It’s not the message you’d expect to hear out of someone who has been through what Alana Allen has.
“Forgive and be you. Just forgive and be free. Because when you forgive someone, it feels like cool water,” she says.
That sentiment – and realizing that “teen girls need an outlet, teen girls need something to do, teen girls need to be active and engaged in their communities.”
Who better to do that than Alana.
But her quest to create an teen girl empowerment and mentoring organization called I Am A Queen began with a personal tragedy.
“I started I Am A Queen nine years ago through a prayer of forgiveness,” she says. “I actually forgave someone who harmed me as a child – who sexually assaulted me. And, through that prayer, when I was 23 years old, I forgave that person who was a member of my family. And when I forgave him, I started writing 'I'm a queen' down and I wanted to empower girls so that they could overcome insecurities or trauma or anything that has held them back.”
It was a Godsend for people like Jakara Jordan, who admits she had a self-esteem problem when she was younger.
Jakara is a now a junior at Winston-Salem State University and volunteers with I Am A Queen after seeing what it did for her as she began to understand its mantra of “I am enough.”
“I am enough means that you have to stay true to you. You are living as you. You're you so you have to understand how important it is to be yourself,” says Jakara.
See how I Am A Queen works in this edition of the Buckley Report.