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BRAND SPOTLIGHT: Tea Talk (Founder Quanisha Miller)

"My idea was to create a program that would help girls to get through the many challenging high school years. I thought that I would create a speaker series that would provide high school girls with the tools necessary to navigate high school and beyond. The speaker series would inspire high school girls to be exposed to positive role models that look like them. I believed that if young girls were taken care of socially and emotionally, they would excel academically and non-academically.

After talking to my mentor, I realized that this was my WHY? This was the reason why all the other job opportunities had not worked out because, I was not yet finished what I had started. What started out as an idea to be an extracurricular activity for girls, it has developed into a nonprofit organization goal. I would like to have Tea Talk Incorporated chartered in other places (Chester, Pittsburgh, Charlotte, and Washington DC) which have all been an integral part of my journey. "

Quanisha Miller is an educator, social work and executive director. She was born in Chester, PA but raised in the DC/MD area up until high school. She graduated from Chester High in 2008 at the top of her class. Upon graduation, she attended the illustrious Johnson C. Smith University, where she was a member of the track team, and member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated. In 2012, Quanisha received her Bachelors in Criminology. Prior to graduation, she hoped that she would be able to attend law school with the hopes of being a criminal defense lawyer. However, after serving as a servant leader intern with Children’s Defense Fund: Freedom School she felt like she need to take a more proactive role in helping to enhance the social and emotional development of minorities. In the fall of 2012, she enrolled in The University of Pittsburgh’s Masters of Social Work program.

While matriculating at Pitt, she interned at The Hill House Association: Out of School Youth Program and Renewal Incorporated. Her role at both organizations influenced her to apply for Teach for America. Quanisha was frustrated with the system and the reactive policies. She felt like if she truly wanted to see change in the youth, she would have to be in the first system in which they entered; the school. After two years of teaching Quanisha began to feel jaded and hopeless. She did not feel like the system had taught her students enough about how to navigate in the world as black and brown individuals. She was apprehensive about teaching for a third year, but due to unforeseen reasons she went back to her school.

During her third year, her life coach sent her a video from Oprah about “sitting still”. In that moment Quanisha decided that she would sit still, and just wait for things to happen. In her stillness a series of events occurred with the female scholars at her school. These events in combination with other experiences led her to start her own nonprofit organization Tea Talk Incorporated. Tea Talk Incorporated is a nonprofit that helps enhance social and emotional development for minority girls between the ages of 13-18. The goal is to help them grow into resourceful, healthy, respectful, and culturally competent young women through ongoing mentoring, field trips, interactive workshops and community service. Tea Talk provides teenage girls with the tools necessary to navigate high school and beyond. Girls are exposed to positive role models of color. Quanisha believes that if young girls are taken care of socially and emotionally, they will excel academically and non-academically.

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