My name is Porscha Lee Taylor, and I am a proud Pan-African. I was born in my mother’s hometown Fayetteville, North Carolina. My father was born in Panama but has resided in the U.S. for many years. Earlier this year I decided to retrace my maternal ancestry and entered a new-found discovery of oneself — when asked, “Where are you from?” no longer do I have to respond with my birth state but now with my country of origin. As a Pan-African; I am a daughter of Nigeria, sister of the Yoruba tribe, made with love from Panama, and born in America.
Throughout my adolescent years, I’ve faced many adversities just like many of my people back home in the Motherland; from being homeless, to losing a brother to gun violence, and being a caregiver for my late grandmother who suffered from Dementia. Through these life changing situations, I grew a passion to raise awareness and advocate for important issues that affected my family, the community and the nation. All while striving to become the best version of myself.
After being accepted into a STEM program as an Early College High School student, I discovered my love for coding and website design at the age of 16. Since then, I’ve earned my Bachelor’s degree in Journalism & Mass Communications with a concentration in Public Relations from North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University. In 2015, I became the founder of a women-owned tech start-up called SayYes LLC, a website design & brand agency that helps entrepreneurs successfully bring their ideas to life and turn it into an online business. The primary initiative of my business has been to inspire women and girls of color in technology and entrepreneurship. Since the inception of launching SayYes, I have successfully used various channels; social events, youth programs, fundraising and public speaking to reach as many individuals across the nation to influence entrepreneurship, professional development and women empowerment.
In 2016, I was crowned Miss District of Columbia United States and helped raised $3.1 million for the Alzheimer’s Association as the Alzheimer’s Ambassador to DC Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton. In addition, I now currently work full-time as a Federal Marketing Manager at one of the largest Fortune 500 Electronic companies, where I help IT companies do business with the U.S. Government. Since working in the IT industry, I learned that women of color makeup 80% of all-new women lead businesses in the U.S. In technology however, that figure plummets to 4% — that number is even more staggering in parts of Africa. Because in Africa, across many communities and countries, millions of girls and women are missing out on just the opportunity to access basic education. The reasons are complex, but the need is straightforward. African women and girls are not able to provide for themselves and sustain their families without a proper education and learning practical life development skills. Studies show that if every woman in Sub Saharan Africa completed their primary school education, maternal mortality would fall by 70%.
Acknowledging that education is the key to development across all nations. I set out on a journey to discover my ancestral background in hopes of learning and returning back to my roots to help others move forward. My results showed me that not only was I black, but that I belonged. My African descent traveled back to the beautiful country of Nigeria, and I have since set out on a journey to fully embrace and celebrate my culture, tribe, current issues and find social impacts that can stimulate the health of African females. This new-found discovery led me to vie for the title of Miss Africa USA 2019-2020.
As you next Miss Africa USA, I am advocating for my platform called #STEM, “Sisters in Technology and Entrepreneurship Matters”, where I focus on highlighting the awareness of African women and girl’s education in technology and entrepreneurship. I want to become the next Miss Africa USA, because I want to share my mission globally and help change the narrative of African women and girls. Through creating a sisterhood that will empower our generation to become women and girl leaders that desire to break historical barriers across the diaspora and the motherland.
To begin campaigning the awareness of my platform #STEM, in February of this year I started a podcast called “Tech Talk with Porscha lee Taylor — a live podcast show hosted in our nation’s capital, where I educate and inspire listeners in over 135 countries worldwide about technology and entrepreneurship from a black woman perspective. My plans as Miss Africa USA 2019-2020 are to: 1. Create social impacts initiatives through engaging with various charity/non-profit organizations, while leveraging my platform #STEM. 2. Fundraise for educational resources for under-served girls in impoverished areas of Africa and the U.S. and 3. Advocate for employment opportunities in underrepresented areas across the U.S. and Africa. My humanitarian goals are to decrease poverty, shatter gender stereotypes, increase economic/social stability, and uplift women and girls education Africa and the U.S. Because I believe that educated girls can truly change the world.