On the Rise: Tola Lawal

2015headshot2-1When I think of the word Go Getter, there are a few individuals that comes to mind and Tola Lawal is one of them. Having been the driving force behind some of the best marketing brand , Tola’s work ethic and knack for marketing speaks for itself. These days, you can find Tola doing another type of branding – one that involves providing the youth with the tools needed to pursue a higher education. Read more about Tola below!

1.Where were you 6 months after college?

I always knew I wanted to be in PR/ Marketing but I didn’t know how to get there. After graduation, I applied to various roles in marketing however, after many failed attempts I came across a temp agency that helped me get to my destination and the rest was history. I highly recommend college graduates to reach out to a temp agency and build a relationship with a recruiter in the beginning of their job search.

2.Tell me about your career journey to counseling.

Throughout out my career, I have always been the point of contact for advice, especially when it came to college counseling. When I was laid off in 2014 from BET, I took that opportunity to fuel my curiosity. I first started with doing a tour discussing the transition from high school to college which was sponsored by Black Enterprise. I then launched my non- profit organization Gyrl Wonder. Now, as Assistant of Director of College Success I have never found myself more comfortable and passionate about my job and I enjoy every second of it.

tola_in_class3. What sparked Tola Speaks?

I am a Marketer by nature, I realized that if I wanted to do speaking engagements focused on the youth, I needed to create a successful brand around it.

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On The Rise: Ayana Iman


Around this time last year I stumbled across an article titled Letting Go: I Quit My Job” as I was on my way home from work. Not wanting to miss the context, I held my phone tightly and searched for a nearby bench to digest every word the author Ayana Iman penciled down.  She was very clear on why following her own happiness was more important than clocking in. Since then, I have been a supporter of this amazing soul who  whose risk taking abilities has open new door of opportunities. Let’s find out more about Ayana Iman below.

Tell me a little bit about yourself. 

My name is Ayana Iman, I’m a 25-year-old professional speaker and aspiring life coach. I am the mother of one, a beautiful three-year-old girl named Ayo, the joy of my life. I hold a Bachelors Degree in Journalism and a Masters Degree in Strategic Communications. My professional goals include creating a conference in 2018 for the expansion of #AuthenticConvos, and helping 100,000 people cultivate an attitude of gratitude

Where were you 6 months after college?

6-months after undergrad, I was fired from my first post-graduate job and on the verge of becoming homeless. Soon after, I found out I was pregnant. Let’s just say the top of the year; including graduation, a great internship and travel were a stark difference than how it ended.

You launched an e-book on gratitude last year, how important is it to be grateful?

It’s very important to be grateful, especially because it is the starting point of all abundance. Gratitude remains when happiness fades, it keeps us present and allows us to experience some joy. It is the same reason my current situation looks completely different than 4 years ago. Instead of focusing on lack, I looked at the areas I was abundant, from the love of my family to my health; it all played a role in my progression.

54c1bb94-bc3a-42ff-81e6-9e09491ee16bYou are a serial entrepreneur, how do you stay on top of things while managing your personal life?

I am still in the beginning stages of my career building a foundation and learning how to become a successful entrepreneur. However, being busy comes with the territory, and I prioritize my time with my family, especially my daughter and boyfriend. They are very involved with my projects so it makes it easier to manage my personal life.

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5 Valuable Lessons from The Three Doctors Foundation Mentor Day

14372051_10153654882651582_1012988330988310449_oAs you probably know by now, my heart is  deeply rooted in helping others. Moving in the states at the age of 12 age, it was strangers that helped me accommodate to my new lifestyle but also helped in regards to pursuing a higher education. This is why whenever I can share information or help  others, I DO IT!

So of course, when my friend reached out to me to become a mentor for a day at the Three Doctors Foundation, I didn’t think twice about it and boy was I glad I got the invitation.  Here I was surrounded by individuals who had questions regarding college, finding their passion and  much more.

14444657_10153654868291582_3150717928921343090_oAlthough my job was to teach my group about my college and career track, by the end of the day , I was the one that walked out with valuable lessons. As my youngest mentee, a six grader told me  “Don’t let fear  stop you from living, go and ride  Kingda Ka.” * he doesn’t know how bad I hate roller coasters* face palm, but I might give it a try this year.

Here are 5 valuable lessons that I learned during my mentorship day.

  1. Impossible means “I’m Possible”
  2. Don’t take challenges personally.
  3. Don’t indict yourself based on your shortcomings.
  4. Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you.
  5. Don’t let fear  stop you from living.

Save the Date for the next event!

The Three Doctors Foundation Holiday Health Basketball Benefit/Toys for Teens at Edison Job Corps in Edison, NJ; 1-3pm.