Richmond native Angela Patton strives to create change for Black girls across the nation. After founding Camp Diva Leadership Academy in 2004, Angela combined her passions by creating a merger with her other organization, Girls for a Change in 2013. Experiencing recognition from several honors such as the Top 40 under 40, the 2016 White House Champion of Change, being nominated for the Richmond Person of the Year, and much more, Angela has clearly demonstrated that she is passionate about working towards the advancement of girls all over the country.
Angela is also a proud member of Walker’s Legacy! We decided to catch up with her on her success story and ask her a few questions regarding being a woman of color entrepreneur.
Getting Her Start
Being that Angela’s first job was being a daycare worker for children of many ages from infants to fifth grade, she already had early experience working with kids. We asked her to share her inspiration behind starting Girls for a Change:
“The best part of my work is knowing that I lead an organization that has a direct and positive impact on the lives of Black girls in my community and beyond. Hearing their stories of what they have overcome and supporting them to develop a greater awareness of their own power and what they can do to improve their own lives and others is refreshing and rewarding.”
That’s amazing — young Black girls are full of creativity, intelligence, and so much more. We are so glad to know that a driven woman such as Angela is behind such a beautiful movement geared towards mentoring young girls and positively impacting her community.
“I have been inspired by lots of women who continue to make things happen, change their lives, create a difference, speak for others, take risks, and overcome challenges… Black girls face many barriers and have unmet needs often because they are overlooked. This oversight has contributed to a lack of access and opportunity. It makes me feel alive knowing that no matter how small or big the support or resources are for our girls, I am addressing unique positions in which Black girls live and learn, be seen and heard and most of all celebrated.“
Minority Women in Business: Black Girls Matter
The journey to success wasn’t easy for Angela, she faced many hardships and obstacles while trying to complete her ongoing mission. Patton shared with us that in the beginning, she was not fully prepared for the challenges that come with being an entrepreneur such as others shooting down her ideas. “It is hard to convince the world that Black girls matter,” she says.
We at Walker’s Legacy know that the road can get bumpy for minority women in business and other fields. Sometimes it’s the lack of funding, sometimes it’s the racism and gender inequality, and sometimes, it’s our own lack of belief in ourselves. Here’s what Angela tells us about women of color in business:
“Once we get over that fear we have within ourselves, we can jump that wall they put up to prevent us from succeeding, especially if we support each other. Once we get out of our own way and head, everything begins to fall into place. I really believe the hardest thing in starting and sustaining your business in this journey is believing in yourself. But once you do, the wall of opportunity will open with joyful colors painted on it just for you. Hopefully, your favorite color.”
Personal Care and Work-Life Balance
Winding down is important for boss women. Angela tells us that when she’s not advocating for young Black queens, her favorite thing to do is be in the peace of her own home. While she loves traveling for work, sometimes we all need to relax in our own at-home spa (especially during times like this in 2020).
As far as balancing work and home, Angela says what works best for her is combining the two and working as a team. Supporting each other, taking turns giving rides and hosting sleepovers, and similar activities.
“I have learned that we are able to accomplish more as a group than we would individually. To prevent you from dropping the ball, be committed to a time to end your day and put some of the many hats you wear in the hatbox and wear the one that allows you to focus on being the amazing woman, wife, and mom you are. Remember that you can make it happen one day at a time.“
On joining Walker’s Legacy:
“There is definitely value to be gained from being a part of the Walker Legacy, and it’s something every woman of color entrepreneur should consider. It can lead to resources, new relationships and connections, partnerships, business ideas, and even new clients and customers.”