Charles City woman inspires by ‘Creating a Better Me’
Ever since delivering a dynamic speech at Charles City High School’s Class of 2018 graduation, the words of Jessica Hill continues to resonate throughout the local community and even extend beyond county lines. That was something the 21-year old has been dreaming of doing for the last three years.
The Charles City resident is the founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Creating a Better Me LLC., a non-profit and community-based organization focused on enhancing the lives of women by educating, uplifting, and inspiring them to reach their wildest dreams.
Tuesday afternoon’s interview with the recent Old Dominion graduate and future Morgan State student provided an insight to her motivation for creating the organization at such a young age.
“This started out three years ago when I worked as a camp counselor with ages 12-15 for Charles City Parks and Recreation,” Hill said. “I wanted to do something different and each week we had a different theme.”
One of those themes was “Creating a Better Me.” Hill, whose love for her hometown community was evident during the interview, began to see that vision blossom.
“I started providing women empowerment activities to show these young ladies what they are capable of doing,” Hill said. “Ms. Orainnia Poindexter told me that I was limiting myself and what I had planned was so much bigger. That is when I thought ‘maybe this is what God had for me.’”
Creating a Better Me began transforming from an inhouse project into the outreach program it is today.
“I have lived in this county [Charles City] and I had seen nothing like this here,” said Hill. “I have always wanted to be part of a woman’s organization.
“My mother told me that I should wait until I graduated college, but I said, ‘if not me, then who?’” she continued. “If you continue to put something off then you’ll never get around to doing it.”
Hill followed her instinct, officially starting the non-profit on June 5, 2017. From there, the organization formed an executive board of six people. Serving as the figurehead of the group, Hill has become a motivational speaker, utilizing her talents to speak at community events that include women’s empowerment conferences. Despite being barely a year old, the group has organized paint nights, collaborated with other nonprofits in nearby Hopewell, organized a toy drive, and provided two scholarships.
Hill said that a mentor of hers while she attended the same summer camp that inspired her provided that extra push to set her goals high.
“Monica Woodley mentored me as my summer camp counselor,” Hill said, speaking about the Charles City native who is also a founder of a nonprofit group, Conscious Kingdom. “I owe a lot to her that helped me become the woman that I am and the woman I need to be for this organization.”
That woman Hill became is one that has transformed into a leader that displays patience and elevating herself to do more. She makes executive decisions that affects her entire team. And with a mailing list of 60 people so far and a website to promote her group (www.creatingabettermellc.org), Hill wanted to express that while she expects the organization to grow, she knows the backbone that is needed for it to do so.
“I can’t do this along and I don’t want to do this alone,” she commented. “I have been living by this saying; if everybody does a little than each of us doesn’t have to do a lot.
“Helping one person may not change the world, but it can change the world for that one person,” Hill said.
Hill said that the organization is not limited to women, but she is hoping to expand it in the future.
“We’re in the process of finding the right male figure to be the advocate and collaborate with,” she said as she began to wrap up the interview. “People have been afraid to say how they feel and when I gave that speech at the high school graduation, I have been approached on several occasions by others telling me how much those words have meant to them. I hope I continue to be that voice to motivate other women to become entrepreneurs and reach beyond their potential.