Cocoa Diaries is a new blog created by Regan Nesbit and five of her best friends to help young black girls navigate through college and other educational settings.
The six founders all attend different universities, including PWIs like the University of Pennsylvania, Georgia Southern University and the University of Georgia, as well as HBCUs like Howard University and Florida A&M University. This helps them show many different aspects of the college experience.
“I want them to believe that they can conquer any and everything,” Nesbit, a second-year business administration student at FAMU, said.
The Atlanta naive hopes to work in marketing, business consulting or risk management. A non-profit to honor her mother who lost a battle to cancer about four years ago is another goal Nesbit is determined to reach.
The Cocoa Diaries started when Nesbit and her friends wanted to create a social media platform together that would be practical enough for them all to have a hand in no matter the location. She believes that the Instagram blog has become an outlet for her to intertwine her passion for empowering young women of color and her business career paths.
Nesbit’s marketing, branding and research skills have improved since starting the blog, as well as a better understanding of the four “Ps” in marketing: price, product, promotion and place. Through creating content, Nesbit has learned different facets of business with hands-on experience and will continue to equip her for her desired profession.
Working with the other founders, Maleigha Cooper, Mariah Cooper, Zaria Franklin, Kalani Franklin and D’nai Thomas, Nesbit has learned the importance of working with other women of color towards a common goal. She emphasizes that making sure everyone’s voices are heard and proper communication is a priority for the effectiveness of their new platform.
With a neutral-tone aesthetic, the blog features shout-outs to black women graduating high school and college, diary entries from black women on academic and collegiate experiences, and recognition for black women practicing entrepreneurship.
These features positively promote black women and their achievements to combat underrepresentation in society and higher academia.
According to the sociology article, “Falling through the Cracks: Black Girls and Education” by Shawn Arango Ricks, “The needs of black girls are often overlooked by teachers, administrators, and policymakers.”
This oversight continues to fuel the impact of racism and sexism on black girls and their educational encounters.
“Black girls already have a disadvantage in the world for being black and girls, so if we can show them that girls are working through obstacles and creating businesses, give them some words of encouragement, give them some tips, and help them build their networks, then they will push past the disadvantages placed on them,” Nesbit said.
With more than 600 followers since their start on Feb. 29, Nesbit has high hopes that the new platform will exceed all expectations, and so do her followers.
Alexis Peele, a follower, friend and colleague, met Nesbit in the fall of 2018 and has always known her to be goal-oriented, determined and inspiring.
“She’s a very focused person and always gets the job done. When I found out about her new blog, I was nothing but excited for her and I know she’s going to reach so many heights,” Peele said.
Cocoa Diaries will soon become an online blog.
Nesbit plans to leave an impact on young black women and sees the team behind it all growing with it. Plans of meeting up with their “Cocoa Community,” the official name for their followers, and merchandise such as journals, shirts and more are to come from the expansion of their platform.