Today we’d like to introduce you to Brittany “Bella” Jones.
Hi Brittany, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today.
Sure! Back in middle school my thoughts, dreams, and visions were always about forming an organization that catered to supporting young girls like me. Throughout my childhood and adolescent years, I struggled with anxiety and depression, battled with insecurities, faced peer pressure, experienced molestation, and even became involved in an abusive teenage relationship. Not to mention.
I also lived in a dysfunctional home which also played a role in the emotional and mental rollercoaster ride that I desperately wanted to be over. Of them all, anxiety was my biggest hurdle to get over and as time went on I managed to mask my issues well. Looking back, I realize it wasn’t the best choice but at the time it seemed like my only choice.
I lacked the ability to verbally convey what was going on internally so often, that I felt truly alone and blamed myself for everything. I didn’t know exactly what anxiety was, why I was so burdened by it, or how to explain the thoughts and emotions associated with it to my parents. They saw me gradually go from their chocolate, free-spirited daughter who would sing and dance at the drop of a dime to a daughter who was more reserved and avoided being in the spotlight at all costs.
Trying to cope with past situations and having anxiety at the forefront really put a damper on the outgoing person I knew myself to be. Despite suffering in silence, I always possessed an eagerness to support those around me by listening to their problems, providing words of encouragement/motivation, giving a reason to laugh or smile, and just being a voice of reason at times. Besides singing/listening to music, being a blessing or a beacon of light to others gave me the strength and peace to power through my tough days. I allowed my anxiety to rob me of many different opportunities such as senior prom, college, relationships, career opportunities, and starting the process of establishing Uplifting Queens Academy.
The anxiety worsened when I transitioned to motherhood. Having to deal with failed relationships with both of my children’s fathers plus my firstborn being diagnosed with Autism at the age of 2 and ADHD a few years later was too much for me as a young mom. Even still it took years for me to finally reach a breaking point where I was ready to unpack years’ worth of unresolved mental trauma. In 2018, I began receiving therapy and it was the ultimate game changer; I started my journey of transformation and restoration and needed to be at my best mentally.
The healing and inner work I’ve done thus far has opened my eyes to just how strong of hold anxiety had on me and placed emphasis on why I needed to gain control of it. I owe it not only to myself but to my two beautiful children and the young ladies I plan to connect with through Uplifting Queens Academy. I am in a much better space, and I have God, my therapist, and my solid support system to thank for that.
The rough patches I had to go through, as much as they stressed me out, were not in vain; they pushed me toward my purpose. If it wasn’t for those trials, Uplifting Queens Academy would not exist!
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It definitely hasn’t been a smooth road. As stated previously, I’m doing the self-work as much and as best as possible but one struggle is the fact that I still have to find the strength within myself to fight anxiety, be a mother, work hard to financially fund the organization as well as do a lot of research. This is all new to me. For a long time, I procrastinated because I thought I needed a degree. I was not ready to fully go back to school. After researching, I learned I didn’t need a degree yet, I still felt it was important to gain as much knowledge as possible.
During the pandemic, I took a college course online with Southwest, Harvard University, and Curtin University, and this year I completed a course with NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness). Starting any business, I’m sure, can be challenging but when you are starting a non-profit, you have to give it your all or nothing. It is a lot of footwork that goes along with doing so and I’m just fortunate to have my cousin Bridgett, my kid’s god mom, and the rest of my tribe beside me every step of the way! A good supportive, understanding, selfless tribe is definitely needed in this line of work for sure. Another struggle I found myself struggling with was trying to heal my inner wounds and break the intergenerational traumas within my family.
I want so badly to fix myself and change my mindset so that I can set the tone for those around me especially my nieces and the families of the young girls we will offer services to. It’s imperative for me to work on myself because as the old saying goes, “You can’t pour from an empty glass!” I can honestly say, I have come a very long way!
Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I have been in the medical field off and on for 11 years now, the longest being 5 years at Methodist. I specialize in patient care and I am known for my outgoing personality, my heart of gold, being an advocate for children, and being super supportive. I am most proud of how much I have grown since my healing and restoration journey. It’s not easy but the results are definitely worth it and very rewarding. I am also proud of taking the initiative to end the cycle of generational trauma within my family. Because of that, my children won’t have to endure the things myself and other family members endured for so long.
What sets me apart from others is the way I address and perceive things. I’m very optimistic, empathetic, and never afraid to go against the grain. I am truly a woman of substance and a woman of my word! Another thing that sets me apart is my undeniable love for the youth! Children have a special place in my heart and they are the focal point of the organization. My passion for supporting children mentally, and emotionally, and want to see them succeed are unquestionable!
So, before we go, how can our readers or others connect or collaborate with you? How can they support you?
The best way to support us is by simply following us on social media and sharing with others. We can be found on Instagram @UpliftingQueensAcademy (no spaces) and on Facebook @Uplifting Queens Academy (spaces included).
There is a website as well, UpliftingQueensAcademy.org, where everyone can check us out and donate. If anyone would like to volunteer services or collaborate with us they can send us a message from the actual website or email us @firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Website: Upliftingqueensacademy.org