The city of Akron, Ohio has a special gift. It’s Fadia—Young Women’s Program founded by Yvette Thompson, which was established to help empower young women in the community by exploring thoughtful and innovative opportunities to strive for a better way of life.
“We promote togetherness, [and] stimulate personal and collective growth,” says Thompson. The young women are provided the tools to overcome challenges, develop self-confidence and personal acceptance, as well as peer empowerment and seek interest in making a positive impact on the world around them through personal development and team building.
The program is filled with highly self-motivated, self-starters who cultivate an attitude of self-service. Fadia incorporates public speaking exercises, group facilitation, and other communication skills.
Here’s Thompsons interview.
What is your day-to-day like at work?
Extremely busy. Currently, I’m back in college to become my own grant writer. I am also an owner of two daycare centers and in between networking and attending events daily. Not to mention, I’m a full time auntie with my nephew Emil.
What inspires you to show up at work every day?
When I see myself making a difference in many children’s lives daily. When I see that I’m able to help one child a week, I feel accomplished. It’s nothing greater than a feeling of being loved passionately.
How did you determine your career path?
My nephew helped me decide my career path when he was born in 2001. I was inspired to start my own organization and help many young children. Then, when my grandmother passed away in 2011, that’s when it all hit me that I needed to start what I’ve been procrastinating for years.
What industries connect to your career choice?
Education: youth, childcare, community, and counseling services.
Describe the future skill sets that are essential to future business leaders and innovators.
Understanding the process on self-control and battling storms when they come. Some people tend to think everything is supposed to flow and be easy. Without a storm, you won’t be able to appreciate your process and the direction you are going in in life to blossom. You have to continuously stay prayed up and have faith. Most importantly, never give up, even when you feel like you are ready to.
Define innovation methods you apply to your business and life.
I like to be unique and different with everything that I do. The children in the organization are the ones that define what it is and make it so successful. I have and continue to break cycles within my family. Starting with my organization and by reaching and assisting those that impact through mentorship, empowerment, and encouragement.
Describe goal setting methods you use and how do you evaluate success.
My goal is to always “turn my pain into power.” Don’t let anything [in] that tries to break me or define me. I have many young children that look up to me daily and I don’t want to contradict myself on what I teach them or the example that I am setting.
Who do you consider your peers in your field? How have they supported you? What best practices have they shared?
It’s only one person in my field that has supported me since day one, Ms. Tammy. She helped to place structure into my organization and she also [may] donate her time and knowledge. The best practice she shared was not giving up because it has been plenty of times I cried to her wanting to throw in the towel because it’s very challenging.
Name your favorite role models for success in two different industries.
I can honestly say that I don’t have any role models who are in industries. My role models are my mom and my Aunt Gail.
Names two books that changed how you saw life and you recommend to others.
Bible and The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace D. Walters
Describe why life long learning is important to you.
It takes a lot of consistency, commitment and self-motivation. Knowledge is the primary source of value in anyone’s life. Breaking cycles in other people’s life and including my own is a learning process. So the more I learn and enhance my abilities to help others, I will be able to feed whatever I know into our youth.
Describe the voice of success that you hear in your head.
I always hear my grandmother’s voice. She used to always yell at me all the time and I never understood why until now. She always saw the potential I had and she wanted me to be strong and be prepared [for] anything that came in my direction.
Community success based on what you do in the community means what to you?
It means everything to me. Sometimes we give up on our community and sometimes we have to understand the concept of people having the lack of knowledge on things in life and how they were raised. Children continuously learn from the parent and the parent was a child at a point of time, as well.
Technology plays what role in your daily life?
It plays a huge role because most of the time it’s how I communicate with parents and children daily.
What software and technology tools have made the biggest difference in your life?
Facebook has made the biggest difference out of all the social media. I have used Facebook for the Fadia Young Women’s Program to reach out to other young ladies.
Define your personal culture.
Powerful, beautiful, strong and one-of-a-kind.
How does music impact and influence you?
Music can help influence my atmosphere depending on my current mood. Most of the time I listen to R&B and relaxing music.
Describe your favorite vacation spot.
Jamaica. It makes me feel free and at peace with myself. It takes my mind from everything that I have going on at home.
If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
The negativity and hate that women have towards each other. We don’t have each other spine like we really should. It’s always a question mark and motive when it needs to be togetherness.
If you could change one thing about your self, what would it be?
I’m very anti-social. I need to communicate with people more and keep in contact. I always find myself being to myself for the most part.