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Women's History Month: Honoring Stories of Everyday SHEROES, Trailblazers, Pioneers, and Changemakers.

Black Girl College Prep is dedicated to enhancing the academic prowess, leadership development, and overall life and career preparedness of young women from underserved communities in middle school and up.


As the founder of Black Girl College Prep, I couldn't think of a better time than Women's History Month to highlight a variety of local trailblazers, pioneers, extraordinary changemakers, and professional women in my own network, giving our girls tangible examples of something to strive for. Furthermore, spring is fast approaching, and March is a perfect time to hand out fresh flowers.

I mean, of course, I believe in giving people their flowers when they are still able to smell them.

There is power in storytelling and opportunity in transparency, vulnerability, and humble learning and unlearning. Many of these incredible stories are filled with just that—learning, unlearning, transparency, vulnerability, fearlessness, and charting new paths—which, in my opinion, sums up what Women's History Month is all about. It is through tenacity and authenticity that we create stories that will inspire, guide, and lead the way for a future generation of women. From discussing college majors, career choices, and the highs and lows of growing into womanhood, these women's shared experiences are designed to inspire our network of young girls by amplifying the diversity of their voices and adding to the collective narrative of women's empowerment. These stories contribute to building a more prepared generation of middle school, high school, and college students. 



Black Girl College Prep spotlights Delancia T. Browning, Founder of FlourisHer
Black Girl College Prep spotlights Delancia T. Browning, Founder of FlourisHer

Without further ado, we pay our inaugural homage to Delancia T. Browning. Delancia Browning has a strong desire to help women improve personally and professionally. She founded and owns FlourisHer, a motivational lifestyle brand empowering Black women and girls to blossom into their highest selves by embracing their roots and nourishing their dreams. 


FlourisHer will relaunch on March 21, 2024, including one-on-one and group coaching, podcasts and blogs, newsletters, and subscription boxes, as well as retreats and seminars. Delancia has a BA in Public/Corporate Communications from Marymount University, a Master of Public Administration from the University of the District of Columbia, and a second Master of Legal Studies from American University. While she attended college for one thing, life, and her passion routed her to where she ultimately needed to be. Check out her responses below:

So, Delancia, tell us, what was your major in college, and are you working in that field? If not, why not?

My undergraduate major was public/corporate communications. I'm not currently working in this field, but I'm getting ready to make a comeback! I worked in education and government, where I was able to use skills from that field. Sometimes, life has a funny way of putting you where you need to be. My work in government was essential for being of service to people from marginalized communities—communities like the ones I grew up in.


Being able to serve residents of the District of Columbia and Baltimore was rewarding for me because I was able to serve people who looked like me and who lived in my community, develop programs that supported their socioeconomic well-being, and ensure they had access from an equity lens. Sometimes, I served people I grew up with or whom I may have known throughout my life's journey. 


Now, I'm looking forward to using my collective experiences and hobbies I enjoy to do creative work using my communications degree. I'm about to get another master's in New Media Journalism to elevate my knowledge and learn new skills in the ever-changing landscape of news and media relations. 

What is the best piece of career advice that you've ever gotten, and why?

The piece of career advice that I've given myself (because some advice I thought was outdated) is to never be comfortable, always seek out mentors, and always keep your eyes open for the next opportunity. This is the best career advice because things change—no employment is secure except the employment you create for yourself.


Having mentors and smarter people around helps elevate you and keep you sharp and ready for new opportunities, plus you build relationship currency with people who can help you get to the next level. And always keeping your eyes open for the next opportunity is essential. You never know when an opportunity will present itself; being open-minded to something new, better, and different should always be at the forefront.


Sometimes, you have to take the path less traveled to reach your next destination—or chart unknown territory. Your story and your way are unique, and there's no one path to greatness except consistency, determination, and discipline. 

 What message would you offer your 18-year-old self?

The advice I'd give my 18-year-old self is not to lose yourself in others. Date to have fun, but not for a serious or long time. 

Tell us about your career journey, including both major successes and disappointments.

Wow, so my journey started out with me wanting to pursue a career as a publicist. While attending school, I worked at a private school, which is how I got my start in the education sector, but I was able to use my PR and communication skills while there. When I left, I worked for the University of the District of Columbia, where I obtained my MPA because it was free and I was able to fulfill my passion for government and politics at the time.


Upon graduation and becoming a mom, I got a job in DC government at the Department of Human Services, where I was promoted twice, created programs, and advanced fairly quickly in my role, becoming a trusted advisor to executive leadership, having my name spoken in rooms I wasn't present in, and becoming a sought-after thought partner.

But I hit a glass ceiling. I transferred agencies and later left to go to the private sector during COVID. Since then, I've worked in consulting roles for contracts. I also started my own business, FlourisHER, where I help Black women and girls co-create the life they deserve to live by planting seeds of purpose, nurturing their wildest dreams, and blossoming into the women they imagine and deserve to be.


At the moment, my career journey has hit a brick wall. I'm currently unemployed and looking for my next opportunity. I became disappointed in the last 10 months because I've applied for opportunities in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors and have either been ghosted, turned down for opportunities, or have been deemed overqualified for roles.


But I'm taking it on the chin, focusing on my new journey of building my brand and serving women while identifying opportunities to utilize my communication and writing skills to get back into the PR world, write for lifestyle magazines, and simply build my brand.

What advice would you give a middle schooler, high schooler, or college girl about life?

My advice to a middle schooler (because I'm currently raising one) is to become a student of life early. Use these early adolescent moments to learn self-love, the value of friendships—both being a good friend and identifying good friends—and to build your emotional intelligence.


For high schoolers, my advice is to choose you. Do not go to college because your parents or others are pressuring you to go if that is not in your career plans. There's more than one path to success—identify yours and take it! Nurture your talents and interests and stay focused, but have fun too.


To college girls, life can and will be topsy-turvy, and it will be OK. Make mistakes, but learn from them; do not beat yourself down. Identify your circle of hope through your friends, family, mentors, and others you may meet along the way. Stay true to who you are; some situations and people are seasonal, but always know how to tell time. Know when to stay and when to go; do not sacrifice yourself or your dreams for any one relationship; learn the power of "no," and it's OK to choose you all the time.


Be gentle and kind to yourself; there are going to be hard days, and the world and the people in it will not always be kind or gentle. Love you always, and remember that life is a full circle. Keep your faith and gratitude high. Strength is knowing that being strong is not a requirement, but being resilient is the best-kept secret. Show up as your full self, unmask, and uncape yourself; those items are heavy and useless. 

What does Women's History Month mean to you, as a Black woman?

Women's History Month means being bold, unapologetic, and celebrating my womanhood. Living in color, being bold and amazing like the Black women who have blazed paths before me to show up as my full self, take up space, and be amazing. Being a woman, especially a Black woman, is a privilege many wish they had. So always make sure your crown is always adjusted and fitted. 


I sincerely hope that you enjoyed and gleaned something valuable from Delancia's story.  Be sure to share your top takeaways with your learners or the students in your sphere of influence.


Again, it is by sharing our experiences that we can educate, motivate, and empower the next generation of lady leaders.


Happy Women's History Month! Make sure to tune in at the same time next week.


Connect with Delancia at @the.flourish.podcast or here Delancia T. Browning 


Xo,

Coach Rahk


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