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Meet Chinaza Ogbonna of The Steministas in Lindbergh

Today we’d like to introduce you to Chinaza Ogbonna.

Chinaza, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
The idea for The Steministas stemmed from a desire to meld my worlds. On the one hand, I knew all these amazing women in STEM who have incredible accomplishments and on the other, I knew so many people who were lacked the confidence and the know-how to pursue their dreams. So, I thought to myself, how can I show the stories of these awesome women to these people who were struggling to take their next steps? The only format I could think of that I figured I could do was a podcast. So, I started interviewing people and launched The Steministas Podcast last September. Over time, as I thought more about my goal and vision for the brand, I realized that I wanted The Steministas to go beyond empowering and inspiring our listeners through the stories of the lives of these Steministas. I also want The Steministas to be a network of incredible, inspiring women (in STEM or not) who come together once in a while to empower ourselves and each other. So, I started The Steministas Events platform! Every so often we come together to have stimulating discussions on personal development topics so that we can be connected, inspired, and empowered by each other. Since our first event in February, we have had 4 events so far and explored themes like Self-Love, Finding Your Purpose, and Creating a Peaceful Environment. My next goal is to launch The Steministas Database in 2020, which will simply be a database of small businesses started by women and non-binary people, to provide a one-stop-shop where you can find a wide range of products and services while supporting these often-marginalized groups. As I keep exploring ways to empower women, I hope to keep expanding the brand.

*Woman means anyone that identifies as a woman.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Not quite. Often times, I am the only one working on this. It can be really hard to find people who want to dedicate the time and effort into doing things like audio editing or directing social media, especially when you can’t afford to pay them. I also invest a lot of time and money into putting on the events and the podcast. But I love it and I believe in the brand. Every time I meet someone who listens to the podcast or was inspired by our social media or loved our events, I get motivated to keep going.

Please tell us about The Steministas – what should we know?
The Steministas is a brand dedicated to empowering, connecting, and normalizing women (in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)) with an emphasis on diversity. Under The Steministas Brand, we have the podcast and our community engagement (events) platform.

The goal of the podcast is to not only celebrate their accomplishments but to also inspire other people who have ideas to pursue their dreams, discuss challenges that they may face in pursuing these dreams, and to raise awareness for the projects these Steministas are currently working on.

We host events to bring together young women from various backgrounds to facilitate discussions around fundamental life skills and shared life experiences to help us become the best versions of ourselves.

I’m really excited about the fact that I started this brand a year ago and in that time we have put out 2 seasons of the podcast on all podcast platforms, hosted 4 events, and had over 700 unique downloads for our podcast. But honestly, I think I’m most proud when someone tells me an episode inspired them or an event empowered them and they can see themselves being represented on my platform because that’s really why I do this.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
I would say tenacity. It’s because I so strongly believe in this that I can invest all I do into making it a reality.

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