Owning My Journey & Embracing Your Superpowers
Keynote, Presenters & Panelists' Biographies
Jihane Jeanty is a first-generation American of Haitian descent who grew up in Miami, FL. With a love and people, food, and travel, Jihane has lived in many different cities including New York City at the beginning of her career where she worked in Television News at CBS Networks and News 12 Networks, Washington DC where she worked in non-profit communications, and in Los Angeles where she began her Digital Marketing career eight years ago.
Jihane currently works as a Partner, Paid Social Media Marketing for a boutique marketing agency and through that work has made it her mission to bring awareness of this career and industry to other first-generation and underrepresented groups. Through mentoring & career coaching, Jihane has been able to expose 1000+ people to the field and help place 20+ people in the digital marketing field. She believes a lucrative field such as digital-marketing should not be gatkept due to underrepresented groups not having access to the companies and people who run the industry.
When she is not working, you can find Jihane loving on her friends and family and enjoying all that life has to offer - for that is what she finds most important and is passionate about - doing life with the people who love you just as you are.
Dr. Natalie Diaz
Dr. Natalie Diaz is a Latina of Dominican dissent, born and raised in Paterson, NJ. She comes from a proud family that has helped her build an enduring foundation to strive for the best in her life. Currently, Dr. Diaz has nine years in the profession and she is working at Passaic County Vocational Technical High School as an Algebra and Geometry teacher. Dr. Diaz obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and Secondary Education from William Paterson University. She started her teaching career in Paterson Public Schools as an 8th-grade Mathematics teacher. As a bright and encouraging educator, she encountered many challenges that entailed her students' socioeconomic dilemmas and their educational deficit skills. However, this did not hinder her, she persevered and she was able to not only develop students’ skills but also develop their character into becoming the best version of themselves. Dr. Diaz’s hunger for knowledge continued as she was accepted into Montclair State University for a Master of Science in Mathematics. Soon after, she knew she needed more and applied to Seton Hall University’s Doctorate in Education Program with a focus on Educational Leadership. She has worked tirelessly and expeditiously to earn her Ed.D in the research of student achievement in the area of mathematics. Dr. Diaz is excited to continue her career in education and research. She continues to follow in the aspirations of Einstein's philosophy in moving forward and being a forever lifelong learner.
Dr. Diaz is a first-generation American, college graduate, and professional.
With a strong belief in embracing and restoring the community in which she was raised, Crystal exudes a passion for helping the people of her society. The desire for younger women to be empowered and to feel loved, first manifested in 2013, Crystal coordinated and executed a Father-Daughter fashion show. With the loving fathers of the Paterson area parading their daughters in the latest fashions. Crystal showed her community that a father’s love could make all the difference. This event included the designs of many local stylists and was sponsored by new businesses owned by young women in her community.
A stronger interest in servicing young women was developed shortly after this event, and Crystal knew she was capable of doing so much more. In August 2013, Ellie B Events- an event production company geared toward highlighting the successes and possible opportunities of and for inner-city youth was established. Beautiful I Am- which began as a symposium for young ladies aged 10-25 was an event produced by this company and it offered an insight into self-esteem development, educational support and encouragement, health awareness, proper etiquette in all settings, and a beauty segment, where ladies were taught how to make the outside look as good as they felt on the inside. This first program was a huge success and in later years continued to grow and include women of all ages. Beautiful I Am is no longer just an annual symposium for women, but it is an empowerment movement, to educate and inspire girls and women to fulfill their purpose in God.
Her personality is one of compassion, determination, and triumph. She understands the struggles of her community and has experienced a few tragedies of her own. With the untimely death of her youngest brother Beleon, and the subsequent sudden passing of her mom Carol, Crystal is determined to help others in her community overcome the statistics and stigmas of their environment, and be successful. She has associated with anti-violence agencies, supported rallies for victims of crimes, and shares the gospel of Jesus Christ wherever she goes.
A member of Christian Fellowship Center and Outreach Ministries of Paterson, NJ, Crystal spends time with the evangelism team, witnessing young men and women who cross her path, she writes and directs dramatic presentations to convey biblical stories and realistic applications of the word of God, and is the Co-Director of the Sanctuary Choir.
As a gifted songwriter, Crystal uses her genius to write melodies of influence, to bring about healing and restoration to all who listen. While all of the above seems overwhelming, Crystal has the grace of God upon her life and is able to carry out all of the tasks assigned to her hands. Amid the many assignments, she takes her role as the wife of Joel D. Rudolph Jr., graciously and seriously, and she has been entrusted with the treasures of a lifetime, her daughters Kristen Brianna, Braelyn Joelle, and London Monet’.
She endures it all by accepting the scripture- Philippians 4:13(CEV) “Christ gives me the strength to face anything”.
Crystal is a first-generation entrepreneur.
Syeda Nahar was born in Bangladesh and raised in Paterson, NJ. She moved to America in 2010. She is a first-generation college student, who recently graduated from William Paterson University of New Jersey with a major in Nursing and a minor in psychology. She is the first in her family to obtain a degree in the medical field and graduate with honors. Syeda is passionate about educating and supporting her community that is impacted by the disparities found in low-income communities. Syeda will soon begin her new role as a registered nurse at Valley Hospital's Post Anesthesia Care Unit and Intensive Care Unit.
Syeda is first-generation American, college graduate, and medical professional.
Yolany Gonell is a first-generation college graduate, a US veteran, and holds a master's degree in social work from the University at Buffalo in New York. With over 17 years of progressive experience in higher education providing leadership and vision in the areas of diversity & inclusion, social justice education, and leadership development, she is committed to empowering youth and advocating for equity and access for under-served communities.
A storyteller and speaker of muted truths, Yolany inspires youth and young adults to explore outside their limits through activism and civic engagement. A true believer that everyone can make a difference!
Yolany is a first-generation college graduate and higher edu professional.