Today, I can safely say that I have no fears of flying! That’s something I never thought I’d say, if not for this opportunity to go to the Black Girls Lead (BGL) conference in New York. It was just a few days before the trip when it became clear that I WOULD get to BGL. I’m just thankful that Dr. Bobb informed the Raising Expectations team about the Black Girls Lead conference. Ms. Maria and Ms. Tangee knew it was a perfect opportunity for me to network and grow even more. From what I could see, getting me to New York seemed like a second job for my mentors, Ms. Maria and Ms. Tangee; they did it because they believe in my potential. With their help and that of Dr. Kamau Bobb, Washington Alumni, Ms. Shanterria Thornton, and Mr. Zachary Brown with Communities in Schools, my wish came true. I traveled to New York City for the Black Girls Lead conference.
The flight attendants at Delta eased my fears and treated me with kindness. They gave me a little thank you packet with some snacks and a super sweet note. By the time we were up in the sky, I could relax and enjoy my FIRST view of the clouds up close. As we got closer to what looked like a toy city, I was in awe and extremely excited to see New York for the first time. After the flight, even the pilot was nice enough to inquire about my first flight experience. Mr. Brown and the CIS Atlanta team had arranged for me to have a personal driver take me to Barnard College from the airport! The entire experience made me feel special!
When I arrived in New York, my life changed instantly. The city was so alive! I was now entering into a new powerful journey of being a black girl who knew she not only rocked, but could lead too (#BlackGirlMagic)! The big lights and big city feel of NYC was beyond what I could imagine. When I arrived at Barnard College, one of the world’s oldest women’s colleges, I found myself surrounded by more than one hundred other phenomenal Black girls from around the world. There were girls from the Bahamas, California, Philadelphia, South Africa, Oregon, New Jersey, and so many more corners of the globe. I was so excited to experience what awaited me. The next morning, I ended up meeting a bunch of celebrities: Estelle, Elle Varner, and Ledisi in the flesh!!! The day after that, I met Hosea Chanchez and I finally met Dr. Kamau Bobb who already knew everything about me thanks to my RE family. On my last day at the conference, the Founder of Black Girls Rock!, Ms. Bond, gave a phenomenal speech about the program and the power of Black women. I came to Black Girls Lead knowing that I COULD lead, but I left Black Girls Lead knowing that I truly have the potential to do anything that I set my mind on.