"My Dad was always Superman in my eyes. He could solve any problem, answer any question, and guide me to safety when I needed it. In 2015 I was serving as an AmeriCorps Vista in Boston, MA and was planning on landing an amazing job back home in Cincinnati after my year of service ended so that I can at least try and treat my parents to at least a percentage of what they had given me.
A week before I moved home, my Dad passed away. My world stopped. How do you keep going when the person that you thought was invincible has been taken away from you? If you know me, you know that I run a brand titled: Spkng In Tongues. It's two main focuses are service and expression. I never felt like I was doing enough but my Mom and Dad always assured me that God is guiding me and that anything that you feel in your spirit is there for a reason...so I kept at it. After my Father passed, my sister and I went to clean his home and ironically I was going through a huge chest where he kept every paper, project, and report card of ours. As I'm going through the chest pushing past old toys and newspapers, I pull out this stack of papers with my Dad's name on it that had all these t shirt concepts and dashiki designs on the front and back of each paper. The sheets were dated in the early 90's (I was still a baby). As God as my witness, my Father NEVER spoke about fashion or design. He wrote music and played piano so finding these papers freaked me out. I then get up to show my sister and I see a plaque on the wall awarded to my grandfather from our church for outstanding service in the community. At that moment it felt like I was holding 2 pieces of myself. God planted those words into my folks and I couldn't ignore that gut feeling because it was purpose...those 2 signs were just God really confirming what my heart and parents have been telling me whenever I had a case of self doubt. I aim to dedicate my life to helping people find the reason behind that same gut feeling that I had. My name is Ron Blassingame and I am #Spkng my goals into existence." #SpeakIt
Speak IT - Onyinyechi Clare Ogomaka
"Growing up, I was always the girl with a step-by-step playbook for my future and destiny. At one point, I thought I was going to go to medical school, become an orthopedic surgeon, married with two kids (boy and girl), and living in Los Angeles with my family. Years passed by, and I thought I would become a lawyer and doctor... I'd work as a lawyer during the day and doctor at night. Now, as an adult looking back at my younger self, I've realized that it was not an accurate way to view my life. The main reason being that I, Onyinyechi, planned that... ALONE. I created many step-by-step playbooks without giving my life up to God 100%. I never thought to tell Him that He may do whatever He wishes with my life. It wasn't until my second year of college that I really understood what this "giving your life up to God" phenomenon really meant. Now, as an entering third year college student, my step-by-step playbook is not the epitome of my existence. My Father's playbook for my life is the epitome of my existence. It's been a long, confusing, and scary journey learning what steps my Father has in his playbook for me, but I trust that He will continue to guide my path. Through continuous prayer, faith, and experience, I believe He has revealed the goal of His "Onyinyechi Playbook": God wants me to be the ultimate boss lady! Utilizing the light He has bestowed upon me to be a person of great impact! To empower, inspire, and motivate the lives of others on a grand and/or intimate scale. Although I do not know the exact steps to this goal, I know my God's playbook for my life is blessed. I trust that He will continue to lead me to the goal and I will be victorious. I, Onyinyechi Clare Ogomaka, am speaking my God-given goals into existence.” #SpeakIT
Speak IT - Victoria Adesanmi
"Everyday I remind myself to commit to the Lord in whatever I do, as He will establish my plans. According to his will, of course.
I am a creative, a visionary, and a story teller. I love how a space can make you feel, elevate your mood, and create an intersection where new relationships will be established because of a shared experience in a space that one day I will be responsible to curate + create.
I am experiential designer by day creating memorable moments for brands + artists that invite people to explore and engage with their surroundings with a conceptual design approach.
I am an interior designer by night creating a space for your home, your restaurant, or your retail space that brings your vision to life. It is my goal through design to create platforms for people to connect with one another and to break barriers for women of Color in the design industry. With God on my side + the faith of a mustard seed there is nothing that I can't do. I am Victoria Adesanmi, a color + material designer at adidas and I am speaking my goals into existence." #SpeakIt
Speak IT - Alexis René Moten
"I think everyone has that moment when they realize what their meant to do and once they do, it's a hard thing to look away from. When you finally see the potential in oneself you're faced with two choices: a) do something about or b) be haunted by the 'what if' for the rest of your life. For some time I felt harnessed under the constraints of other people's expectations of me. I was trudging a path that wasn't my own and found little success. It wasn't until I explored my way through film and writing, that I found people and work that propelled me forward, better yet excited my life. In my deepest core, I am a storyteller, an explorer earnest to finding the truth and giving voices to those who feel they have none. It's my goal to be remembered as such. I want to continue to feeling brave in who I am, commit to my future in media, and to never feel the pressure of boundaries stop me from what I can do. My name is Alexis René Moten and I am speaking my goals into existence."#SpeakIT
Speak IT- Ruqayyah Abdulrahoof
"My father use to tell me the road to success isn't easy, if you want it you have to go get it. I have spent years rebuilding my image, attempting to reconstruct the broken little girl I was. As years have flown by my faith has become unbreakable, I have become a person who embodies strength and resilience. After majoring in Pre-Med Biology and minoring in Psychology, I accepted the degree many told me I would never get from the University of New Haven. Post graduation I accepted a position at Yale Health Center, working tirelessly to enhance Connecticuts Public Health system via the Yale platform. After realizing I needed more of a challenge I accepted a full time position with Genpact Pharmalink working as a paid contractor for Pfizer Inc. As a United States Hub Submissions Manager for a range of products I know that I am one step closer to changing the face of medicine. Ultimately THIS is a stepping stone to the bigger picture I plan to pursue in life. As I continue to apply to medical schools across the country I know my God will grant me acceptance when he sees fit. I will become a renown surgeon working consistently to better the world of healthcare. My name is Ruqayyah Abdulrahoof and I am speaking my goals into existence."#SpeakIT
Speak IT- Stephanie Johnson
"I've always thought of myself as a creative, even as a kid. Fashion and art have both been major passions in my life, and I'm very lucky to have a great support system who have afforded me through college. And under the watchful eye of stylist, Vic Styles, my dream pursuit is now a reality. I'm just a little girl who never grew up. Still wearing her mother's lipstick; still playing dress up. As I prepare to close this college chapter of my life with a Bachelors in Fashion Merchandising, my fears have changed into goals to make myself positive and professional. Taking these big girl steps and letting my wings soar into such a competitive industry is going to be tough. But you know what, I'm tougher. I work hard, I work smart. I have a family who loves me and friends, like Buku, who continuously encourage me to test the waters and test my limits. I have to encourage myself to continue to learn and to continue to create. And this is how I know I'm destined for greatness. This is for the black women in my life who have challenged me to be my best self. My name is Stephanie Johnson, future wardrobe stylist, and I am speaking my goals into existence." #SpeakIT
Speak IT- Ashley Cox
"As I prepared for my volleyball career to come to an end, I thought more and more about the next chapter of my life. Despite spending every summer since 2013 working the NBA Summer League in Vegas and Adidas Nations in Long Beach, CA learning the ins and outs of the sports industry, I wasn't sure until recently what I wanted to do with my life. The only thing I was certain of was my love for sports and people. Every industry is cut throat but the male-dominated world of sports is like no other, one that I'm prepared to take by storm. I want to motivate women to pursue their dream careers in sports, like other women have done for me. I am currently interning with an elite sports management and marketing firm. My name is Ashley Cox, future NBA agent, and I am speaking my goals into existence." #SpeakIT
Speak IT- Efemeh Files
"For as long as I could remember people always complimented my spirit. Even as a little girl I started to notice how people looked at me differently. Sounds strange & I don't mean to sound full of myself. But with the new year approaching I feel an abundance of confidence within me. Something I struggled with all 21 years of my life here on Earth. God has giving me blessings, whether it means actually giving me things or removing them from me. All for the better. My constant prayer to God Always consists of saying "Lord, use me today and everyday to execute nothing but love & light" I am a child of God but also a child of love. Growing up my mother didn't show me affection or never said "I love you" (obvi deep down I knew she did) and my father wasn't in my life. I was literally looking for love..I think it's funny how I turned out because for as long as I could remember I've always executed love. To everyone! Regardless of what I "thought I was lacking" I still wanted to make sure everyone I crossed paths with new they were loved. With the talents God has given me; acting, dancing & the ability to do hair all for a living I want to continue to execute love & light. My name is Efemeh Files & I am speaking my goals and aspirations into existence." #SpeakIT
Speak IT - Brianna Chacon
“Always a talker. I was the kid in your 2nd grade class getting moved all the time because I talked to everyone too much. In elementary school the kid who “talks a lot” is seen as a burden, but today I consider it a blessing.
Little did I know that 15 years later I would still be obsessed with having conversations. I have been given he ability to speak my mind and have the confidence to express my opinions while pushing through any insecurities that try to hold me back. Many of my sentences end with question marks; I will never stop asking questions that need to be asked, no matter what the answers may be.
Fast forward to today and my ambitions mirror my desire to tell stories and connect with people. My unquenchable passion for marketing is fueled by love for people and developing communities that pull together people of similar passions.
I will have a career in which Mondays will receive love. I will never limit my potential. I will always grind to stay on the learning curve. I will never dim what makes me shine. I will watch my hard work manifest as impact. Then, at the end of the day, I will have a glass of wine with a side of dark chocolate and thank God for giving me another day to be me. My name is Brianna Chacon and I am speaking my goals into existence.” #SpeakIT
Speak IT- Chelsea Appiah
"I've always been really blessed when it comes to education. Growing up, I attended schools in excellent school districts, amazing college readiness programs, and high test scores. Yet, I know this simply isn't the case for everyone. The more and more racism and oppression plagues the world around us, the more and more I think about our children, what about their futures? Their education? Their lives are just as much at stake as our lives. Nelson Mandela once said, "Education is the most powerful weapon in which we can use to change the world." Educational Policy is so important. Our K-12 students in Urban communities deserve quality education and access to higher education in order to achieve their greatest potential. My name is Chelsea Appiah, and I am 21 years old. I will reform public education and serve as Secretary of Education one day. This is my vision and I am speaking my goals into exsistence."#SpeakIT
Speak IT - Celena Fields
"I am a powerhouse music executive with a passion for service, creativity and mentorship. When I am not routing tours or helping creatives bring their visions to center stage, I serve as the chairwoman to my mentorship program. I am committed to aiding young girls in their mission to thrive in the entertainment and sports landscape while providing resources, leadership and educational scholarships. My time as an agent has not only brought me new clients but substantial growth. In addition to my mentorship program, I have started my own full service creative branding and representation firm in partnership with my long time business partner, Ibukun Ibraheem. I am continually working towards reaching my fullest potential while helping others reach theirs. Currently I am a 22 year old college graduate working as an assistant at a talent and literary agency and I'm speaking my goals into existence."#SpeakIT
Speak IT - Candice Brew
"City lights, long-stem wine glasses, live Duke Ellington renditions, art exhibitions--these are a few of the little pieces of me.
I want New York. I want a cozy apartment ornamented with white decor and surrounded by those city lights and art venues that are such a crucial part of me.
I want a career that makes me feel alive; a career that I can also use as a platform to change lives and to enlighten. I don't have to be rich, just comfortable and satisfied with the work I put into the world.
I want to build relationships. I want unbreakable bonds with other hard-working people--a support system.
My name is Candice Brew. I'm currently a Public Relations/Brand Marketing intern at FleishmanHillard and I'm speaking my goals into existence." #SpeakIT
Speak IT - Ashlee Woods
"Praying. Learning. Growing. Strengthening. Working for a large corporation, Seeking happiness with no hesitation. Building upon my own self brand, Being my own critic and biggest fan. I will be surrounded by positivity, While thinking beyond barriers for creativity. Following God…. As well as my heart, Making sure success is always apart- of MY life.. My name is Ashlee Woods and I’m speaking my goals into existence." #SpeakIT
Speak IT - Nigel Marcellus
"When I was growing up, I spent a lot of time wishing for things that never came true. Some of these things included a best friend, a brother or a sister, acceptance, confidence, and something to fill the void in my heart. The more I wished, the more nothing happened. It brought me to a very dark place in my life. I would always compare myself to other people and always come up short. I did not know what to do to cure the pain. I felt like no one understood.
One faithful day, I watched a video from a guy named Levi Maestro where he talked about the importance of speaking things into existence. I began to realize you can’t wait for change in life, you have to be the change. I turned my mess into my message and started vibrating positive energy in the world in which the universe returned back to me.
My aspirations in life are to change the world for the better. I don’t have a specific way of doing this but I’m going to do it. I am a child of God and with God, anything is possible! I have a couple projects in the works and I hope to have them out by 2017.
My name is Nigel Marcellus Taylor and I’m speaking my goals into existence." SpeakIT
Speak IT - Xzavyer Jenkins and Jordyn Colemon
Xzavyer to Jordyn:
"I encourage you to lean on me for strength, and to always look to God for understanding. Know that I will stand by your side, and always push you to be a better you! I encourage you to remain God fearing and exemplify His love for others as you have done so gracious for me. I encourage you to smile! Lord knows I love that smile. Smile, smile, and smile spreading your cheerful spirit to everyone. I encourage you to laugh! Your laugh is so infectious that it sparks those around you to partake in your joyous laughter. In five years, I encourage you to start your own event planning business, showing the world that you can make their fantasies a reality. I encourage you to do this without question! I can't wait to see you do amazing things. My name is Xzavyer Jenkins and I'm speaking these goals into existence for my girlfriend, Jordyn Colemon."
Jordyn to Xzavyer:
"To my support, my backbone, and my best friend X'zavyer. I speak the favor of God upon your life. To protect, provide, and guide you through your own personal journey. I will assist in encouraging and uplifting you through the challenging yet rewarding task of becoming a pediatrician within the next 7 years. To achieve this goal, I will support you in sustaining a balanced and healthy, physical, mental, and social lifestyle. I believe in you. My name is Jordyn Colemon and I'm speaking these goals into existence for my boyfriend, Xzavyer Jenkins." #SpeakIT
Speak IT - Salome Beyene
"I am still chasing my life passions in health and development. I have started my own non-profit with the mission to provide under-resourced countries with high malnutrition rates at a chance for sustainable development, by connecting communities through food and nutrition education. My organization does not force Western culture and norms into the communities but instead the non-profit is molded into their lifestyle, communities, and empowers countries to push forward. I have worked in 3 continents, and over 10 countries to provide adequate nutrition care. Uplifting Communities and Transforming The World... but this is not all I do -- that's just the beginning.
My name is Salome Beyene, I am a 22 year old student at Miami University studying Community Nutrition and Pre-Medical Studies and I'm speaking my goals into existence." #SpeakIT
Speak IT - Shani Storey
"Curly locks, unique style, a bright smile, and beautiful sunsets-- these are a few of the little pieces of me.
I want the world. I want new places, with breath taking views that make life long memories.
I want a career that I can be myself; a career that I can share my creative ideas to other to produce art that can be influential.
I want to build relationships that last a life time. With people that I can inspire and that can inspire me to make a world a better place.
My name is Shani Storey, I'm currently a Nike interstate production assistant intern and Wieden + Kennedy and I'm speaking my goals into existence." #SpeakIT
Speak IT - Shelby Hyde
"Overall it’s important that I am doing what I love. It’s important that I never stop challenging myself...learning...creating. Now matter how fulfilling my day “job” is, I will continue to seek new opportunities to contribute to both my industry, as well as my personal brand. I will not let the comfort of complacency paralyze me, and I will break through any and all glass ceilings within the fashion industry as a woman of color. I will not let my anxiety render my professional or my personal life. I will not let the words of others cloud my judgement, or make me doubt my own capabilities. There will be no “rules”, rules create constraints--boundaries. I’ll go after what I want. No holds barred. My work will not be my entire life; just one of my favorite parts. I’ll find my balance. Inhale positivity, exhale negativity. Become less of a pitiful worrier, and more of a prayer warrior.
My name is Shelby Hyde, and I’m speaking my goals into existence." #SpeakIT
Speak IT - Cherif Gueye
"As a 22-year old fresh into the adult world, my mindset sits between a duality that dictates how I move, how I network and where I allocate my energy. The duality of personal and professional goals culminate in my motivation to be a facilitator, someone who adds to culture and supports the truth.
On the professional end, generally, I'd like to play within the content realm. We hear everyday, "content is king". With that in mind, I'd like to play a role in facilitating proper content that utilizes efficient storytelling to communicate necessary and unheard stories. I currently execute that within my role at adidas as a Community Manager for Originals. In correspondence with the brand's social sector, I participate in storytelling that encapsulates the vibe of products, partnerships and brand stories that embody who we are. As I progress, I hope to lead and help the future gain power.
On a personal note, my ultimate goal is to build a foundation that funds travel and education for kids in underfunded communities. This would allow kids to see more than just their day to day, inspiring them to take elements of the world and create their own reality, much like I did as the child of two Senegalese immigrants. Travel annually to Senegal and France gave me a worldly perspective that allowed me to think outside of my environment, which I credit a lot of my success and blessings to.
Overall, I hope to be a conveyor of truth and a source for passion and care. We live in a world where not caring seems cool, I will fight within this duality to make it cool to care again.
My name is Cherif Gueye and I am speaking my goals into existence." #SpeakIT
Speak IT - Elisa Mathews
"Above all else I will be in a space that allows me to grow mentally and spiritually. I will live a life full of love, excitement, wisdom, and courage. I will not live within the confines that others try to put me.I will be bold and unapologetically me, in all aspects of my life. I will surround myself with those who are driven, passionate, supportive, and kind. I will continue to support my loved ones. I will continue to choose love over hate. I will give without expectations. I will let go of anything that isn't for me and cherish the blessings God send my way.
Professionally, I will be the Renaissance woman God wants me to be. I will break into the styling world and create unique opportunities for myself. I will build a brand that allows me to express and challenge myself.
My name is Elisa Mathews and I'm speaking my goals into existence." #SpeakIT
Speak IT - Ibukun "Buku" Ibraheem
"Aside from the commonly used titles that have been paired with my name, Entrepreneur, Marketing Guru, Philanthropist, Global Speaker...above all, I am an Advocate of Passion. I have not worked a day in my life because I am simultaneously turning my passion into a life, helping others do the same, and walking in the divine plan and purpose that God has established for me.
Everything that I have accomplished and will accomplish, stems from the root of my calling; bridging the gap between possibility and actuality through storytelling. I am creating what’s next and ingeniously disrupting the norm.
My prayer hasn’t changed, “Lord please continue to elevate me, so I can help elevate others,” because my success means nothing if I can’t help bring people to the top with me.
Lastly, the only person that told me I wasn’t capable was myself surprisingly....but I don’t know that person anymore. I am more than what I thought I’d be, I am exceeding expectations, and I know that what’s meant for me will not miss me. I’ve turned my stress into peace, my worry into confidence, and my fear into strength.
I am dynamite and a force to be reckoned with.
My name is Ibukun Ibraheem also known as Buku, the Founder and Visionary for Speak IT, and I am speaking my goals into existence."#SpeakIT