Leisa: Hello, I’m Leisa Holland-Nelson and welcome to this edition of Women Mean Business where we’re going to take you up close and personal with extraordinary women doing extraordinary things. My guest today is April C. Day, the President of the Women’s Business Enterprise Alliance; April, welcome to Women Mean Business.
April: Thank you for having me Leisa, it’s a pleasure to be here.
Leisa: April, I’m going to guess that when you were playing in the backyard on the swings or in a sandbox or whatever that you didn’t dream this was going to be what you’d be doing at this time in your life. What did you think you were going to do and how did you get to this incredible position?
April: Well I really thought that I was going to marry the deacon of my church.
Leisa: Did you? You can do that too.
April: No, I didn’t, he didn’t look at me at all.
Leisa: What, when he was 30 and you were 6?
April: Exactly, you know, you always have that one cutie pie at the church, and that didn’t happen for me at all. And so I wasn’t as lucky to figure out okay, well what else do I want to do until I started going to college. And when I go to college I was connected to an amazing woman that became my mentor and sometimes things open up. I think I had a great mother and sometimes you listen and sometimes you don’t, I think I should have listened way more when I was younger but I listen to her all the time now. But when I finally got to college there was this one woman, she was the dean there, and she helped me see that regardless of what my history is or what my experiences were that I could use those to prepare me to be the woman that I wanted to be. And I wasn’t exactly sure what my talents were but I knew that I wanted to change the world.
But I didn’t grow up saying I want to always work in non-profit but I knew that I wanted to be of some service to the community, to individuals, because that’s what helped me become the April that I was; that someone took notice of me and said let me help you. And I wanted to do that for other people and so I first started working with high school students helping them look at education as a way out of poverty. I was a low income, first generation student, there was no way I was going to graduate from undergrad, let alone get my MBA and move into a PhD program, so having someone that says you can do this was all I needed.
So I started working with college students and helping them achieve post-secondary education and fulfill their dreams that way and create change in their families and their communities; did that for about 11 years. And then I switched over to the small business side which again is still about serving, it’s still about creating opportunities to change communities, to change lives through economic prosperity. WBA, right now we have about 760 women business owners that represent about 8.9 billion dollars in the Houston economy, creating over 40,000 jobs; so WBA helps me help women change not only their lives but the lives of everyone in their community and everyone in their company. So I love it, I love it.
Leisa: Thank you, thank you for sharing that.
April: Thank you for having me.
Leisa: There you have it, another extraordinary woman doing extraordinary things. I’m Leisa Holland-Nelson, President and Co-founder of ContentActive, Houston’s leading web and mobile design and development company. You can find me at ContentActive.com or follow me on Twitter @LHNelson. We’ll be back again next week with another edition Women Mean Business.
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