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

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 Lanesha Whitefield
Black Girl College Prep spotlights Lanesha Whitefield

Without further ado, today, we pay homage to Lanesha Whitefield. Lanesha is a  Middle Tennessee State University Blue Raiders graduate who has a strong passion for non-profit work and financial literacy.


Let's check out some of Lanesha's career path and the story that got her where she is today. 

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

I have a bachelor's of business administration in marketing from Middle Tennessee State University. My master's is in nonprofit organization management. I am happy to say that I am one of the lucky ones who gets to work in their field and passion. I work for a nonprofit organization.

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

The best piece of career advice that I've received is to know your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, also known as SWOT. Knowing your SWOT is the ultimate analysis of yourself and your career. It's a way to brag and celebrate yourself. It will also make you hold yourself accountable and highlight key growth opportunities within your life and career.

This has been the most valuable career advice because I want to be the best Lanesha possible. Being realistic about who and where I am allows me to set tangible goals that will take me to the next level. Presently, I use this advice by mapping my life quarterly. I am always checking in with myself to evaluate what's working and what's not working.

Every quarter has a goal (written down), and perhaps most importantly, I talk to someone I trust. Therapist, mentor, coach, pastor, teacher, it doesn't matter; I use my village to support me and hold me accountable.

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

When I go back to my 18-year-old self, the best message I can share is to TRUST yourself, be patient with yourself, and give yourself grace. 

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

I feel lucky to have two passions in which I've worked: financial literacy and nonprofit organization management. For a portion of my career, I served the Chicagoland area in banking. I now support women and organizations in the healthcare industry in their career development and their DEI journey. I am truly doing what I envisioned myself doing so many years ago.

In my 18+ year career, I've learned that disappointments are a part of life and a part of the journey. I would say the times I stayed too long in a place that I had outgrown didn't serve me, eventually producing disappointment. Times like these also provided opportunities to grow. Upon recognizing this, I reminded myself to get out of my own way and to boldly go toward my next adventure. Moving on to those new and next adventures makes me feel supported, and I can always sense my career growth.

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

My advice to a middle schooler is to stay focused. Your grades are important, and learn how to create a budget.

For high schoolers, my advice is to volunteer in your community, keep your grades up, learn how to create a budget and shadow a professional at least twice a year in the career you are thinking about pursuing.

To college girls, create a budget and start to learn/practice negotiating your salary/pay. You are paid what you negotiate. Volunteer in your community, be patient and give yourself grace. The college experience is truly a great opportunity to nurture your unique talents and dreams.

To all girls: Talk to a trusted adult when you need support. Your mental health is a part of your overall health and read more books!

And know that every dream you write down and take action on will come true. Celebrate your successes and learn from your failures. Again, read more!

Start whatever your "it" is with a prayer, and end "it" with a prayer. Lastly, read Psalms 143:8 every morning. It will be a beacon of light on your journey and path.

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

Women's History Month is a confirmation that women are truly uniquely and wonderfully made. It is the celebration of women who dare to show their superpowers to the world. To me, it is proof that our capes may look like lab/white coats, aprons, peaked caps, pens, calculators, wrenches, telescopes, a briefcase, hot combs, a paintbrush, and any other thing we choose to support our greatness.


I sincerely hope that you enjoyed and gleaned something valuable from Lanesha's insight.  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 Lanesha at


Coach Rahk


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