*Meet Y.A.B*

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Feature, Latest | by — July 23, 2012

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Young, Ambitious and Beautiful not only describe this amazing organization but also the women behind this influential platform.Y.A.B. is an organization started by 3 college educated African American young women that wanted to bring together other young African American women that not only possess a “job” or “career”, but bring a unique aesthetic to what they do. Lauren Bealore, Courtney Griffin, and Daisy Sutton all came together 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 the acronym alone…which in turn leads to the question: what does it mean to be Young, Ambitious, and Beautiful? Well, to answer that question you must meet the ladies of Y.A.B!

Let’s get to know them a little better…

Please share how the idea of Young, Ambitious & Beautiful was develop and the mission behind the movement?

We started Y.A.B. because the three of us realized that there was an untapped market of young women networking with one another. Based on our experience at Michigan State University together, we realized that many of our peers were excelling in so many different areas and their success needed to be showcased to more people. As a result of our brainstorming and collaborative effort, we formed Y.A.B. We chose the acronyms Young, Ambitious, and Beautiful because we felt that these three words were the depiction for the type of women we wanted to promote career wise. Our mission behind the movement was to seek out these young women of color and build a network with them to in turn have them build a network with one another, fostering a network of professional sisterhood.

We tend to pull characteristics from others in our lives or from people we admire, who or what inspired you to launch this powerful organization?
We all have mentioned previously inspirational figures such as our mothers and grandmothers that have set a tone for what stepping stones we would want to make with our organization but the true inspiration for this particular organization would have to be Oprah Winfrey. Many would find this answer cliche’ due to Oprah’s overtly popular success; however, if you truly look at her path, you could see how it would inspire an organization like Y.A.B. Oprah has catapulted her career in broadcast journalism to one of immense height that it could hardly be stopped. That is what we want to do with Y.A.B. The fact that she is the first African American woman with her own network and its all stemming from daytime television, is truly what triggered Y.A.B.’s start of our mission and movement. Y.A.B. wants to take the strategies of someone like Oprah and elevate them to the next level. With us wanting to start a television network for predominantly African American women, this is definitely someone to admire. There are many different networks for the many different lifestyles of the “mainstream” woman: Lifetime, Oxygen, WE, TLC, and even Bravo; however, the market is untapped for the true depiction of African American women. Outside of reality tv on stations that are not even controlled by women of color, there is no one controlling how we are being depicted or showcasing a multitude of our lifestyles. That is what Y.A.B. wants to change. Yes, we are starting as an organization promoting the careers of young women professionally but we eventually want that to transpire to the broadcast media because that will help to change the way we are perceived by society.
Lauren Bealore
If you had to give 3 pieces of advice to young ladies out there who are struggling to be comfortable in their skin – what would it be?
If we had to give 3 pieces of advice to young ladies out there who are struggling to be comfortable in their skin, the first piece of advice would be: “You are not alone”. We would want them to know that everyone has something about them that they would want to change; however, it is up to YOU to learn to embrace it, which leads to the second piece of advice: “Be confident”. Although it is true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the one thing that mostly everyone finds attractive is confidence. Your clothes don’t define you, you define your clothes. Your hair doesn’t define you, you define your hair. Your attitude shouldn’t define you, you should define your attitude. The way YOU portray yourself makes all the difference in how others view you. And lastly, “If we all were meant to look alike we would have been created that way”. Understanding your creation takes a lot of growth, but the earlier you understand the better. We all were created in a different manner, none of us were manufactured as if we were a product because things that can be manufactured can also be duplicated….and YOU are one of a kind.
Daisy Sutton
Working with youth both parties learn from each other, what’s one thing you have learned from working with young ladies?
From different projects that we have been involved in, we have learned that the impact that you have on others doesn’t have to come at a certain age. Whether 14 or 24, both can learn from positive experiences and also both could have had strong and realistic experiences that have shaped them into the person they are today.
Courtney Griffin
What are some of the activities that Y.A.B have done in the past and any future events?
We have done many different past activities which include participating in the 2012 Lift: Detroit Black Tie Gala for business professionals as a vendor and sponsor, volunteering with both the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Walk as well as the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, HIV/AIDS Awareness at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, and a Natural Hair Seminar and Fashion Show also held at the Charles H. Wright Museum. As for our present and future activities, we currently have a video contest entitled “What’s Your Ambition”, which is for ladies ages 18-30, outside of our members, to display their niche to the world. It is to include: Who you are?, What is your niche?, What is your ambition?, and What drives your ambition?. The contest ends Tuesday, July 31st at 11:59pm and the rules are as follows:
2 min max
Must be submitted as a YouTube video to 3yab2012@gmail.com
Must feature category from mission statement (health, entrepreneurship, nutrition, beauty, career & network, fashion, etc.)
Uniqueness counts!
Be creative as possible.
Videos will be posted on shortform,
Top 3 of 5 will be chosen by YAB staff and receive an interview.
Also, we have a collaborative project with AKIRA Chicago entitled “Shop Til You Drop”, which combines shopping and discounts! With summer here, it’s time to rack up on a new wardrobe and we want to help young women do that in a savvy manner! This will go on for the next 2 months! We will be updating our social medial links regularly with new AKIRA Chicago items. To get the coupon code, people can e-mail 3yab2012@gmail.com or feel free to contact us through Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or LinkedIn! Lastly, we are also working on a project with Detroit Snob that will showcase Detroit and Metro Detroit Female Restauranters. We feel that cooking has always been a woman’s province. Looking at black folklore, traditionally, a black woman’s out let was being an expert in the kitchen, yet, when looking at cooking media and exposure, black women are nowhere to be found….which in turn portrays them as a novice to cuisine…
This event is projected to take place in November around the Thanksgiving holiday season. This will be our first big event that gives women, both our members and non-members, a chance to connect with one another.


We’re all about empowerment at C.O.R.E Mag, what does empowerment mean to you?

Our motto for Y.A.B. is “lifting as we climb” and that is what we feel that it means to empower another person. Empowerment to us means support, motivation, and encouragement and that is what Y.A.B. is all about to help women of color achieve their goals.

Where do you see Y.A.B Society, Inc. in the next 5 years and what is your ultimate goal for your organization?

Well as mentioned earlier, our ultimate goal is the television network plethora of lifestyles for African American women, focusing in on healthy food and cooking shows hosted by women of color, family sitcoms, talk shows hosted by women of color, movies starring women of color, and much more. In the next 5 years, we see Y.A.B. expanding to different cities, including internationally as well. We don’t want to just have a mission statement, we want to start a movement.

Fun Faves!!!- Food? Song? Artist?

Lauren Food: Guacamole, Song: “Ribbon In the Sky” by Stevie Wonder, Artist: Drake

Courtney Food: Seafood Pasta, Song: “Nobody’s Supposed to be Here” by Deborah Cox, Artist: Raheem DeVaughn

Daisy Food: Red Beans and Rice, Song: “Purpose” by Spensha Baker, Artist: India

 

Check out more Y.A. B here…

Y.A.B

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