Rolling Out

Young & Brilliant’s Desiree’ Faye is bridging racial economic wealth gap

The young entrepreneur is doing her part

It all came full circle for Desiree’ Faye at the Nile River. Faye worked a six-figure job, owned a car and a home, but still felt unfulfilled in life. The epiphany she had by the riverside was that life was bigger than her personal desires. She decided to found Young & Brilliant, an organization with the goal of closing the racial economic wealth gap.

Faye recently spoke to rolling out about the organization, finances, and mental wellbeing.

What was that moment like for you when you had that “ah-ha” moment in Egypt? 

It’s funny because as we are in mental health month, it was actually in 2021. My doctor had taken me out on FMLA, and I was a consultant for one of the top firms. I just remember overlooking the Nile River, and just crying hysterically and saying to God, “This can’t be it. I did everything society told me I was supposed to do. I got the degrees, I bought the house and got the career, but why is there still a level of unfulfillment that I’m feeling on the inside?” As I was sitting there having this conversation with God, I heard, “Focus on the youth.”

I didn’t really understand what it meant at the time, and it was a solo trip, so I had a lot of introspective time. But as the trip progressed, and as I started digging a bit more, I started to hear more of what Young & Brilliant was going to become and I just started executing it.

What has it been like to see the organization’s growth since it came into being?

It’s mind-blowing sometimes. I’ve been able to do so many things with Young & Brilliant. I recently formed a partnership with one of the local Y.M.C.A.s in my neighborhood. I was blessed to have the opportunity to be featured on a TV show where I was mentored by a financial expert and the CEO of Chegg. It has opened doors and allowed me to build networks and lifelong friends.

I think the most meaningful piece to me is when I get experiences like what recently happened at Healthy Kids Day at the Y. I had a 14-year-old girl come up to me and literally start asking questions and sharing her story. It was beautiful to share the similarities with her of growing up in a single household, being the oldest of multiple siblings, and being a first-generation college student. Being able to pour into her like, “Hey, whatever you set your mind to with the right plan, it’s possible.” Having those conversations with our youth and helping them along their journey has been the most [fulfilling] part.

What are three financial tips Black people can follow in 2023?

Three financial tips I would give Black people watching this in 2023. I think the first one would be. It’s bigger than savings. Savings are great, but you have to invest.

That would be the first one. The second thing would be the only thing standing in your way is you … compound interest is your best friend.

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