Building + Breakthroughs at Yleana Leadership Academy Youth (Event Report)

Hi かわいい + creative family!

🗣KAWAII in da Hood alert! *woot*

Remember those happy moments I shared earlier?! Well …

I’m so happy to finally swing thru this FriYAY to share my time at Yleana Leadership Academy with you ~

on da road again 🌸 @tdcraggette & I are going to ol’ Mass to mentor … I always say you don’t have to leave your backyard to help the person closest to you. But most important, these kids look like me so it’s an honor to travel + meet them where they are 💗💕✨⠀ ⠀ In the past year, I have had the pleasure of mentoring with Yleana youth via Skype and now I get to meet everyone in person. It’s like meeting long, lost family for the first time 😸 ⠀ ⠀ Super Excited ⠀ 🎨☀️🌈💗💕✨⠀ _______________________________________________________⠀ ⠀ #pink #pinkfeed #pastelpink #pinkaesthetic #kawaiioftheday #kawaiilifestyle #kawaiidesu #kawaii #かわいい #cute #kawaiicreative #createveryday #makeyourownmagic #creativeentrepreneur #kawaiitattooartist #creativitytakescourage #creativescreate #creativitycoach #202creates #kawaiiblog #kawaiiblogger #yumekawaii⠀ #yumecreate #kawaiiart #afrokawaii #followmekawaii #atelierlife #dckawaiistyle #passivecreatives #laptoplifestyle

A post shared by Imani 🌸 Tattoo + Bujo Artist 🌸 (@ipukekawaii) on


OMG! It was so much fun …

here’s is a recap (& phot spam, of course) of our weekend together ^.^

Enjoy ~

On Da Road Again + 10 Fun Facts

shout out to THIS guy for making sure I was more active with the program this year ❤

From the Site: The Yleana Leadership Academy is a residential summer academy which annually serves 80 rising high school seniors in urban areas (Baltimore, Boston, Lynn/Salem/Peabody, NYC, and Philadelphia) and seeks to close the achievement gap through a three-week transformative summer SAT intervention. Learn More

Welcome to Holyoke! ^.^ (my first time in this small town haha)
my mobile studio + I at the Mount Holyoke sign

I like to learn fun facts about the places I travel to …

so here’s a bit about Mount Holyoke College ~

10 Fun Facts

Mount Holyoke is …

✨ located in South Hadley -aka- the Pioneer Valley 
✨ an all women’s liberal arts college
✨ founded by a chemist + educator
✨ has a public art museum (we were too loaded and I didn’t get to go *super sad face*
✨ one of the five colleges community for the Pioneer Valley
✨ the first of the Seven Sisters college consortium
✨ has a traditional Japanese tea house (I was super excited and it was closed >.<)
✨ doesn’t require SAT scores (man! where was this college when I was stressin’ about dat life)
✨ 26% domestic non-white population – African American, Asian American, Latina, Native American or Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, + multiracial (I’d never survive but that’S another conversation haha)
✨ has a ‘design your own major’ option (now THAT is cool!)

it ain’t home if it ain’t pink ^.^

Now that you know where we pulled up …

Let’s have some fun ^.^

Yleana Shark Tank Weekend

Day 1


I was attracted to Yleana (beyond what I was told) when I learned that their entrepreneurship program is embedded into the program’ structure – allowing options for kids who may not fair well with college (for any reason)

In my opinion that not only provides options but gives an honest look at how to maneuver life ^.^

I was even more in love when I arrived and got to experience Yleana – the family of staff + youth, the real/ unfiltered talk & interactions that happened … the break throughs! ❤

UGH it was beautiful ~

they got me with duck mouth tho >.< LOL

The afternoon was so chill that we had an impromptu getting to know you manga drawing session … but so much more happened …

like temporary tattoos
and discussions about what getting tattooed responsibly means
DC Kawaii Style
the kneecap tho *ouch*
ILNL stickers made a HUGE splash too!

kawaii journaling Imani K Brown

Day 2

kawaii business casual swag

Sunday was the day of entrepreneurship – where students honed the final parts of their product ideas for presentation later that night ~

Out of respect for the students and their ideas, I didn’t bother taking pictures or anything …

They were already nervous enough haha

But I was REALLY happy that my sessions were hosted next door to the Japanese instructor’s office (just because it made the space seem ‘familiar’ 🤷🏾‍♀️)

kawaii origami kimono
yo! this reading class is brilliant!
me taking a break for the day to ummm … selfie (priorities LOL)
kawaii in da hood Yleana Leadership Academy
but I said I wanted to take an OOTD shot outlaid and then this happened LOL (sorry NOT sorry!)

Y’all don’t even know how proud I am of EVERY group I that have the privilege of mentoring through Yleana. But again … experiencing IRL …

priceless ❤

My Reflections

kawaii journaling Imani K Brown

It’s truly an honor to give back in this way –

I am (some people say they once were) one of these kids that this program helps ❤

And I am always seeking to be an active part of the betterment of my community ^.^

my mobile studio + Yleana gifts ^.^

But my BIGGEST take-away is a self observation ~

See, I’ve always been concerned about being the hood chick who’s rough around the edges in these entrepreneurship spaces.

BUT what I learned this weekend is that my being rough around the edges is a NEEDED skillset –

I AM these kids and speak a language that most don’t speak and the kids who speak that language need to know that others like them exist in these spaces JUST FOR THEIR GREATNESS!⠀


Before leaving, I got to see a bit more of the college grounds and found the botanic garden.

These are visuals of the moments I choose to take back with me ~

growth ~
and possibility ^.^
#mood – I am a black unicorn
Excited to share our #passivecreatives talk about mobile entrepreneurship from Mount Holyoke! Next Week!
until our next adventure – probably a #DCtoJapan adventure ^.^

Happy FriYAY y’all! ^.^

Gambare, minna
Imani (イマーニ)

Let’s keep in Touch!


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Building + Breakthroughs at Yleana Leadership Academy Youth (Event Report) was originally published on Kawaii Creative Corner

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