RISE Model at Work

The National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) is an organization that propels women entrepreneurs into economic, social, and political spheres of power worldwide. Earlier this week, I had the privilege of covering the installation of the new board of the Orlando Chapter.

Not surprisingly the crowd was full of successful women, from Representative Anna Eskamani to Orlando Film Commissioner and Full Sail Hall of Fame Inductee Sheena Fowler.

Even more compelling than their individual achievements was the power they cultivated as a network.

I felt a strong sense of community as I moved throughout the room. Every time I looked through my camera, I saw a face that I recognized.

Toward the end of the night, there was one exuberant smile and greeting that I couldn’t place. Shanequa Bernard called out to me by name and reached out for a warm hug. Shanequa is an Entertainment Business student at Full Sail and knows me through my work with the RISE Model.

It’s always so humbling when students beyond my own classroom share how their ability to give and receive feedback has been positively shaped by the RISE Model. Shanequa thanked me for empowering her with a framework for critique and laughingly joked that her high GPA was a result of her ability to more meaningfully contribute to discussion board assignments.

It was a simple but significant moment that allowed me to see my place in this community of bad-a$$ boss ladies and how each of us plays a part in uplifting one another to what’s next.

Thanks for saying “Hi”, Shanequa, and congratulations on your upcoming graduation and the launch of your new business.

📸 @shanevalentinephoto

RISE Model Emily Wray Shanequa Bernard
RISE Model Emily Wray Shanequa Bernard