Think back to when you were a kid and it was Career Day in school, what career path did you want to pursue? It's interesting how the education system encourages kids to think about their future career, yet doesn't provide an action plan on how to achieve it. Basic curriculum knowledge is only the bare minimum in preparing our future leaders for the global market that exists today. There must be a stronger emphasis on the part of schools to align curriculum with career-readiness standards.
Thankfully though, there is one financial, career organization, in particular, that strives to educate our young Black Queens with the necessary knowledge to obtain a successful career. I had the utter pleasure to speak with the founder of Real Brown Girls and The RBG Foundation, Sable B., a non-profit committed to supplying scholarship opportunities to young girls of color desiring career readiness opportunities.
By enrolling in RBG's Book Club, 80% of the proceeds will be donated to the RBG scholarship fund, and we women are ensured a monthly professional development toolkit equipped with tips, tools and secrets to creating the career we deserve. The true epitome of #BlackGirlMagic, Sable uses her powers for good by facilitating and strategizing career readiness, women's empowerment and career exploration for the Black, female community across the country.
Check out the exclusive interview below.
Photo: Real Brown Girls
21Ninety: What inspired you to start a nonprofit for young girls of color?
Sable B: When I see young girls of color, I see infinite possibilities. Aware of the lack of access many of us have to summer programming, I wanted to do something. As a former teacher, I understand the importance of summer. Beyond the summer slide, summer is a time where many children are able to explore their interests beyond the traditional classroom settings and subjects. Our children should be able to do the same, and many do. However, there are many children who want to but their parents can’t afford to do so. That’s where The RBG Foundation Scholarship Fund steps in — to provide girls the financial access to attend these amazing enriching programs that are all over the country.
21N: What can aspiring businesswomen expect to gain when signing up for one of your courses?
SB: Women who enroll in one of the RBG Academy courses can expect to receive the same level of quality that I provide for my private freelancing corporate and nonprofit clients, only this is for us and by us, so there’s no code-switching happening here. Whether someone is looking for financial development and chooses to invest in our Personal Finances Workbook or is looking for both personal and professional development and enrolls in our monthly program the Engage and Exchange, she can expect, proper pacing, individualized assistance, ongoing support and feedback, active learning and self-reflection, self-directed learning, compelling learning outcomes and a wealth of additional resources.
21N: Upon enrolling, how long will women have access to the program?
SB: We have different courses so it varies. However, as long as the course is still present, they will have access to the program infinitely, including any updates and additions made to the course. If it is a monthly subscription based course, they will have access to all new materials as long as they are enrolled.
21N: What kind of live events can women expect to attend in 2019?
SB: So glad you asked this! RBG events took a hiatus in 2018 due to our first attempt to raise money grassroots style for The RBG Foundation. Though it was a success, it’s time to get back to our roots of connecting women of like-minds, spirits offline and in real life. In 2019, we will be focusing on building connections, as well as, engaging and exchanging resources; utilizing the power in our numbers. From workshops to networking mixers to roundtables, the events are coming back strong in 2019 and I’m super excited!
21N: Of the “New Year, Wiser You” tips you generously provided to 21Ninety, which tip would you say is your most used or highly favored?
SB: Create your own support system, definitely. Many of us get caught up with what we don’t have and who we don’t know. Some people are born into strong networks, many of us are not. For those of us who are not, it doesn’t mean we can’t have one, but we do need to be proactive about creating the support system we need. The idea of creating your own support system has the ability to bring feelings of comfort that can ease the anxiety many of us experience when feeling left out of inner circles, especially professional ones.
21N: What was your biggest highlight professionally last year? And what goals are you assigning to yourself this year?
SB: I think it’s important for folks to hear that not every year is going to be newsworthy or groundbreaking. 2018 was a year of cultivation and tilling for me. If you know anything about gardening, cultivating the soil is the process of removing weeds and loosening the soil so it can retain nutrients and air better. Tilling is much like cultivation, and for me, The RBG Foundation was a new garden bed. Though I did have many highlights, like raising $7200 in scholarship funds and launching the Monthly Engage & Exchange Professional Development Program. I recognize many of my successes were quiet. My theme for 2019 is Elevation. The events will be part of that elevation but all in all, to continue watering my planted seeds.
Photo: The RBG Foundation
21N: Congratulations on raising $7,200 to 9 scholarships in 2018. What numerical goal — or generalized goals — are you seeking to achieve for your Scholarship Fund this year?
SB: Thank you so much! This year the team and I have a goal to raise $25,000 to give out as many scholarships as possible to girls throughout the country! We are working on specific program goals for the 2019-2020 school year. But our focus right now is donations, donations, donations. The campaign kicks off soon. Someone can support this effort by making a small donation here, every dollar counts.
21N: Can you recall a professional moment of weakness or temporary setback that you had to overcome? If so, how did that lesson make you a better businesswoman?
SB: Countless. Ha! I do my best to not project an image of perfection because it just wouldn’t be accurate. I think this past year forced me to have long talks in the mirror ridding myself completely of any imposter syndrome, weed removing if you will. I signed a few contracts that were well within my scope of knowledge and experience, but being the obviously youngest in the room and the only person of color with folks in high positions, my nerves would get to me. “How am I here?” At the end of one particular workshop I facilitated, a gentleman in his mid-to-late 50s came up to me and said, “I’ve seen my share of speakers, I’ve sat in my share of workshops, you are by far one of the best and most relatable speakers I’ve heard. Keep doing what you’re doing. You’re only going to get better.” Whether or not he knew, at that moment, I knew I had to own my multifaceted skillset because I’m damn good at what I do. I’m not cocky, I’m confident, and that’s the energy I’m bringing into 2019 — elevation.
Photo: The RBG Foundation
21N: Are you working on any professional projects outside of Real Brown Girls?
SB: Not at the moment, my full-time position, freelance contracts, and Real Brown Girls has my plate nice and full. Anything outside of work has to focus on self-care and relaxation. Burning out is no fun, been there, done that. Not doing it again, well that might be presumptuous, but not planning on it anytime soon.
21N: Do you have any final words of advice or encouragement for girls and women of color aspiring to succeed?
SB: Don’t be afraid to be you! It takes some of us longer than others to own it. But we have got to own it. You and me sis. You and me.
Ready. Set. Boss. Our daily email is pouring out inspiration with the latest #BlackGirlBossUp moments, tips on hair, beauty and lifestyle to get you on track to a better you! Sign up today.