Florida A&M alumna Chaunterria Jourdain is no stranger to faith, consistency and hard work.
Jourdain has made her mark as an entrepreneur by being the change she wants to see in the world.
A native of Jacksonville, Jourdain graduated from Florida A&M University, where she received her bachelor’s in political science and a master’s in public administration.
Growing up in Jacksonville was no walk in the park. Jourdain was raised on the east side of Jacksonville, which is considered one of the roughest neighborhoods in the city.
Despite her environment, she had a great childhood and learned how important motivation can be.
“Growing up, I was raised by both of my parents and was a spoiled child,” said Jourdain.
In 2008, Jourdain’s life changed forever. She was involved in an altercation at her high school, which led to a riot and ended with her being arrested and suspended for 10 days.
“That was one of the hardest situations in my life,” Jourdain said. “However, it turned out to be the most rewarding in my adult life.”
This situation inspired her to want to reach out and help other young women and then, and IAmThatLady Inc., was born.
Fast-forward to 2017 and IAmThatLady launched its first event. Jacksonville-based IAmThatLady is Jourdain’s non-profit organization that encourages young ladies to create the life she desires, and walk in her true purpose.
The organization seeks to promote professionalism, purpose and positivity through an array of various activities – workshops, community service and women empowerment events.
“We provide the resources and tools to young girls needed to soar in high school,” said Jourdain. “IAmThatLady was born from the idea that no matter what your circumstances are in life, you are that lady and can overcome anything.”
Since the launch of IamThatLady the organization has been part of various panels involved with speaking to young teens, collaborated with other organizations to feed the homeless youth and has hosted vision board parties for various churches and businesses in the community.
IAmThatLady offers an array of services to college students as well.
“IAmThatLady has a college lifestyle blog where I share my experiences, give tools on how to survive in college, and being able to balance college and life,” said Jourdain. “We’re working on creating an e-course for college students to prepare for life after college while in college.”
The driving force behind Jourdain’s dreams is that she wants to give back. She went on to say that “I am being the person that I needed in high school for someone else.”
Teyona Wilkerson, a current student at FAMU and mentee of Jourdain, said Jourdain is an inspiration.
“She motivates everyone she meets. She carries herself with pride and is very determined,” said Wilkerson. “I admire Jourdain’s aspirations to flourish and help out her community at the same time.”
In addition, Jourdain’s very reason for creating her organization is one of the key things Wilkerson has learned from her.
“She has taught me that you should always push through your obstacles,” said Wilkerson. “She has taught me to always set myself apart from others and exemplify my worth.”
When asked about the IAmThatLady brand, Wilkerson said, “IAmThatLady brand is one that uplifts and empowers women. Whether they’re feeling down or trying to find their true purpose the IamThatLady brand allows women to create a name for themselves or possibly their own brand,” said Wilkerson.
Others also speak highly of IAmThatLady.
Bre Barnett has been close to Jourdain since 2009. She believes IAmThatLady is a foundational organization that young women need.
“The brand is so important because so many women don’t know who they are or how to transition from one stage of life,” Barnett said. “IAmThatLady helps us transition and gives us a blueprint to what’s next in life after high school.”
She described Jourdain’s personality as ambitious, fearless, determined and charismatic.
Although Jourdain’s brand is within the Florida area, Barnett believes it will expand in no time.
“Her brand will expand and reach more women in the future,” said Barnett. “Her story is so impactful and her life’s experiences will touch so many people.”
Jourdain aspires to be a juvenile attorney, where will further her passion of helping youth.
“My career goal is to make an impact by sharing my story to the youth and being a voice for youth within the criminal justice system.”
She went on to say that “I’m motivated by the fear of being average.”
Within the next 5-10 years, Jourdain hopes that IAmThatLady will be a club/organization on HBCU college campuses.
“Through this, ladies will receive community service hours by giving back to the local community, job skills trainings, entrepreneurial techniques, and vision board parties,” Jourdain said. “In addition, start a local community center in my hometown available for students to access similar to resources as the college students on college campuses.”
Jourdain is still involved with FAMU. She has two brand ambassadors who attend FAMU who promote IamThatLady blog, events, and apparel.
“It’s so satisfying to see young girls I’ve worked with go off to college and pursue their dreams,” Jourdain said. “I would love to work with more students to eventually start an IAmThatLady Club on campus.”
Jourdain looks to continue to inspire young women. Her advice to other FAMU students longing to own businesses would be to start now.
“Don’t hold on to great ideas because of fear or money, just start,” she said. “Don’t be afraid to start out small. Nike, started out making the most sales at track meets at the University of Oregon out of the owner, Phil Knight’s car.”
For more information on IAmThatLady, check out the website IamThatLadyinc.org.