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Meet MaChelsea Thomas of Bee One Foundation in Richmond

Today we’d like to introduce you to MaChelsea Thomas.

Thanks for sharing your story with us MaChelsea. So, let’s start at the beginning, and we can move on from there.
I grew up in the small town of Eagle Lake, Texas, where the population was less than 4,000 people. I was a small-town girl with big dreams, however, I didn’t have any mentors or role models to look up to. I lacked the necessary guidance needed to steer me into the right direction of my desired career path. As a result, I took matters into my own hands and taught myself everything I needed to know to succeed in life.

As a young child, I knew that I wanted to be a philanthropist and greatly impact my community. After the death of my father, at 12-years-old, I began drafting my goals in life and diligently started working to fulfill my dreams. I graduated from Rice High School in 2011 and then attended Texas A&M University on a full academic scholarship, earning my Bachelor of Science degree in Communications and Journalism. I then went on to earn my Juris Doctorate degree at Thurgood Marshall School of Law in 2018.

I had motivation and dedication instilled in me that kept me wanting to learn more and continuously go above and beyond regardless of what resources were available to me. I learned early on that this wasn’t the case with most people. Some young girls and young women need an extra push. Some need a mentor who can give them an initial plan, and necessary resources in order to obtain success. And some need an accountability partner to ensure all expectations are met.

Because I was once that young girl who longed for guidance and effective mentorship, I developed a strong desire to help put young girls in better positions for their life goals and be to them what I needed someone to be to me. Regardless of my accomplishments, I knew that I would not ever feel truly successful until I was able to reach back and pay it forward. The greatest accomplishment for me would be to have the opportunity to take the knowledge and experience I have gained over the years and pass it on to influence a brighter future for the young girls of tomorrow.

And with that notion, Bee One Foundation was born.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Building and shaping Bee One Foundation was not easy. I often struggled with time management, lack of support, and funding.

When I launched Bee One Foundation, I was a law student, working two full-time jobs. I didn’t have ample time to plan monthly programs and operate all social media accounts. I also could not attend every event that requested my presence or services. I began to think that maybe I had taken on too much and that I launched my foundation too early.

I even thought for a second that I should not have launched Bee One Foundation at all, due to being stretched thin with other projects. I also struggled with support. Many people were slow to accept the vision of Bee One Foundation, and I felt as though the slow start was my fault because I did not have enough time to devote to my organization.

Along with lack of support, I also struggled with funding. From the very start of Bee One Foundation, I have been using personal funds to implement events, programs, and other various opportunities for young girls and young women in surrounding communities.

However, enduring all of those struggles proved to be worth it because in a short time Bee One Foundation evolved and expanded like no other. Although I do still hold every position in Bee One Foundation on my own, (graphic designer, website management, social media manager, volunteer coordinator, motivational speaker, etc.) I am beyond pleased with its growth.

Bee One Foundation was launched in March of this year and will already be expanding to other countries in 2019. We have also been published in a College Resource Guide. The amount of support Bee One Foundation has received in such a short time is unbelievable, and I attribute that to believing in my dreams and sticking to them, even when I felt like I was in over my head.

Bee One Foundation – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Bee One Foundation is a non-profit organization that focuses on grooming young girls and young women into confident and educated powerhouses. At Bee One Foundation, we enforce the importance of excelling in educational endeavors, continuously giving back to the community, and maintaining a positive image and a good sense of character.

We provide mentorship, scholarships, and consistently implement seminars regarding confidence enhancement, empowerment, etiquette, academic assistance, and career goals.

Bee One Foundation was launched in March 2018 with hopes of making myself and other professional leaders more available to the youth in surrounding communities. I believe that if young girls can see it, then they can believe it, and achieve it.

My desire is to help create a platform that allows professional leaders to be more accessible to young girls to empower them, build their confidence, give them academic assistance, and mentor and guide them with high school, college, and career goals.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
The proudest moments within my foundation stem from the high school speaking engagement tours that I have been on this year. The energy that the students give me and the sense of empowerment and assurance they receive at the end of the sessions remind me of the reasons why I put my blood, sweat, and tears into Bee One Foundation.

At the end of one session, I had a parent approach me and tell me how informative the session was for her. She was in her late 30s and desired to get her college education. I helped her get enrolled into college, and now she is working to receive her bachelor’s degree.

Being able to share my knowledge and experiences to motivate others is so rewarding. If you have a platform, use it. You never know how many lives you can change.

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

Jackd Photography

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