Stephanie Nicole Dawkins is an Entrepreneur and the founder of Black Girls Hike Too, as well as this week’s #PeopleofWilmDE! Read her story below:
“In my early twenties I was contacted by a well known Wilmingtonian on Facebook. She was an Executive Director at a non-profit who focused on the well being of men, women and children in the Southbridge and surrounding areas. It was at that organization where I realized I always wanted to serve people.
I have been active in the community since 2010. I spent over 10 years working in the non-profit sector working for organizations such as One Village Alliance, Goodwill of Delaware and Delaware County, Public Allies and YWCA Delaware.
I choose to work in Wilmington because there are so many beautiful people who may not have been afforded the same opportunities as others. My goal has always been to expose people to more and broaden their horizons.
Working in Wilmington has given me a bigger heart. Seeing the eyes of children light up when we’ve had summer camp and it was pool day, or a woman with tears in her eyes when we’ve gifted her with gift cards for groceries. I want to spend my life giving back and uplifting these beautiful communities.
My favorite night in recent years was election night. The Riverfront was packed and the love and unity was at an all time high.
I am a woman who is for and about the people. I believe it’s important to live out loud without fear of what other people will say. I created Black Girls Hike Too for black women to tap into the healing powers of nature. Additionally, we must normalize women and mothers having a life of their own prior to their children turning 18. I have a 7 year old who sees Mommy living out loud and she equally has a life of her own.
After going on a few hikes myself and inviting others to join me – I am so proud of women that decided to step out and try something new. Generations before us were afraid to step into the woods because of fear and our history with trees. We’ve avoided the great outdoors because we’ve just wanted to feel safe. Black Girls Hike Too is creating a new normal for black women that we can hike, explore and relish in the beauty of nature.
This world needs more unity. Our city is small yet filled with unlimited potential. If you see someone needing help, help them. If you find yourself with extra time, space and/or energy lend a hand to a small business owner, volunteer with a local organization. If you see a void in the city, then create the solution.
Hope to me is passive. As a go getter, I affirm that Wilmington will continue to thrive, develop and provide more opportunities to black and brown people.”