One of our awesome team members Sharnisse recently met an incredible young woman named Ayanna Holmes. After hearing her story, Sharnisse knew she would be perfect to feature as one of our sources of inspiration. At the ripe young age of 17, Ayanna has already developed a passion for poetry and photography and spends her free time running a program for girls, inspiring and equipping them with the right tools to live a healthy lifestyle. Her efforts have not gone unnoticed: she recently received the honor of Greater Washington and Virginia State Boys and Girls Club Youth of the Year. We have a feeling this will not be the last you hear of Ayanna.
Senior at Forestville High School
What’s the biggest risk you’ve taken so far?
The biggest risk I’ve taken so far is telling people about things that have happened in my past and trusting them with the information.
What inspired you to take this risk?
The girls in my program Girls Only Club, which teaches encourages young women to live healthy lifestyles, tell me about very personal things and I felt since they trusted me so much with their personal information I should open up to them too.
What did you have to overcome to do this?
The fear of judgement, although the young ladies in my group are a few years younger than me I still worried whether or not they would see me in the same positive person, a stronger person, or see me as less.
What was the best part of your experience?
The best part of my experience was having deeper conversations with the young ladies.
Was there a point when you realized it was worth the risk?
When the young ladies would come to talk to me about their problems more openly and relate to me I realized that the risk was worth taking.
What 3 words would you use to describe yourself?
sunshine, imperfect, voice
Have you ever felt like giving up? What do you do to overcome that feeling?
I have felt like giving up before and when I feel that way I think of all the people that look up to me and refocus.
Do you have a favorite pump-up song?
Walking Shoes by Mali Music
Do you have a favorite motivational quote?
We have to talk about liberating minds as well as liberating society. -Angela Davis
What advice would you share to anyone considering trying something new?
When you take control of your life, they’ll see the fire in your eyes and radiance in your skin, and you’ll start to see opportunities instead of problems. -Ayanna Holmes
This is a line from one of my poems that I use for motivation.