Back to School Series: How to inspire an emPOWERed school year

Educators and parents, mentors and coaches all care about the wellbeing and livelihood of young people in our communities.  We are well aware that twenty-first century tweens and teens face unprecedented challenges that many of us may have never imagined, from cyberbullying, drama, trauma and immense societal pressure. 

 But to combat these challenges, I was inspired to do something.

Nearly 15 years ago, I was a mentor and youth advocate who wanted to do something to make a difference for middle and high school students – who like me – were teased, bullied and ostracized by classmates and even relatives.

In 2010, I launched Empowered Flower Girl. Since we started, we’ve been on a mission to transform the way young people relate to one another. Through workshops and programs that address and combat cyberbullying, relational aggression and other social/communications challenges facing youth, we work to empower the next generation of leaders.

So as students prepare for a new school year, we want to remind the adults in their lives of the importance of collaboration aka the Village approach.

It takes parents, educators, community members and youth themselves to truly make a difference.

Let’s work together to ensure that every young person has a successful and safe school year!

Business is Delightful for Detroit-area Tweenpreneur

Asia 2
Asia Washington is a serial entrepreneur. From creating whimsical necklaces and soy wax melts to launching a line of doll accessories, Asia is diversifying her business and brand portfolio. 

You’d expect this sort of entrepreneurial prowess from someone in their 30s. But Asia, 11, is a girl empowered and ready for world domination! 

I caught up with her after meeting this summer at a church carnival/picnic where she and her mom were selling their “delightful” goods.

What businesses do you own? I own Delightful Ribbons, a hair bow and doll accessories business. I make and sell hair bows and headbands for girls and 18- inch dolls. I recently started hand painting designs on t-shirts for the 18 inch dolls to match my hair accessories. When I’m not making doll accessories, I make soy wax melts with my mother. She allows me to make my own scent creations and sell them to her fans on Facebook.

How old were you when you started your businesses?  I started at the tender age of eight. When I started out, I made chunky beaded necklaces and soy wax melts.

What do you like most about being an entrepreneur?  You get to choose something you really like or love doing and start selling it for money. Plus, you get to be your own boss.

What are your hopes for your future?  My hope for the future is to one day sell enough crafts so that when I’m ready for college I can afford it. I plan on attending school to become an architect /illustrator.

What advice would you give to kids who want to start a business?  You might want to start with something simple or your hobbies first and soon as you get really good at it, you can start selling it. The better you get with your skill the more money you can sell it for. You never know unless you try. Don’t be afraid of rejection because it just makes you stronger.

You can find Asia’s awesome products at delightfulribbons.com.