What do Lauren Bealor, Courtney Griffin and Daisy Sutton each have in common? they are Young, Ambitious and Beautiful, which also happens to be the name of their organization. The three college educated women from Michigan State University are striving to be the best in every aspect of their lives. With a strong focus on entrepreneurial skill, networking, and overall career advancement, they co-founded Y.A.B. with the goal of supporting and uplifting women of color while encouraging them to pay it forward to others. Here’s what the three ladies had to say further about their organization:
BRONZEMAGONLINE.COM: What is the mission of Y.A.B.?
LAUREN B: Our mission is to showcase young women of color excelling in all aspects of life: health, hair, beauty, fashion, career and networking, education, food and nutrition, entrepreneurship, and scholarship. The mission statement’s purpose is to act as a breakdown of our acronyms alone…which in turn leads to the question: what does it mean to be Young, Ambitious, and Beautiful?
BRONZEMAGONLINE.COM: How is Y.A.B. changing and engaging communities?
DAISY S: Y.A.B is creating an amazing circle of unity. We are changing the perception of African American women by supporting one another and encouraging women of color to be the absolute best women they can be. We are challenging them, assisting them, and creating a support system that validates every component of our mission.
LAUREN B: Daisy makes a good point on how we are changing communities by developing a positive portrayal of young women of color that want to expound upon their niches in their careers of choice. We engage in communities by supporting events and programs hosted by women of color through sponsorship, partnership, or mere attendance. We have attended Natural Hair Expos, HIV/AIDS Awareness programs, Breast Cancer Walks, Professional Networking Seminars, etc and promoted them through our social media in order to engage both our members and non-members in what their peers and counterparts are doing to make a difference. At the end of the day, we all can benefit from one another and that is what we want to highlight through our organization.
BRONZEMAGONLINE.COM: What characteristics make up the perfect Y.A.B. woman and how does one get involved with your organization?
Daisy S: The characteristics that make up the perfect Y.A.B. woman in my point of view are ambition, fearlessness, independence, intelligence, and creativity.
Lauren B: I think both I and Courtney can concur with Daisy on that choice of words. Someone that goes above and beyond measures would be the perfect fit for our organization. To get involved with our organization, there is an application process. This process includes a detailed questionnaire as well as resume submission. After the application is submitted, it is reviewed by all three of us. If selected, the individual chosen officially becomes a member.
BRONZEMAGONLINE.COM: What strengths do each of the co-founders bring to the Y.A.B. mission?
COURTNEY G: We all exude the three adjectives in our company name; in addition to that, we all are completely different. My expertise is with technology and I focus on maintaining our professional brand through graphic design and website control. Lauren is the social media expert and she engages with our followers, provides useful information to the YAB community, and keeps Y.A.B. connected with other organizations. Daisy is the visionary and creative marketer. She brings the ideas for events, collaborations, and ensures that YAB activities are original.
BRONZEMAGONLINE.COM: What types of programs are you planning to implement for young women?
LAUREN B: We strongly believe in community service and we will be launching a Y.A.B. mentoring program to raise awareness of entrepreneurship to young girls between the ages of 10 and 17. That is a very pivotal age of creativity and we would like to expound upon that.
DAISY S: We plan to host networking events as well for young women in the corporate realm. This is truly the purpose of our mission statement and to fulfill it we will be promoting our members’ business ventures.
COURTNEY G: We also would like to create programs for young women internationally. Lauren has discussed utilizing her job network as a gateway into starting Y.A.B. affiliate organizations in South Africa as well as Europe. We plan to travel abroad within the next year to begin the movement of Y.A.B. in these countries.
BRONZEMAGONLINE.COM: What advice would you give to those young women who may not yet be on the right track to success due to unforeseen challenges or obstacles?
DAISY S: The advice I would give is to take time to discover who you really are. Focus on your personal happiness. Embrace the imperfections and changes you experience. Learn something from every challenge. Discover what your good at and dedicate yourself to it. The greatest discovery is that of self-evolution.
LAUREN B: I always have followed the notion that you cannot breakdown the barriers within society if you don’t first breakdown the barriers within yourself. You have to take your obstacles and challenges and turn them into stepping stones to success. The road unknown is the road less traveled. I would want young women to know that those obstacles or challenges in their life happen for a reason….and it will make them better in the end. That is how Y.A.B. came about. We took a chance and saw our dreams before we saw the obstacles, making it more attainable. I think that is the best advice for the key to success.