so with Her Agenda my goal is to make the unseen seen. This goes for visibility of both role models, and opportunities. I am led by purpose which is how I am able to keep pushing forward no matter what. I don’t have a choice.”

Rhonesha Byng is a 20-something year old Emmy award-winning journalist, entrepreneur and Founder/CEO of Her Agenda. She is a graduate of DePauw University with a scholarship from the Posse Foundation, and has had the opportunity to intern for several prestigious platforms including Interactive One and NBC News. Her Agenda, founded in 2012, is a digital media platform working to bridge the gap between ambition and achievement for millennial women. Her Agenda seeks to empower young women and provide inspiration by featuring stories of real women, succeeding in their industries while also highlighting the information and resources needed to achieve that success. Some of these resources include the latest in events, scholarships, conferences, internships and job opportunities for young women to reach their fullest potential.

Rhonesha has received awards as a journalist from the New York Association of Black Journalists, The Associated Press, Youth Venture and the Kauffman Foundation. Huffington Post and Clutch Magazine named Rhonesha as one of the top African American Women to follow. Additionally, she was named one of the 28 Under 28 by NBCBLK and was named of BET’s 29 people to get to know of 2016. Rhonesha also received an Emmy award for her work as a field producer with WNBC. HerAgenda has also had many honors such as being listed in FORBES 2013 list of The 100 Best Websites For Women and was named one of the 10 Best Sites for Millenial Women.

When asked what makes Rhonesha PurposefullyPretty, she expressed that having the ability to overcome being told no, is one of the many things that makes her PurposefullyPretty. After experiencing being told no, being misunderstood, an being doubted, Rhonesha never lost sight of her vision. “You have to keep getting back up everyday, even when you get told no, and even when you feel frustrated” she states. “Stay focused, take the feedback in that you need and call upon your team and advisors to guide you through. Prayer and faith also helps a lot”.

 

 

 

DeAndra Perry is PurposefullyPretty

Hi! My name is DeAndra Perry. I am 27 years old. I am from Jamaica, Queens, NY. I am a young mother to an awesome autistic boy, who goes by the name of Cameron. It feels so good but weird saying that. I was so private and isolated for three years. After being in the dark for so long, I was finally able to face my fear. The fear of negativity, cruelty and judgement that my son and I would have to face. Overcoming my fears for my son is a major accomplishment; especially with the help of my supportive family and close friends. Without overcoming my fear, I wouldn’t have made it this far, or had such big dreams. I was never ashamed or embarrassed of my son’s condition, I just knew no one would understand him or Autism. As a mother, I wanted to not only help my son, but protect him from the misunderstanding and misjudgment that he could possibly face from society.

Once I educated myself to the best of my ability about Autism, I began to reach out to other moms. I never had anyone who could relate to my blue journey. Because of that I began to isolate myself,which became extremely depressing. I was so hurt, frustrated and lost. Because of this, I used social media to network and meet other Autism moms. I decided that instead of isolating myself and my son, I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to uplift other mothers and help them get out of that dark space that I was once in. I also wanted to bring awareness and acceptance of Autism to my community.

After networking, meeting different Autism families and sharing my blue journey, I was able to build relationships with many of them. I decided to create the “Super Mom Brunch”. At this brunch, autism and all special needs moms were able to come out and not only network, but provide awareness and support to mothers who have children with special needs. There are many other endeavors that I currently have in the works, that will make a change for special needs children. I plan for my movement to provide support and opportunities for special needs mothers and children as well as enlighten our communities so that they will be more supportive andaccepting to children with special needs. I also hope to help children who may not have special needs to be more understanding and kind to those that do.

Autism is now my life, my son and I are in this together. My whole life changed including my goals and it’s all because of my little angel. I overcame fear and that helped me in so many ways. I now have a voice for my son and Autism overall. Everyday I am inspiring other Autism moms. I am slowly making a difference, bringing awareness to my community, and by doing this, I am Purposefully Pretty!

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