Most people know Boston for its sports teams, its top universities, its landmarks and overall old-timey aesthetic charm. But I've come to know Boston more intimately for its rich (and often untold) Black history.
Soon after moving to Massachusetts 3 years ago, I noticed that I didn't often see women who looked like me in leadership roles. Seeking to be a change agent myself, I first studied some of Boston's own Black women of the past:
Elizabeth Freeman (1744-1829), born enslaved, sued for her freedom and won. Her case set the legal precedent to abolish slavery in Massachusetts
Maria Stewart (1803-1879), moved to Boston as a domestic servant and became the first female political writer and lecturer of any race in the United States
Rebecca Lee Crumpler (1831-1895), graduated from Boston University as the first Black woman in the United States to earn a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree
Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin (1842-1924), founded Woman's Era, America's first newspaper published by and for Black Women, and convened the First National Conference of the Colored Women of America in Boston in 1895
Yet, no matter how hard I tried to channel these women's wisdom, candor, and resilience, it felt like I kept running into roadblock after roadblock. Fortunately, I also ran into other Black women who not only mirrored but also watered my ambition. Those women are now my project partners, my mentors, and my second family. I lean on them every day to scale new roadblocks and dismantle old ones.
Get Girls Going (GGG) is a Boston-based community of Black women and girls doing just that: scaling and dismantling roadblocks through mentorship, workshops, and field experience. This giving season, I'm asking my network to support Get Girls Going in continuing the legacy of Black women trailblazers and cultivating the entrepreneurial spirits of today's Black teenage girls by helping me to raise $1000 to support GGG's Black Girl Entrepreneurship Fund.
Tayana's Story: A Passionate Leader on the Path to Success
Tayana Antoine is a 16-year-old junior at Fenway High School in Boston MA. Tayana joined Get Girls Going as part of the inaugural cohort in Boston. Tayana came to Get Girls Going knowing that she wanted to make an impact in people's lives and applied to the Get Girls Going intensive 6-week entrepreneurship incubator.
Tayana is the oldest of four and grew up around pregnant women her whole life. She was exposed to the struggles that come with pregnancies for a lot of mothers and aspires to one day become an ob-gyn that utilizes traditional and psychological practices to ensure that pregnant women are getting what they need to have successful pregnancies. Tayana’s passion is constantly thinking of ways to improve the lives of pregnant women, especially minority women who are at higher risk for prenatal depression, postpartum, maternal mortality, and morbidity.
During her time at Get Girls Going, Tayana worked with her mentors to uncover the struggles that pregnant women faced and conducted a survey where she asked pregnant women what they needed to feel excited about their pregnancy. As a solution, Tayana created Ainoa - a business to help women feel confident and excited during and after their pregnancies. Anioa’s mission is to ensure that each pregnancy is a pregnancy to remember. Ainoa will provide mothers-to-be monthly subscription boxes filled with stylish maternity clothes, loungewear, lingerie, affirmation cards, oils, gadgets, and all-natural products to help pregnant women feel good. As beautiful as pregnancies are, not every woman gets to enjoy the process. Tayana believes that every second counts and every memory that is made is a special one when you're pregnant. Her goal is to make sure moms all over the country can create as many memories as possible throughout their journey with Ainoa.
In May of 2022, Ainoa will launch its website and products to the public. Tayana was the first place winner of the Get Girls Going 2021 Pitch Night Competition and credits her success to being part of the Get Girls Going Summer Incubator insisting that,
“I’m pursuing something that I love and I am passionate about. GGG gave me the confidence to know that I can make a difference in the world even as a teenager and has given me the resources to make that happen .”
Read some more stories here: https://www.getgirlsgoing.org/2021-cohort
With your support, more teen girls like Tayana will have the opportunity to thrive. Together we can support the next generation and build a better tomorrow.
- Your gift of $50 purchases two wellness workshop kits for a teen girl entrepreneur
- Your gift of $100 supports one teen entrepreneur with a field trip
- Your gift of $250 sponsors a teen entrepreneur throughout an entire school year of entrepreneurship workshops
- Your gift of $700 covers prototyping costs and sponsors website costs for two entrepreneurs.
- Your gift of $1500 sponsors one teen entrepreneur for the entire summer and helps us build a cohort of teen entrepreneurs on the the path to success