10 Black Girls Changing the World10/28/2014
by Ariel Williams Beyoncé got it right when she proclaimed that girls ran the world. The last cou...
by Ariel Williams
Beyoncé got it right when she proclaimed that girls ran the world. The last couple of years have proved that those are indeed Black girls. From running successful adolescent businesses to being the youngest ever TV talk show host, our girls are changing the world with confidence and we’re delighted to highlight them today.
Amiya’s Mobile Dance Academy exhibits genius innovation at its finest! The young lady behind this growing business is 15-year-old Amiya Alexander, a native of Detroit. When Alexander was 9 years old, she shared her dream of opening an affordable mobile dance studio with her mom, Taberah Alexander. A couple of years and a $20,000 investment later, Alexander’s dream of becoming the first local on-the-go dance academy for girls ages 2 to 12 came true in 2008. With the help of donations, Alexander is able to offer her students a low rate of $11.50 per class. In addition to teaching dance, the Academy teaches health and wellness classes and is striving to eliminate childhood obesity in the community. Amiya plans to attend Harvard Medical School to become an OB-GYN. For more information on how to donate to Amiya’s Mobile Dance Academy, visit her website.
Most sixteen year old girls spend their time on social media or at the local mall. We can’t say the same for Grace Bush, who graduated from high school and college at age 16 with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. While most onlookers are wowed by Bush’s accomplishments, she believes that anyone her age can do what she’s done. Her advice is that they realize that, “It’s not hard -- it’s just hard work!” Her ultimate career goal is to become Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. She’s surrounded by a large, supportive family -- she’s the third oldest of nine -- who values hard work and education, making her career goals attainable. Grace and her older sisters, Gisla, 19, and Gabrielle, 17, attended Florida Atlantic University High School, which is an accelerated high school that allows students to earn bachelor’s degrees and their high school diploma. All three young ladies plan to immediately start working on their master’s degrees.
Asia Newson is Detroit’s Youngest Entrepreneur. Newson started her business, Super Business Girl, at 10 years old where she crafts and sells custom candles with her dad, Michael Newson. While she runs a tight ship and enjoys being the boss of her own company, Asia’s mom, Latasha Thompson, describes her as “kind, outspoken, and intelligent.” Her main goal is to attend Michigan State University, as well as expanding her business to a couple of storefront locations—including one in businessman Dan Gilbert’s building. While she’s working towards her goal, Asia trains kids her age -- Super Business Girls and Boys -- on how to make their own money and finding resources.
Alongside their brother Caleb Christian, The Christian sisters founded a mobile app development company called Pinetart, Inc. Under this incorporation, the siblings created a mobile app called Five-O, which allows citizens to enter the details of every interaction with a police officer in every county in the United States. The app allows users to rate the officer’s professionalism, courteousness, and provides access to critical information needed for legal action. When asked why the trio created the app, co-founder Ima responded, “We’d like to know which regions in the US provide horrible law enforcement services as well as highlight the agencies that are highly rated by their citizens. In addition to putting more power into the hands of citizens when interacting with law enforcement, we believe that highly rated police departments should be used as models for those that fail at providing quality law enforcement services.”
It’s safe to say that Keke Palmer is the voice of today’s youth! At age twenty-one, this sweetheart has already made a name for herself as an established actress, singer, activist, and fashion designer. But her success doesn’t stop there. This year, Palmer became the youngest talk show host in TV history with BET’s Just Keke. According to a news release, the show will "target millennials by covering a variety of topics, including fashion, social media, pop culture, sex and more." Most recently, the Akeelah and the Bee star made history again as the first African-American Cinderella on Broadway. A true humanitarian, Palmer hopes her role as the princess encourages young black girls by letting them know “that just because you have never seen it doesn’t mean that you can’t be it.”
Gabrielle Douglas, 18, is a Black girl on fire who inspires us all! Gabby’s life story defies the stereotypes associated with Black children being raised in a single parent home. In Lifetime’s The Gabby Douglas Story, her childhood was portrayed positively and has contributed to her national fame. At the 2012 London Summer Olympics, the U.S. Women’s Artistic gymnast won gold medals in both the team and individual all-around competitions. Gabrielle is the first woman of color of any nationality and the first African-American gymnast in Olympic history to become the Individual All-Around Champion. She is also the first American gymnast to win gold in both the gymnastic individual all-around and team competitions at the same Olympic games. Gabrielle also plans to compete in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
At age 9, Leanna decided to use her great grandmother’s secret recipe to bottle, package and sell the hair products that had been in her family for generations. She’s the founder and CEO of Leanna’s Inc., a hair product line that promotes healthy hair growth. Since starting her business, she’s been profiled in some of the most influential business publications such as Forbes Magazine, Success Magazine, INC Magazine, and Ebony Magazine. Instead of being blinded by her amazing success and accomplishments, Leanna believes in philanthropy and founded the Leanna Archer Education Foundation, an organization devoted to providing better opportunities for underprivileged children in Haiti. The now 18-year-old’s goal is to build schools in Haiti, while providing a safe learning environment for over 150 students.
Ariel C. Williams writes about entrepreneurship, various women's topics and advocates real girl talk with her debut book The Girl Talk Chronicles. Connect with her @ArielSaysNow.