Alexia Vernon wants you to break the glass ceiling you’ve created for yourself and be better than you ever expected.
Alexia began her quest to help women achieve their goals when she participated in and won a pageant as a college freshman. She describes it as, “more of an academic competition than anything else- and had that intuitive feeling” she was going to do well.
As a result of winning, Alexia had the opportunity to go into the national speaker stage and talk about young women, achieving one’s goals, and strategies for success. She saw there was a huge gap between her goals and what a lot of the young women she was speaking to saw as possibilities for their lives. She used the pageant winnings “to start a non-profit organization to work with girls and their leadership development” that later integrated with an elementary school in Las Vegas.
When she spoke to young women in her community of Las Vegas, it pained her to hear they were aspiring merely to such goals as finishing high school and not having to take care of their siblings, or getting a job as a cocktail waitress at the casinos. Alexia realized she had to become part of the solution for these women to better their lives and see there are many more opportunities waiting for them.
Out of college, Alexia started working as a traditional employee. She, like many of us in our 20s, walked into our jobs and wondered why we weren’t being recognized for our hard work. Alexia had the normal, “What am I doing with my life?” question, but she turned it around and made it “Who do I want to be?” She wanted to take control of her life and be the captain of her own ship. Alexia also wanted to work with women developing their communication and leadership skills as they were entering the workplace.
Through experiences in her first jobs, Alexia created the saying “Shift hard work for smart work.” She says that to begin working smart, you need to “invest in solid, mutually beneficial relationships.” Creating a good network of friends and colleagues who can help write a great recommendation or that can give you a heads up for a new job is always beneficial. You should be “always looking how to be of service instead of waiting for others to do things for you.” This is crucial because sometimes we feel we are special and entitled to certain things, when in reality, we need to earn that right. Lastly, “in order to be of service to people, you need to take care of yourself.” This means getting enough sleep, eating well, going to yoga or meditating so you are both mentally and physically at your best.
Alexia has been working and developing Moxie Camp, which has been brewing in her brain for years. Moxie Camp is a weekend experience for female change-makers that doesn’t feed information to women like a run of the mill conference, but instead gives them the chance to “practice pitching ideas, hone their negotiating strategies, learn how to build a movement around their ideas, and other workplace related skills with the help of hands-on coaches and speakers.” This is the main difference between Moxie Camp and a regular female empowerment convention – women walk away with actual experience instead of ideas that aren’t put to work.
Moxie Camp will take place in New York from June 29 until July 1. Alexia explains she chose New York because she lived in New York for several years, and feels it truly is the “metropolis” of America. She sees Moxie Camp attendees to be women between their 20s and 40s who want to practice their leadership skills with mentors and leaders. Alexia feels some women don’t have the same opportunities to hone their business skills once they leave school, so Moxie Camp is the place to practice and grow. She also sees it as multi-generational, with mothers and daughters attending to empower each other and strive to get better in both their home and work lives.
Alexia feels Moxie Camp is specifically for ladies because “women act differently when men are around,” so there needs to be a “space for women to play and grow.” Also, 10 percent of each ticket goes to the non-profit organization, She’s The First, which helps fund women in Third World countries to finish school. Alexia envisions Moxie Camp to be on both coasts in 2013, and in 2014 to have three cities hosting the camp, allowing more women to participate. Alexia shares that women from as far away as Australia are interested in attending, which excites her because she really is affecting the lives of women all over the world. Alexia personally inspired me because she doesn’t hold herself back and goes after what she wants. Life is about taking risks and breaking that glass ceiling we make for ourselves and Alexia wants every woman to be better than they could ever imagine.
Women Working to Do Good is a series that Hello Giggles and the White House have been collaborating on. We will bring you stories of women in communities across the United States who we think are stars in their own right. Whether they are young entrepreneurs, active community organizers, or making a difference in a single life or community, we think these women are amazing and want to share their stories with you! Each story will also be featured on the White House blog, and we are working together to bring more strong female role models to the forefront.
If there is a woman in your community who you think should be honored in this series, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!