Woman Wednesday: Ruby B. Johnson

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below.         


Q and A with Ruby B. Johnson, Sierra Leone, West Africa

“Three things: take care of your mental health, control your narrative, and work smart and do your research.” 

 

Q: What are you passionate about? 

A: I am a mining engineer and currently work at a gold mining operation. I am also the founder and editorial director of STEMher by Ruby B. Johnson Magazine. Premiered in September 2018 with its autumn issue, STEMher Magazine is a print magazine showcasing the education and experiences of girls and women in science, technology, engineering, and/or mathematics (STEM) academia, careers, and programs. STEMher celebrates women thriving in their careers and inspires others to fuel their curiosity and interests in STEM; the status of individuals featured range from middle school through retirement. In one year, STEMher has featured more than 50 STEM girls and women worldwide from countries like the United States of America, Australia, Ghana, Canada, South Africa, India, France, Nigeria, Channel Islands, The Bahamas, Sierra Leone, and England. All magazine issues are available for purchase on stemher.com and Amazon Marketplace.

 

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Summer 2019 Cover

 

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I was born in Freetown, Sierra Leone [in West Africa]. I moved to the United States when I was 12 years old, which meant growing up and completing my middle school and high school education in Maryland. I graduated from Virginia Tech with a BSc in mining engineering and a minor in women’s studies leadership. While in college, I founded When You Believe Foundation, a program that empowers women and girls through social media engagement, workshops, and donations. In 2012, I competed in my first pageant, Miss Sierra Leone USA, with the platform of advocating for the recruitment and retention of girls and women in STEM fields, since I was a STEM college student at the time and women’s empowerment was something I was passionate about. I won the pageant and with that title, I was able to travel across the country as well as in Sierra Leone, encouraging girls and young women to pursue STEM. After the crowns and titles, STEM advocacy and women’s empowerment continues to be my lifelong platform. I wanted to take this platform to another level to be able to reach women and girls I may never cross paths with, so I created STEMher by Ruby B. Johnson Magazine last year. 

 

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Q: What is something valuable you’ve learned that you’d like others to know? 

A: Three things: take care of your mental health, control your narrative, and work smart and do your research. (1) From Monday through Thursdays, I work ten-hour days and a two-hour commute to and from work. Additionally, I am an entrepreneur who runs her own business creating content and putting together each issue for STEMher by Ruby B. Johnson Magazine. I also serve in a couple of ministries at my church. Life gets busy. In the last year, I’m being intentional to prioritize my mental health. Making time to rest and slow down when necessary. In order to be productive with work, I have to take care of myself by sleeping, eating healthy, exercising, spending time with God through prayer, and meditation as well as reading my Bible. I have to be intentional about making time for myself, family and friends, as well as work. It’s okay to say “no” or “not yet” sometimes. I cannot fill the cups of others when my cup is empty. It’s also okay to ask for help—whether it’s in prayer, family and friends, community, or therapy.

 

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(2) As I navigate through the professional world and life in general, I’m realizing how important it is for one to control their narrative. Of course we cannot fully control what people say about us or how they feel about us; however, I believe we can play a role in those things. The way we carry ourselves is very important. We have to learn wisdom on when to speak up or be silent. We must be our biggest defenders and tell people how we want them to treat or address us. (3) Running a business is no easy feat and it’s time-consuming. In college, I learned to not study hard but study smart. I believe that’s important to do when you are a business owner. Being that I don’t have a business or journalism background, I spend a lot of time learning—asking questions, reading articles, listening to podcasts, and everything else in between. I want this magazine to go beyond, so that means I have to put in the work. I may not see harvest immediately, but sowing seeds each day counts. All in all, I believe it’s important to know who you are, stand firm on your values, always remember your why, and never lose your humanity no matter what environment you are in. 

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: To me, feminism means being my authentic self, living out my God-given purpose, and being intentional about making a difference in the community. While working on my women’s studies leadership minor in college, I learned about intersectionality. I am a Christian woman, born and raised in Sierra Leone, a naturalized American citizen, a woman in STEM, usually one of few or only black people in some professional settings, and a family-oriented individual. I thrive because of these lived experiences but also have a heart and a curious mind to learn about those who are different from me. Feminism to me is never compromising my faith and also being compassionate to others. To me, feminism means to reach for excellence and nothing less.

 

I’d love to connect with you!

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Woman Wednesday: Moesha

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below.         


Q and A with Moesha, West Memphis, Arkansas 

“The goal is to keep pushing and pushing until I get the results I want.” 

 

Q: Tell us about you. What are you passionate about?

A: I am a 21-year-old full-time entrepreneur. I was born in West Memphis, Arkansas. I didn’t know what was God’s calling for me. After high school, I went to college for 3 full years and then, I dropped out. I’ve had many people say “Why did she do that,” “I don’t think that was the right decision to make,” “You had only one year left, just stick it out.” I thought at first, well maybe they are right. Maybe I should have just finished. At that moment, I realized that all my life, I had been letting others make decisions for me, even if it cost me my own happiness. I knew that the reason I was leaving college was that I wasn’t truly happy there. I wasn’t passionate about what I was in college for. I wanted to start my own journey. I wanted to create another route. Ever since I left college, I haven’t looked back once.

 

After leaving college, I founded my skincare brand, Moe Soft Skin, which I am very passionate about. Moe Soft Skin offers handmade body scrubs, facial scrubs, lip scrubs, lip balms, body butters, and more products to come! These products are all handmade by me [using all-natural and organic ingredients, such as olive oil, almond oil, sugar, and essential oils]. I figured that if I could create something that could help my skin, maybe I could help others too. I have a skin condition called psoriasis, which is basically a severe dry skin condition that cannot be cured but can be managed. This brand is something that allows me to help others in a way that I never thought I could. It allows me to express to the world that there is something out there that can help your skin feel great without using ingredients that are so rough and hard on your skin. It’s something that helps me convey a message to other women that they are beautiful in every way and to be their best selves. It is something that is truly apart of my happiness. 

 

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As I continue to build my brand, I am constantly thinking of new ways to deliver better to my customers. I am always working up new ideas to incorporate into my business. I am just working on expanding my business and one day, I know my business will be one of the best skincare brands out in this world. With all the hard work I put in, I know that it will pay off in the end. The goal is to keep pushing and pushing until I get the results I want.

 

 

 

Q: What were your younger years like?

A: I would say that I had a pretty nice childhood. I had the most fun times with family and childhood friends! My mom was big on education. I had always been an honor roll student from kindergarten all the way up to my senior year of high school. I was pretty active as a child. I started cheerleading when I was in 2nd grade until 9th grade. I started dancing when I was in 6th grade and I didn’t stop until 12th grade. These activities have taught me to be the best that I can be in life and to keep pushing, no matter how hard life gets. They also taught me to be a leader and not a follower. To simply just be me!

 

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Q: What is something valuable you’ve learned that you’d like others to know? 

A: The advice I would give to other women is “You have the power to be anything you want to be in life, so just be you.” Nothing and no one is stopping you from reaching your full potential but yourself. Go for it; it is never too late! I have sacrificed so much throughout my journey and honestly, I still am. Never let anyone influence your decisions for your life. Do what you love to do instead of what you see others doing. What works for them may not work for you. Your happiness comes before anything. When you have a happy life, great things fall into place for you. Train your mind to think positive thoughts. Turn every situation you go through into a learning experience.  Do your best. Trust the process. Enjoy the journey. 

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you?

A: Feminism is something that pushes social change in today’s society. Women are often underestimated, and many women suffer from that. You only get to live life once, make the best of it. Feminism to me is pushing yourself as a woman to do all the things that you think you cannot do. Uplift and inspire other women around you. Live life without regrets. As women, we should all stick together and root for one another. Feminism is about speaking your truth and leading others in the right direction.

 

 

Be sure to connect with me! I am looking forward to hearing from you and connecting with you all! 

 

Email: moesha.sloan@gmail.com

Instagram accounts:

Personal Insta

Moe Soft Skin Insta

Inspiration Insta

YouTube channel coming soon! Stay tuned!

 

 

Moe Soft Skin

 

Thoughts, questions, or comments?

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Woman Wednesday: Felissa

*Note: Woman Wednesday is a part of our blog. Each Woman Wednesday post will feature a woman who would like to share information in the hopes of inspiring and motivating other women. Comments are welcome below.        


Q and A with Felissa, Atlanta, Georgia  

“People will judge you, try to change you, try to break you, and even try to stop you. But that is all in the process of getting to the top!” 

 

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: I wanted to have a career where I could give back to people in a real impactful way. I had always wanted to help others and make a difference. Although teaching in the classroom was something I loved, I never felt like I could create the life I desired. Six years ago, I was a tired, overweight mom of two with no energy. 

 

I was always looking and doing the “next best diet” and as everyone knows, diets are not sustainable for life.  I finally decided it was time to educate myself on nutrition and health so I could create a healthy lifestyle for myself and my family. After losing 40 pounds and stopping being such a skeptic, I started sharing my success story with others. I partnered with a health and wellness company and a nutritionist and created a career that would inspire and empower people to live their best life through a journey of nutrition, wellness, and creating a healthy mind and body. 

 

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I was only looking to drop a few pounds and get my energy back, and what I found was a community of people with a vision that empowers others to do more than they thought they were capable of doing. As I continued to share my story: of the nutrition and our life-changing opportunity, to my surprise, by the end of that year, I surpassed my teaching income and decided to jump in with both feet (well, sort of). 

 

Actually, when I let go of worrying about what other people thought of me, and was open to new opportunities and possibilities, and that was when my life changed. I cared too much about what other people thought of me, and it prevented me from doing the things I wanted to do or being who I truly was. This has given me a sense of achievement, purpose, and community and a profession where I can be my own BOSS. Every day, I have the opportunity to help people change their quality of life both physically and financially. That feels pretty amazing.   

 

Q: What were your younger years like?

I had a wonderful childhood and was raised in a very loving home in Savannah, GA.  My parents always supported me and wanted me to enjoy every minute of life.  I graduated from the University of Georgia, where I received a bachelor’s degree in Audiology and Speech Pathology and then continued to Georgia State University, where I received my master’s degree in the Education of Deaf and Hard of Hearing.  I then taught grades kindergarten through fifth grade over the next 12 years.  

 

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During the last few years I was teaching, I began to realize I wanted more than just living for weekends and holidays. I found a way to plan my work and passion to help others around my life verses planning my life around my work—working days and hours that were best for me, with no cap on the amount of income I could earn. 

 

 

Q: What is something valuable you’ve learned that you’d like others to know? 

A: I learned very quickly that big dreams don’t come easily. People will judge you, try to change you, try to break you, and even try to stop you. But that is all in the process of getting to the top! Learning to get comfortable with the uncomfortable was an important lesson for me and not easy. All my life, I cared what others thought of me. Life is better when you’re not so concerned about how other people will view you for your actions, choices, and decisions. 

 

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Sometimes you have to risk so much for a dream no one can see but you.  It became very apparent that I had to surround myself with people who supported me on my journey and would be there to lift me up when I fell (because I fell a lot). Whether it was the weight loss, the career change, or my new positive outlook on life, I had to stop feeling guilty about the decisions I made. I have had many challenges along the way. I could not make excuses anymore. It was time for results, and you can’t have both! If you take anything away from my story, I hope you will learn to be authentically, unapologetically you because it is your ultimate freedom and where joy is found.

 

 

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Q: What does feminism mean to you? 

A: Feminism advocates for social, political, and economic equality for men and women. 

 

 

Connect with me! I’d love to chat with you! 

Felissa Covin
Make the Shift
Healthy Mind and Body

 

Thoughts, questions, or comments?

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