Maya Garnett is Breaking Down Generational Barriers While Building Up Generational Wealth
Maya Garnett’s empathy, compassion, and drive has led her to where she is today. After her friends and family would continuously go to her for advice, she founded P.R.O.M.I.S.E (HER) inc., which is a women and girls nonprofit organization in the Washington DC area that stands for Passionate, Resilient, Optimistic, Motivated, Intellectual Sisters of Excellence. It helps educate women and girls through a variety of courses, but Maya’s main focus is breaking down generational barriers while building up generational wealth.
How did you decide to start this project? When did it start and how did it unfold?
I have spent a lot of my life giving advice to people. It’s something that I have always been really good at. Late last year, I reached out to a relative of mine because I had recently received a lot of calls just from people I know that were going through a really tough time. I wanted to figure out a way to be there for them, a way for us as women to come together and help each other mentally, emotionally, and financially and just build ourselves up. We decided to get a small group of friends together maybe once a month. When I started rattling off all of the things that I wanted to do next, she told me that everything I was saying sounded like an idea for a nonprofit. At the time, I didn’t want to have that responsibility because it would be a job on top of the day job that I already had. But, I am now really happy that I had someone who saw a vision and saw the work in me and who felt that I could do something greater than what I thought I could do. As you can see we are now a nonprofit, and this has been an exciting, tremendous, educational journey for myself as well as my team. I’m so happy to be surrounded by people who think like I do and who want to save the world along with me, because what I really want to do is to create as much change as possible. This is really just to help other people and I truly believe that I can bring change to not just the area where I live, but to the world.
How did your experiences influence your nonprofit?
My mother passed away when I was really young which caused me to be a very angry youth, which spilled over into my teenage years. I kind of jumped around with that as an adult, because I felt like the world owed me something. My life wasn’t always great, but I always had people that wanted the best for me and that would support me, but I also knew I had to make a change for myself. I could no longer make excuses, I had to do something about it. My life is my story and it wasn’t always perfect, but I took what I knew and I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to provide a space where women can learn earlier what I learned later in life so they could get a chance to have a better understanding and a better hold on themselves.
You can do anything you want and the time is now. I know a lot of people say that, but I really feel like I am that person who said the life that was presented to me was not the life that I thought for myself. I am so happy that I turned out to be the complete opposite of how society wrote me to be. Life can sometimes put us in this box and give us instructions on what we are supposed to do. I am one of those people that didn’t follow any of those instructions. What I am learning while building this company is that I have to be just as open as I expect someone else to be. I want them to trust me and know that I can help them because I am helping myself in the process.
What are some of the things you have been doing with the nonprofit? What do you expect for the future?
Right now of course it’s COVID, so a lot of things have stopped for us and we have moved more into a virtual platform. We are putting together workshops, and just recently had our virtual happy hour event for women of color in business, who are trying to start their businesses or just trying to find more networking opportunities. I have also partnered with a friend of mine, Courtney Henderson, who is the founder of Develop and Empower Consulting and we are here to help each other. Coming up this year, we are going to partner with the Big Brother, Big Sister program to put on an educational workshop for youth. We also have other projects with the Salvation Army, where we provide sanitary products for women who are homeless.
Can you tell us about some success stories with your company as a whole?
A lot of people so far that we have helped have been more in the financial area, whether that be in looking for homes, or just trying to get their finances back together. Although, it really just comes down to connecting to other people and other women. It is so exciting to see so many people have the drive to want to make change, to make a difference, and to do something different than they did yesterday. The connections are truly what I enjoy most, especially in a pandemic. This year has truly put in perspective what love and happiness looks like and the success stories are really just connecting and helping people while they help me as well along the way.
What else do you want to share with us? How can we get in touch with you?
You can go to www.promiseher.org and can follow us on Instagram @p.r.o.m.i.s.e._her. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. If you want to volunteer for us, you can apply on our website as well. Right now, we are looking for donations to build our organization because unfortunately, we are supporting ourselves out of pocket for a lot of this and we want to be able to do a lot more. We want to spend the next year appealing to other people and giving back as much as we can. We are also on Amazon smile! You can select our organization there and we will be your charitable organization. Every time you make a purchase on Amazon, 0.5% of your purchase goes to us.