- Posted May 8, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Tell us the Good Stuff!
Fatima Scipio ~ A Boss Lady Who Inspires With No Limits!!!
What more can you say about a WOMAN who is doing it all!!!! She is an Author, an Entrepreneur, and a Philanthropist!!! She began her career as a teacher in the New York City Public School system and is currently working in New Jersey, training social workers on how to empower children and families involved in the child welfare system. She is the CEO of Young Enterprising Sisters an entrepreneurial program for girls ages 8-17 that educates, empowers and energizes the next generation of business owners/entrepreneurs. She has been featured on News12 New Jersey, Redbook magazine, Young Mogul Life Magazine, Newark Globally and now I am blessed and honored to feature here on CNN iReport. Let me introduce you to Mrs. Fatima Scipio.
I first met Fatima in the entrepreneur network “Visionaries” created by Dr. Syleecia Thompson via Facebook. Then I was even more thrilled to meet Fatima at the R & B Divas Atlanta viewing party in Harlem, NY where we enjoyed the evening with the DIVAS (Syleena Johnson, Monifah, and KeKe Wyatt) watching the first episode of their third season on TVOne. Fatima is an entrepreneur at heart, a networker by nature, and simply a great person. I am hope you enjoy her interview and please support this woman’s project, organization, and books…..
“She believes that anything is possible if you just believe”.
I see you started your career as a teacher, when you decide that you were going to stop punching the time clock and run your own business. How has becoming an entrepreneur changed your life, your perspective on business, and your drive to pursue your dreams?
My drive to become an entrepreneur started while I was teaching middle school in the Bronx, New York. It was there that I started writing my first book "First Aid for First Year Teachers (A practical guide for urban educators). There were many strategies I used to engage my students and I wanted to help others to be able to do the same. From there I become an education consultant for new and seasoned educators hosting workshops and one on one coaching. I am still currently employed as a professional development trainer in the child welfare system. In today's economy it’s important to have multiple streams of income, My daytime career allows me to fund my entrepreneurial projects. I am probably what some call a "serial entrepreneur". I am an Author, I have a commercial cleaning business, I am a consultant, I have a nonprofit organization and other projects coming down the pike. This has changed my life because all of my endeavors have allowed me to empower people in ways I always imagined. Through my books and workshops I get to empower people to be their best self and pay it forward to youth and their families. I get to employ people and help them to keep food on their table. I get to empower young girls to be their own boss. I am living my dreams out daily.
You are a woman who share many interest, but teaching/educating seems to be your niche. What made you enter the career of education and how has educating others inspire your own personal goals.
(laughing) My mother was a teacher and her mother was a teacher, but for me it just fell into my lap. I intended on being a probation officer. I saw many youth in my neighborhood getting into trouble and wanted to help those in the juvenile justice system transition back into their homes. However, once I graduated from college my mother had a teacher's aide position waiting for me through her job at the time. It was there that I saw the importance of catching children early before circumstances pushed them into the Juvenile Justice system. It was there that I decided to become a teacher. While I started out as a teacher’s aide in pre-school and kindergarten, My first job as teacher was teaching sixth grade (laughing), I adored my students but I was tough on them because I wanted to challenge them. In our literacy program we had to develop poems, memoirs and other forms of writing, doing this with my students in turn pulled out my own personal gifts that I forgot I had. Like the love of writing poetry. My students inspired me to write.
After reading your biography, I see your highly involved in working with children and girls. Tell us the purpose of your entrepreneurial program “Young Enterprising Sisters”.
Young Enterprising Sisters is a nonprofit entrepreneurial program for girls 8-17. Our goals are to educate, empower and energize the next generation of female entrepreneurs and business leaders from the inside out. We do this by hosting events that not only introduce girls to the world of entrepreneurship but also teach them to become productive citizens. We have our signature events: YES Conference, Ice cream networking social, Girls of Power Summit and many other events to get girls connected to resources in their own communities as well as with possible mentors in the small business community. Most recently at our Ice Cream Networking Social we tackled the topic of bullying as this is an epidemic that is not only taking place in schools and neighborhoods but on social media causing more anxiety on youth today than in past years.
I read that your message is “She believes that anything is possible if you just believe”!! Which is so true, having a belief is the first step to establishing any dream, goal, and interest, but what is the one thing Fatima Scipio believes in and why?
I believe that everybody has talents and gifts in life that if nurtured and supported can prove to be fruitful and benefit society as a whole. The best way to explain this is really simple. I like to have my hair done but my talent and gift is not in doing hair so I have to go to my hair stylist Tara Patterson so she can beautify my look. She has that gift of doing hair. We both like to empower women. I do it through my words and writing, she does it through hair and everybody who leaves her chair feels really good about themselves. When we feel good about ourselves, it infuses all areas of our lives.
So you just released your book “Boss Lady (Seven life principles to reign in the new economy)!! Just recently Sheryl Sandbergstarted a campaign against the term Bossy, does your book educate women on how to be “bossy” in the new economy or becoming the “Boss” in the new economy.
(laughs) When Sheryl Sandberg started that campaign the first thing I did was get clarity on what it was about, especially since my book title is "Boss Lady". Once I learned more about her campaign I understood exactly what she meant. My book "Boss Lady" is all about empowering women to take ownership of their lives. To transform their lives by renewing their minds using biblical principles. It encourages women to take inventory of their current situation and make the necessary changes to live a purposeful life. The book does come with a warning because as you begin to read it and grow as an individual, You will change some bad habits, you will lose some negative people around you. I let readers know that if you are looking for your life to head in a new direction despite what the economy looks like, this book is for you. So Yes It's all about "Becoming the Boss" of yourself in this new economy that will require you to have a mindset that will lead you to the success you want.
How you feel about the stereotypes that come along with women who dream big and achieve higher than their male counterparts?
To be honest, I have been working on myself for some time now and I walk over stereotypes and anything that is a distraction to what my purpose is. I am a woman who dreams big and have achieved a lot. I am a go getter and I don't worry about what people say. The only thing that matters is what God says about me and I am the apple of his eye ( smile)
Now you are also an advisory board member of the Yvonne McCalla Foundation, a breast cancer awareness organization. I know we always hear about early detection, but why is early detection so important when it comes to being diagnosed with Cancer.
Yes. This is one organization that is near and dear to me. In 2009, I was preparing for my wedding when I went for my first mammogram. I received a call stating they "saw something" I had to have a biopsy and for me the response was benign but there are many African American women who have a different response. I have had two friends diagnosed with breast cancer, one was fatal in her twenties, the other a survivor at the age of 37. African American women tend to have a higher mortality rate for a number of factors. Early detection and participating in research study is very important for African American women. We have to find a way to beat this disease.
This is not in my bio but another cause that is very dear to me is raising awareness about Multiple Sclerosis. This is a disease that needs more attention as many African American women are diagnosed with this debilitating disease, my mother was one of them. We need more people to support organizations like the Multiple Sclerosis Society that offer support to the thousands of individuals across the country.
If a 15 year old girl came to you unsure on their future, what advice would you share with them and would you encourage them to become an entrepreneur or work within Corporate America, and why.
I often meet young girls who know exactly what they want to do in life. I have met girls who want to start their own business and girls who want to be the CEO of an existing corporation. I would encourage them to follow their dreams wherever they want to go both will require education be it formal or informal, both will require leadership skills, both will require tenacity and for them to be innovative. Either way I would tell them whatever you decide to do, make sure you maintain your integrity because your name and your word is all you have. Be a servant leader and always give back to your community.
To learn more about Fatima Scipio please visit www.fatimascipio.com