As we all know, the month of March has been such a rollercoaster. With everything going on, Women’s month wasn’t really celebrated in its full capacity. To honor the month, and end it in the right way, we had to bring back fan favorite….Women on The Rise. It has been such a long time, but FINALLY….WE ARE BACK.
The Women on The Rise series has returned, and this time full force! By now, (if you’re a frequent reader), you already know how this goes. The Women on The Rise series is a series that highlights amazing women in the DMV that are trailblazing and making their mark in the area. These women come from all walks of life, in different fields, and professions. Since it’s Women’s Month, we HAD to bring it back. This one is JAM PACKED, so without taking too much of your time…..Women on The Rise: Women’s Month Edition!
Ashli Kolawole (@__dollyp)
Ashli Kolawole is a 26 year old Nigerian American with a love for all things PR and women! She is a Brand architect (an AMAZING one btw) and a PR strategist. She is the CEO of her own Creative Agency known as ATENKO which focuses on PR strategies and Brand development. She is also the founder of GRL GETTER. Grl Getter is a community of aggressively enterprising women focused on connecting with one another in our career and everyday lives. She began her entrepreneurial journey because she was interested in the world of PR and how influential PR professionals are in the success of any industry. She has a thing for problem solving, finding solutions and acting as a liaison so she instantly wanted to create a lane of her own.
In the beginning she was interested in Fashion and music, but as time went on she found her niche. She is passionate about elevating brands to their full potential and introducing them to the world with the best foot forward. Our generation in particular is full of so many creatives but she finds that sometimes they don’t know how to execute that amazing vision and that’s exactly where Atenko comes in.
She started Grl Getter in 2017. Her main goal and reason of starting was because she wanted a safe space for women to be able to elevate and inspire each other, NOT only in entrepreneurship but also in their 9-5’s and in everyday living. When she first started her creative agency, it took her some time to really decide what direction she wanted to go in. As time went on she began to create connections in her career and everyday life. She would meet people who would connect her and plug her in. That’s when she knew she wanted to start Grl Getter and create a space that would take women places they would’ve never imagined and to create lifelong fruitful relationships.
Ashli is a Woman on The Rise because she has created a platform where women can cultivate meaningful relationships and connections. In addition to her platform, she puts her all in her brand, and does the same with every single brand she works with. She is really the bomb.com, and we cannot wait to see the great things she has in store! To keep up with her follow her personal and business instagrams, @atenkopr & @grl.getter.
Tamani Lyn (@tamanilyn)
Maryland native, Tamani Lyn, is a 21 year-old college student in her senior year at Bowie State University, studying Communications with a focus in Public Relations, aiding her in successfully founding her own women’s empowerment organization, WOMEN OF LYN, LLC and financial advising company, Lyn Financial Advising Co.
Tamani always knew that her dream would consist of anything having to do with women’s empowerment or teaching financial literacy throughout her community. With original ideas and meticulous planning, she has watched her first found ideas and dreams come into full fruition right before her eyes with her brands.
Tamani always knew that her passions would be centered around inspiring, encouraging, and uplifting others. WOMEN OF LYN was started to make positive change in the community centered around women and encouraging all women to be bosses, and Lyn Financial Advising Co was started to teach financial literacy throughout the community.
Tamani is a Woman on The Rise because she is using her passion to inspire and uplift women everywhere. Through workshops, her mentoring program, her podcast, and so much more, she is giving women the tools to become the best woman they could possibly be. She is selfless and professional, and she serves as the epitome of a go getter. At such a young age, she has found her purpose and is moving aggressively in it. Tamani is breaking down barriers, and bringing women along with her! She is just getting started! To keep up with her, or to get involved with a few of her programs, follow her business page @womenoflyn.
Brittany Dorsey (@accordingtobrittt)
Brittany is a Woman of God, purpose, light, and love. Originally from Queens, NY by way of Willingboro, NJ, she graduated from Morgan State University in 2019, earning her Bachelors of Social Work. She is one of the manifestors of the Back 2 [H.E.R] podcast.
She fell in love with her journey of evolution and gaining the knowledge of self. Through this journey, she became aware of the influence she had on other woman in her reach. While at Morgan, she served as Miss Morgan State University. It gave her a platform to inspire woman, publicly speak, and plan events to connect with woman on a deep spiritual, emotional and mental level. Through that platform she realized her purpose in life. She knew she couldn’t stop once her reign ended.
She loved speaking and connecting over uncomfortable but necessary conversations , spreading wisdom and knowledge, and being a light to those in her reach. This is where her connection with her podcast co- host came about. They had a very deep conversation, and later her co-host reached out to her and asked if she was interested in hosting a knowledge of self workshop with her and doing a podcast to promote the event.
After their first meeting, they realized the podcast was a God given idea and they ran with it. Back 2 [H.E.R] podcast launched on January 4,2020. Back 2 [H.E.R] is a platform designed to Heal, Evolve women from all walks of life. Since their official launch, they have been streamed in 16 states all across America. Also streaming in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. They are available on Anchor, Spotify, Breaker, Google Podcast, Overcast, Pocketcast, Radiopublic and Apple. She can be found on Instagram at @Officialback2her and at @AccordingtoBritt
Brittany is a Woman on The Rise because of she selflessly uses her influence and platform to build her fellow sisters. She speaks words of love and light, and uses her podcast to help women everywhere. From her bubbly personality, to her mature mindset, Brittany is a person you always want around. B2H is just the beginning for this phenomenal woman.
Joy Griffin (@joyjoelene)
Joy Joelene, a woman built on faith, reformation, and healing, is an advocate of spirituality and internal growth. She is a proud graduate of Morgan State University, where she became a member of The Always Divine, Alpha Delta Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Joy also advanced onto serving as the Student Government Association President, where she and her team worked diligently to make several impactful changes for the campus community.
Currently, she attends Johns Hopkins University and is pursuing her Masters of Science degree with a concentration in Government Policy. Enlightenment is a passion of hers, which she likes to spread to those around her. It is because of this passion that she co-established, ‘Back 2 Her’, which is a podcast dedicated towards healing, evolving, and revolutionizing women from all walks of life. She is an adamant believer in The Most High divinely and carefully paving her way so that she is able to inspire anyone she comes into contact with. Joy has been featured in many workshops and panel discussions. She can be found on Instagram @JoyJoelene!
Joy is a Woman on The Rise, like her co-host Brittany, because of her selfless use of influence. She uses her own life lessons to speak light and love to her listeners everywhere. Her gentle spirit and humility are characteristics that have taken her far. Her desire to be an advocate for growth has allowed her to move in her purpose and we are here for it!
Ruth Addisu (@channelonenine)
Ruth is a certified Audio and Visual Technician, Photographer, and Editor hailing from the great state of Maryland. She received her Bachelors degree from Towson University in 2018. She majored in Film with a focus in Television Broadcast accompanied with a minor in Women Studies. Her photography experience trails back to 2015. Since then she has taken captured moments and participated in interviews with people from Keri Hilson to Ndaba Mandela. Her event visual experience ranges capturing from baby showers, concerts, and banquets; to setting up lighting and audio for corporate events.
Her experience doesn’t stop there, she has managed social media accounts for Towson University Admissions, international news broadcasters, and more. She has been featured on a weekly international radio health program, and is the recipient of the 2018 Joe Manns Black Wall Street Award.
Since being established in 2015, the mission of her brand is to develop content with integrity that produces dialogue and transcribes the truth.
She started doing video production in high school and fell in love with it. She saw photography as a way to master framing and coloring so that she could apply it to her video background.
Ruth is a Woman on The Rise because her passion for photography has inspired so many. Her talent has allowed her clients visions to come to life. She tells stories through her art, and this is something to thoroughly enjoys.
She strives to capture the reality of life, and not produce altered images that can mislead audiences of true reality.She hopes to one day capture someone’s reality, which will inspire someone to change their direction of life to improve the reality of others.
Moni Osibodu @moniosibodu)
Moni Osibodu is a Nigerian influencer located in Lagos, Nigeria. She started her YouTube channel MoniTalks her senior year of college. Once she graduated from Morgan State University in 2015, she moved to Nigeria 2 weeks later to chase her dreams which is Nigerian entertainment.
Within 6 months of moving, she worked at one of the top TV stations, HipTv, as a TV presenter. Fast forward 5 years, she is now a freelancer. She host events, concerts, and has been featured on a couple of tv shows. She still has Moni Talks where she has interviewed a number of top Nigerian artists. These artists include Naira Marley, Zlatan, Burna boy, Dbanj, Olamide, and so much more! She also holds an event called Mo’s Playlist. It is a showcase that is done every couple of months. Its purpose is to put emerging artists on. She invites these artists to perform, and she invites her industry friends such as A list artists, record label executives, and new potential fans.
Moni is a Woman on The Rise because of her will to always bet on herself. Ever since knowing Moni, she has always danced to the beat of her own drum. She has always made a way for herself, and it is great to see her hard work paying off. She is the definition of GRIND and she is truly self made. We can’t help but to stan. Make sure to keep up with her to see what she’s got cooking up next!
Esther Alayo (@crowned.queene)
Esther Alayo, aka S’TA, is 24 year old singer/songwriter born in Washington D.C. The songstress grew up in Maryland and in the summer of 2014, she relocated to Texas. Music stole her heart at a very young age. At 18 months she began to speak, and by the age of two she was already singing. She believes singing was something that was embedded in her.
She refers to music as her culture and singing is her language. This is why it was so shocking that she put off singing for so long. Like many African kids, she was raised to do “practical things” like going to school and getting a degree in something “ideal”. Although she came from a musical family, and she had the support of her parents, she was still always told that music wasn’t going to pay the bills and that she needed something solid. Because of this, she put music off, but lucky for us, she silenced the noise, and finally overcame her fear. On February 16th, 2020, she released her debut single “BOJU”.
Esther is a Woman on The Rise because she went against the grain, took a leap of faith, and followed her true passion. It took a lot of courage to do so, and we are so happy she did. Her bravery led her to uncover her inner diva, and she calls this woman of power S’TA and she doesn’t playyyyyyy. We know she has so much more in store so stay tuned!
Vicha’n Cooper (@vichaaaan)
Vicha’n Cooper is a 24 year old KIPP educator. She is a graduate of the illustrious Morgan State University, and she is the CEO and Founder of VVENTURES INC. VVENTURES INC. was created simply from her daily life routine. She feels the understanding of self is essential for growth and the changes that life brings. There was no other way she could do this, but through journaling. Journaling became a ritual for her and she figured what better way to go through this experience, than sharing it with the world.
VVENTURES INC. Is an adventure of finding your purpose and awareness of self through journaling. It’s desired purpose is for one to learn and grow by understanding your own process. It is not to aid you along the way, but just pick your brain for you to visually see and hear your own thoughts. Many times when that happens we compare where we want to go and where we are currently and start to create life changing experiences. At this stage, you have become your own agent of change. In addition to having a brand, she is a professional hair braider.
Vicha’n is a Woman on The Rise because of the lane she has created for herself. By opening up and sharing an intimate daily routine, she birthed a brand that allows its readers to heal and grow. Since its creation, she has done so much and we know she will continue to do more! To keep up with Vicha’n and join in on the journey, be sure to follow her brand (@vventuresinc)and hair braiding page (@braivvdsbyvichan).
Oluwatosin Adedoyin (@loveabletee)
Oluwatosin Adedoyin is a Nigerian local fashion designer located in the DMV, and is the CEO of her own brand Tosin Ade LLC. Her vision is to cater to the customization & development of exclusive garments created uniquely for each client.
Graduating from Towson university, Tosin Ade started this journey her senior year in college and put forth much time and commitment towards her passion to later launch her own Business, Tosin Ade LLC, in January 2019.
Tosin is a Woman On The Rise because her designs are authentic and original. Her pieces are clean, cut, and unique. She effortlessly seams high fashion and afro prints to create a line of clothes that is to die for! She just recently dropped her 2020 collection, and the pieces are unforgettable. We cannot wait till her designs are seen in the likes of Vogue and on A listers like Rihanna! To purchase some items of your own, follow her business page (@tosinade)!
Jazmine Boyd (@yourgirljaz)
Jasmine Boyd is a 23 year old photographer hailing from Oxon Hill,MD. She is a graduate of THE best HBCU in the land, Morgan State University. Jazmine started photography because it brought out her creative side. It allows her to capture special moments others might not see. She loves how you can turn just about anything into a work of art. Not only is this beauty a beast behind the lens, but she is completely self taught.
Jazmine is a Woman on The Rise because she is the definition of determination and raw talent. Despite not having the technical skill for photography, she did not let that stop her. She taught herself, and has allowed her talent to make way for her. Her photos are eye catching and vibrant, and her edits are flawless. This is one lens you want to be in front of! To support her, follow her photography page (@jshots__)
Monjama Nyalley (@yourssstrulymj)
Monjama Nyalley is a creative hailing from Washington D.C., who now resides in Prince George’s County. The Sierra Leonean native is a lover of old school music, wine and food. She graduated from the first HBCU, Lincoln University where she pledged Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. She received her degree in Biology with a minor inPsychology. Although she enjoys many hobbies, her favorite is writing.
Her love for writing began at the age of 12. She was dealing so much trauma so she began to go to therapy. It was there that her therapist gave her a book by Maya Angelou, I Know What The Caged Bird Sings. The book changed her life forever. It inspired her own style of writing. The rawness and vulnerability of her words pushed Mj to do the same in her writing. She truly believes writing saved her life.
She is the creative mind behind “Listen Up I Got A Story to Tell”. She wanted to start her writing brand for a while, but kept pushing it off. One day she was driving in her car listening to music, and she heard the song I Got A Story to Tell. From there, her blog was born. Mj uses her blog as a creative outlet for her poetry and thoughts. She also wanted to use this platform to feature others as well as help others. She allows a space where people can share stories of their own. She believes it is a safe space where others can tell their stories and free themselves while saving someone else. Through her blog, she started a prom dress drive, and is on the way to launching her scholarship. These are just a preface to what she has planned.
Monjama is a Woman on The Rise because she despite the anticipation in the beginning, she finally opened up and shared her passion with the world. Not only is she allowing her passion to make way for herself, but she’s choosing to use her platform to help others. She hopes to create her mark on the world, and inspire people. She wants people to know that no matter who they are or where they are from can know their story matters. To read or blog or donate to her many causes, follow her blog page (@listenupigotastorytotell)
Jillian Curry (@jilliancurry16)
Jillian Christina Curry is an educator, motivational speaker, and empowerment coach haling from Edison, New Jersey. She is a graduate of Morgan State University. Ms. Curry currently serves as a 4th grade teacher in Columbia, Maryland. She believes that the academic, emotional, and physical strengthening of children is the solution to many of society’s ills.
Aside from teaching, she is a motivational speaker, certified self-esteem and empowerment coach and creator of the Millennials in Worship Brand; a brand created to uplift and inspire young women and men experiencing the everyday struggles of a modern day millennial. Through her journey, she dreams of making a difference in the life of children and adults who battle low self-esteem and depression as it is important to understand that happiness and success can still reign supreme during some of life’s most challenging times. Through her platform, she hopes to inspire the world to accept their unique destiny as life has the potential to be all that we want it to be, if we only believe!
Jillian is a Woman on The Rise because she has always moved in her passion. She has always used her platform to uplift her community. Whether that is her students, women in her community, etc., you can always count on Jillian being transparent and delivering a WORD. Her brand Millennials in Worship offers a daily morning prayer line that has helped many overcome strongholds and receive breakthroughs. Jillian is a light anywhere she goes, and we can’t help but to admire a woman moving in her purpose.
Danielle Sadé Williams (@fashionably.dsade)
Danielle Sadé Williams is a beauty/fashion blogger located in Baltimore, MD. She is a New Jersey native who is a lover of all things style and beauty. She created “Fashionably D. Sadé” to show how it’s okay to be yourself in your walk of style. The name originated from her being “fashionably late” to everything, she was always late for a very beautiful and stylish reason. She really wants to inspire those around her and convey the message that you don’t need the fanciest brand or the most the exaggerated outfit to fashionably express how wonderful you are.
Danielle is a Woman on The Rise because she is fashionably her. She is completely herself anywhere she goes, and she inspires others to do the same. Her style is unique and her fashion sense is none like we’ve seen. She is 100% authentic and we appreciate it. This Queen is also multitalented. As stated above, she is also a beauty blogger. This has allowed her to be an entrepreneur, and trust she doesn’t disappoint. To see what exactly we’re talking about, follow her!
Tolani Taiwo @tolaninaomi)
Tolani Taiwo is a senior Health Promotion major at Morgan State University. She is the owner of health brand Naomi Health Promotion. NHP is a health and wellness brand that promotes staying active and eating healthy. After graduation, she wishes to become a celebrity personal trainer.
Naomi has always loved sports, and has been an athlete. When her track career ended, she was trying to figure out how she could carry on her love for fitness, and from there her first baby was born; Naomi Fitness. She solely focused on fitness, however, when she began digging deeper into her major courses, she realized that she had a passion for health in all aspects. When she came to that realization, she decided to transition from Naomi Fitness to Naomi Health Promotion.
Tolani is a Woman on The Rise because of her dedication to healthy living. She doesn’t just promote fitness, she promotes healthy living all around. She gives her clients and followers information and tips that will help them reach their goal. She uses her platform not only to provide motivation to get in shape, but to encourage everyone to achieve whatever their life goals are. She is all about putting her clients first and helping them understand how the body works. Tolani is also a go getter, despite all the things that may try and stop her, she keeps elevating. She loves what she does and it shows. If you’re trying to get snatched by the time quarantine is up, this is the woman to contact!
Chelsea Okoro (@dineroboss)
Chelsea Okoro aka “DJ Dinero” is a 25 year old Nigerian, born and raised in Landover, MD (now in Largo, MD). She has always been a go getter her entire life. During her high school years at Largo High School, she was always grinding. She was always selling candy, snacks, juice, whatever the people needed. The hustle and grind was always embedded in her
Being a dj was never a dream of hers.It was something that came about at the end of her 11th grade year. A friend of hers was having a big house party and his dj backed out at the last minute. She always uploaded music for money to people’s mp3 players and iPods, so she was asked if she could DJ that party. The rest was history.
Once she got to college, she saw there was a lack of female DJs, which discouraged her from DJing. At the end of her freshman year in undergrad, a close friend, Adedire Ososanya, encouraged her to DJ at school. Luckily, she took that advice, and when her sophomore year came around, she became the first female DJ to ever win a DJ competition in Morgan State history.
Overtime, she began to recieve more recognition, booking more gigs, becoming the official dj for all athletic events, and much more. After graduating from Morgan State in May 2019, her DJ career took catapulted. She now Djs all types of events. With the help of her manger and close friend, Rashida Kamara, She was able host her first musical showcase in November 2019. Following the sold out event, Chelsea got the opportunity open up for Larry June, DJ for Premo Rice, and sis is even going on tour this year!
Chelsea is a Woman on the Rise because she is truly a trailblazer. She is dominating in a field that is known to be predominately be for men. Becoming the first female DJ to win a DJ competition at Morgan State is no small feat. She is the one to watch, and we truly believe in the near future, DJ Dinero is going to be a problem! Despite being super talented, she is very humble. A few Djs she apprecitates and looks up to are looked up to are DJ Dezzy Dez, DJ PhilloFlexx, DJ KiloVibes, DJ Flow, DJ C-Stylez, DJ VonChase and DJ SmoothRell. If you need a DJ post-quarantine, Chels is your woman!