Fabiola Jean is used to being in front of the cameras. From red carpet interviews to behind the scenes interviews with movers and shakers in the Haitian community, the broadcast journalist is usually front and center. However, her latest endeavor, Propelled Media Mentorship Program, is putting young women looking to follow in her footsteps front and center.
Your program provides mentorship opportunities for teens and young women interested in media. Why was it important for you to foster women interested in this field?
To be honest, the odds are against us in two ways. We feel pressure to make our families happy by going into conventional professions like nursing, engineering etc. We also are underrepresented in media. I wanted to create a space where intuitive minds are getting the tools they need to navigate the industry, as well as, mentoring young ladies on what they are not being taught in schools or at home. For example, business and professional etiquette, branding, networking skills, and ultimately “believing in the product, you.”
Propelled Media just celebrated its first year anniversary. What were the biggest challenges you faced when starting your own nonprofit?
The biggest challenge for me was that I didn’t have specialized knowledge or experience operating an organization like this. I went through quite a few trial and errors. I learned the most important thing is making sure your team is solid and that you’re always going the extra mile to move in excellence because ALL eyes are watching.
What’s been the most rewarding experience for you during this process?
They say if you could do the work for free then it’s what you’re passionate about. My reward is witnessing the “ aha or amen” moments the mentees have when they learn something new. It’s also rewarding seeing them DOMINATE in their own personal endeavors on social media. They come in hungry to succeed. It motivates me to continue to make this bigger than what I initially wanted it to be.
What advice would you give those looking to follow into your footsteps?
If it feels impossible, I challenge you to DO IT! Do not get comfortable with routine things. If it’s outside your level of comfort you will find what makes it all worth it. Fear of the unknown is the best part of the journey. Expectations on how you’re supposed to be doing will be your downfall. Stay motivated, prepared and ready to let the world know you deserve everything you’ve worked hard for.