Connecting and Cultivating Young Ladies for Generations to Come.
Since the second half of the 20th century, women’s participation in the labor force has grown significantly. Women are working longer hours and pursuing higher education in greater numbers. However, despite this progress, significant wage gaps between men and women persist—especially for women of color. On average, Black women in the United States make 38% less than men. Noticing this area of concern, Aya Incorporated has built a foundation to directly attack and dismantle this issue. Founded by Dana Hall, Aya Inc. has a mission that aims to intentionally create sister circles where topics related to professional, entrepreneurship, and leadership skill development are explored. They leverage the experiences of professional Black women to prepare collegiate women to navigate their careers while simultaneously sharing the experiences of college women to prepare high school girls to succeed in college.
"Over a 40-year career, Black women will lose $840,000 because of the wage gap. Additionally, Black women, more than White women, are more likely to be the financial heads of their household. Aya Inc was created to offer support to young women of color who are entering college or their careers in an attempt to elevate the economic opportunities for Black women. We center Black women in everything that we do because we understand that more than other demographics, Black women are among those that are greatest in need in terms of financial support but face great challenges with being adequately compensated." - Dana Hall, Founder.
Aya Inc.'s mentorship program focuses on developing skills that young women of color will need to be successful while offering lifelong support in these development areas. Aya Inc. hopes that through programmatic interventions, they can effectively prepare the next generation of Black women. Their pipeline model allows a consistent dialogue between 3 generations of Black women with lessons surrounded by, but not limited to, the following:
High School program·
Navigating student loans
How to write a personal statement and prepare your college application
Maintaining healthy relationships and a healthy social life in college
Establishing boundaries and a foundation of work/life balance
How to start a business
About the Founder:
Founder, Dana Hall, is a Senior Associate with JPMorgan Chase and the Founder of Aya Inc., a multi-tiered mentoring program based at Howard University. Hall also serves as the board secretary for Girls, Inc. Previously, she worked for Democracy Alliance, the DC City Council, the Freedom Schools Program run by the Children’s Defense Fund, and the Aspen Institute. Hall's campaign work includes serving the Trayon White for Ward 8 2016 and 2018 campaigns as field director, political director, and deputy director. Hall is a graduate of Howard University and American University School of Public Affairs. She is also a graduate of The Campaign School at Yale University, the Black upStart and WeLead at American University.
Hall is using this organization to serve as an example of what inter-generational training could look like, which is essential to the growth of our community. "The Black community has disproportionately faced economic challenges and because of that, the wealthier members of society pit people of color against each other in an effort to ensure their struggles continue" said Hall. "Aya Inc. is changing the narrative by showing Black women that it is not a zero-sum game; instead, they can all grow stronger and faster when together." Through Aya Inc.'s amazing work, they have had 100% of their high school members be accepted to college and offered scholarship,100% of their undergraduate members have graduated from college and have begun their careers or pursued graduate degrees, and 70% of their mentors and mentees have maintained a relationship after the formal programming has ended.
With a proven model, Aya Inc. hopes to continue creating a pipeline of successful Black women who are equipped with the tools that they need to be professionally successful. They hope to instill a sense of Sankofa – the idea of giving back as you propel yourself forward – in all of the women who participate in the organization. It is also their hope that more young women will understand that philanthropy is more rooted in the time that one gives and less about financial donations. If you would like to find out more about Aya Inc. or become a mentor, please feel free to contact them through any of the channels below.
Facebook: Aya Incorporated