How We Met
With her fingers locked, knees bent and back straight, she took my foot in her hands and lifted me.
During one of the most challenging times of my life, Brionna Jimerson used her bright eyes, warm smile and inspiring words to stir up a fire inside of me.
When we first met, I was a mess.
I attempted to mask my impostor syndrome with makeup, weave and cute dresses. Brionna saw through my layered disguise and allowed her spirit to comfort mine.
We were introduced by Queen Benet Wilson. Aunt Benet is the master connector. Her gift of discernment puts her in the perfect position to see the needs of those she mentors. I'm so glad she made this friendship happen.
A few weeks after meeting via email, I popped up in New York and grabbed Brionna for lunch.
On the first warm day of Spring, we met at Le Pain Quotidien just around the corner from ABC News. My old job and her new job. I sat with my back to the window as the sun shined a spotlight of her face.
She is the deepest breath of the freshest air.
After lunch, we skipped off to Central Park for a photo shoot. I take a lot of pictures, but this moment was so natural.
Every Black girl deserves this experience. I've had a lot of bad experiences with women who look like me. Many of them have broken my heart, but Brionna's joy mended it.
She knew I was out of work so, she began sending me openings immediately after our walk. She even followed up with contacts a gesture we all should adopt as best practices.
A month later, she followed up with another email. The subject: "Hi! You're on my mind. How are you?"
A few weeks after that, I delivered good news. I finally found my dream job. Like the queen she is, she rejoiced with me.
Everyone needs someone to celebrate them even when they can't find a reason to celebrate themselves.
I am beyond proud of the woman she is and the woman she will become.
Brionna, you are too dope for words.
Brionna Jimerson is a Social Media Analyst at ABC News. When she's not at work, she's pouring love into candles her 100% natural soy massage candle company called briCandles. She's also the creator the personal development and reading podcast called Bri Books.
After neglecting the idea for a blog about books for years, she realized that podcasting was the best medium for the authentic, sincere nature of the human voice. On the podcast, she chats with authors and interesting people about the books they're reading, and how they’re growing as a result of the words on the pages.
What matters to Brionna is a legacy of encouragement. She is her best self when she's embodying the spirit of the Sankofa bird—moving forward while reaching and giving back.
How You Can Find Brionna
Instagram: @brionnajay / @bricandles
Twitter: @brionnajay / @bricandles
Websites: briCandles.com / bribookspod.com / brionnajimerson.com /