Three young ladies call me mom, my fiance calls me beautiful and others call me a change agent.My name is Amarimba Leah Charles.I am the Founder and Executive Director of TALLOM Foundation Inc., a non profit organization whose mission is to empower girls and young women to become confident self sufficient and socially conscious.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
The best advice I’ve ever received is not to allow anyone to rent cheap space in my head. I used to let negative people or circumstances get under my skin and I would be upset for days, now I chalk it up to a learning experience and focus on the positive.
What would you say to 16 year old you?
I would tell my 16 year old self ‘books before boys’. I used to run track in junior secondary, I had the potential to become a professional athlete. I wanted to be the next Flo Jo (Florence Griffith Joyner), I got sidetracked running after boys.
What is your greatest fear?
My greatest fear is that I will die before my youngest child becomes an adult.
Have you ever had anyone doubt you? How did that make you feel?
People doubt me all the time.It actually motivates me to accomplish what was said couldn’t be done and exceed expectations I place on myself.
What message do you think every woman should hear?
Every woman should hear that she is beautiful and strong. We are the engineers of the world we don’t get enough credit for that.
What is your favorite thing about where you live?
My favorite thing about New York City is the diversity.It is a melting pot of people, culture, food, music and fashion.
What do you love most about yourself?
I love my persistence. Once I put my mind to something I get it done.
What is the biggest thing you’ve learned along the way?
The biggest thing I’ve learned is never accept no from someone who can’t say yes.
What motivates you most?
My children are my biggest motivation.They are my why.
How do you manage your work-life balance?
I don’t believe there is a work-life balance, at least not for me.There are somethings that will take priority over others at different times.Sometimes my children have activities at school on the same day, they attend different schools.I can’t be in both places at the same time.Neither child is less important than the other but I have to make a judgement call.One child will have to understand.There are times I have to work and I can’t make it to a dance recital, my daughter knows that I want to be there and it’s not an indication that I don’t care.My fiance and I don’t spend a lot of time together because he’s a consultant and travels a lot.When he’s at home on the weekend I may have work.We try at least once a month to put everything on the back burner.We plan a date night and reserve a hotel in the city, catch a broadway show, have dinner and then brunch the next morning.Balance would mean that each person or situation is getting similar amounts of time, that’s not possible in my life.
What do you do on a daily basis to grow and move forward?
I pray everyday, most times at least 3 times.I recite affirmations.I am a firm believer in the power of affirmations and speaking things into existence.When I’m feeling down I light a scented candle, put on music to the highest volume and sing to the top of my voice.Music and singing takes me to a happy place.
If you weren’t doing the job you have now, what would you be doing?
I honestly can’t see myself doing anything else.
What is something on your bucket list?
I will love to visit Dubai and the maldives.I am absolutely terrified of flying but I have to visit at least one of these places.
Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration in my children, the young people I work with and the world around me.
What are your biggest passions?
My biggest passions are desserts and giving back. I enjoy both possibly to the same degree. I grew up experiencing poverty and it a rewarding feeling to give to someone who is less fortunate. In 2015 I hosted my first holiday party for families living in transitional shelters in lieu of my 40th birthday celebration. One of the moms came up to and said, ‘“thank you for making me feel human again.” That was and will be one of the most memorable moments in my life and it happened because I decided to live my passion.
More About Amarimba
Amarimba L. Charles is the founder and executive director of T.A.L.L.O.M. (This Awesome Little Light Of Mine) Foundation Incorporated, a non-profit organization that focuses on inspiring, educating and empowering youth.
In October 2015, Amarimba decided to pursue her passion by establishing a platform where girls and young women can access the tools they needed to enhance their lives and create a better reality for themselves. She holds a degree in Business Fundamental is a certified youth coach in addition to being a social entrepreneur.
Amarimba uses her life experiences, practical, and realistic strategies to empower young women and girls to become confident, self-sufficient, and socially conscious. She believes that educated and empowered girls grow up to be educated and empowered women, who positively impact their families and their communities.
The multi-award winner is a recipient of the Caribbean Life Impact Award, Power Woman in Business, awards of Recognition in Achievement in Entrepreneurship and Women’s Empowerment, and citations from the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President and State Assembly.
Amarimba is willing to go above and beyond to provide an environment where children can find support and motivation to enrich themselves, and to pursue their goals. Her leadership skills are exceptional and her commitment to help each and every child is undeniable.