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How This Chief Change-maker Transformed Her Failure Into Action

by Bee Brown

Culture Creative Content

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It was the moment when Danielle D. Hughes was terminated from her fifth job when she finally was in the position to begin serving as an agent of change. 

Pledging daily to be the person she says she needed when she was younger, the social entrepreneur, humanitarian and proud Detroit native made it her mission to make an impact in the lives of her hometown youth. She serves as "Dream Director" to high school students as well as Founding Partner & COO of Detroit Speaks, Inc., a nonprofit organization providing teens with mentoring, coaching, leadership and personal development skills to achieve their dreams.

Danielle was recently inducted into the 2018 Class of Forbes 30 Under 30 for her work in education. With purpose and strategic strides, Danielle D. Hughes has become one of Detroit’s most recognizable millennials for youth advocacy and empowerment. 

As a woman of color, I am inspired everyday by the women in my community who take a stand and create real change for those around them. I believe as a woman, it is imperative to use your voice to speak out against the injustices that affect you (and even the ones that don't) and give a voice to the voiceless."

Holding a firm commitment to building and inspiring future change-makers, Danielle serves as a Vision Strategist: sharpening her business acumen and perseverance by boldly recognizing the importance of creating a grand vision for both emerging & established professionals. Danielle’s story is created through her life experiences, holding personal hardship and triumph as the building blocks to her success. 

Here are a few gems she dropped on how you can activate action in your personal or professional journey as well as in your communities:

  1. Pulling others as they climb

  2. Representation matters; and exposure is the most important thing you can give someone. When young Black women see other successful women that look like them shattering glass ceilings, it assures them that they can do the same. 
  3. Collaboration 

  4. One of the key components of success among Black women is collaboration. This can mean anything from volunteering, offering resources or simply being a shoulder to lean on. We all know how powerful we are alone, so imagine just how powerful we are when we come together as one.

Demanding results 

When Black women demand results, things happen. Demanding a certain standard of excellence in your life and business will bleed over into other areas of your life. 

Creating their own opportunities

If you don't see it, create it. Long gone are the days where we can complain about not having a "seat at the table." If you see an issue affecting your community, do something about it to change it. Be your own SHEro!


"Create a GRAND vision for your life -- It's so important to set goals for yourself that are "two sizes too big" so you can GROW into them. If you dream it, you can most definitely do it. "

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