Hidden Figure: Vanetia Fahie
Crystal: In three words describe Vanetia Fahie?
Vanetia: Faithful, Obedient, and Strong
Crystal: What was your first philanthropic activity?
Vanetia: My first philanthropic activity was the DO YOU Enrichment Center where we assisted the community through tutoring, mentoring, enrichment classes, GED Prep, and other educational opportunities to further the development of the community.
Crystal: How do you define philanthropy?
Vanetia: Philanthropy is serving from your heart and helping those less fortunate to prosper in spite of their circumstances. It is creating an opportunity for growth and prosperity for those who otherwise would not have that opportunity to do so.
Crystal: What is the best part of being a philanthropist?
Vanetia: The best part of being a philanthropist is seeing the excitement and the joy in the eyes of those you serve. It is knowing that you have given someone an opportunity to change, who would not have had that chance if you had not only created and presented the opportunity, but also helped them to successfully seize the opportunity.
Crystal: What community issues are you passionate about?
Vanetia: I am passionate about helping moms, especially single moms to have the best “Mommy Experience” they can have. I have the opportunity to bring awareness to opportunities available to enable them to become self-sufficient and prosperous in all they do.
Crystal: What is your current position?
Vanetia: I am the House and Nutrition Manager for Florence Crittenton, which is a group home for pregnant and abused girls and young women ages 12-21. I not only ensure the house stays in order, but I am a shoulder for tears, a hand for comfort, and an ear when it seems no one else is listening. I feel like these girls are my babies, too. Having lost my mom at 9, I can relate to the feelings most of the girls have. It makes it easier for them to talk to me because I’ve been there, in a sense.
Crysta: How does your current position align with your purpose?
Vanetia: My current position was purposely orchestrated by God during a very low time in my life. I had just lost my job in Atlanta, GA and had to move back home. This was not the type of job I was used to doing, nor was it anywhere close to the pay scale I was used to. I initially started out as a volunteer, conducting groups such as vison boards, budgeting, and setting goals as a way to keep me busy while I look for work. While volunteering, I was offered the position of an ally, which at first I was going to turn down because it wasn’t my norm. I asked God for direction and he instructed me to take the position. This position turned out to be the best job that I have ever had. While it was not paying what I wanted or what I thought I needed, it was not just a job for me. I was able to serve and pour into these girls. In turn, I was pouring into myself.
My 9-5 and my own business go hand and hand. I founded La Femme (The Woman) and La Femme Magazine, in which we assist moms in stretching themselves and taking on new challenges wholeheartedly by inspiring and empowering them to overcome their fears. I am able to purposely serve all day every day and it feels AweMazing!
Crystal: What is your advice for a young mother on the verge of giving up?
Vanetia: During this time of transition for me, I was also in a time of discovery for my true purpose. People always say that in every experience there is a lesson, and I truly believe that. While this was one of the hardest times for me in my life, it was also one of the most gratifying and heartfelt times of my life. I discovered the true meaning of faith-walking. I discovered just how much God truly loves me and carries me every day. Giving up is not an option for you if you believe in God. What will keep you is a mindset shift in knowing that you can and you will do all things through Christ who strengthens you. Mothers are one of the strongest people I have ever met. We were chosen to bear children for a reason, and that was because God knew that we could handle it. Know that you can do anything with a plan. It may take you a little longer, or you may have to go through a little more, but just know that it’s coming. If I could leave 3 pieces of advice with you, I would say
- Create a vision board- Being able to see the things your heart desires will help you accomplish them and empower you to keep pushing and do more.
- Set goals- Yearly, Monthly, Weekly, and Daily
- Implement- Saying it and doing it are two totally different things. I know it’s hard, especially if you are doing it alone. Trust me, I am living proof that you can. Create a check list if you have to, but make sure you are doing the work.
Crystal: How did Hidden Figures impact your life?
Vanetia: It inspired me to do more. I currently have a magazine called La Femme (The Woman), in which I highlight women across the globe doing AweMazing things. Hidden Figures just confirmed that La Femme is necessary. If this movie had been shown years ago, how many young girls, minorities as a whole, do you think would have been impacted.
Crystal: Did you know the Hidden Figures story prior to the movie?
Vanetia: No. This, like so many other stories, is why I love what I do with my magazine in highlighting community women.
Crystal: Who is your Hidden Figure/mentor?
Vanetia: Donna Jenkins. She is my mentor, my other mother, my friend. She taught me everything I know about grant writing and she is one of my SHE Soldiers. Our life’s missions are the same, to serve from our full heart. She is a true Hidden Figure and I love her.
Crystal: Muhammad Ali has a quote; “The service you do for others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth.” What does that quote mean to you?
Vanetia: This quote is exactly what philanthropy is about, serve from your whole heart. You should always have a giving heart because you never know when it will be you on the other end of the table. Even when I think I don’t have, I still have it because someone comes through for me every time. God’s favor is always upon me.
Crystal: Do you have a favorite quote?
Vanetia: Yes, “Divorce your fears and marry your strength!” ~ Vanetia Fahie
Crystal: What is your favorite book?
Vanetia: I don’t have a favorite book. I love to read anything that is inspiring, motivational, and empowering. I take something different from every book I read, as they all touch me in a different way.
Crystal: What is your next philanthropic project?
Vanetia: How can the audience assist in this endeavor? My next philanthropic project is the SHE Tour. Through La Femme, we host events that inspire and empower mommies to be the women that God created them to be. We will be hosting a 12 city tour which will include a Mommy & Me Shower, A Community Day Cookout, An Evening of SHE, and a Vision Board Brunch. We are collecting self-care items and gift cards for the mommies and educational items for the children. Anyone that would like to volunteer or would like to participate in any of the events can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can visit our website at www.lafemme-inc.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @maglafemme to stay updated on events.
Crystal: What words of inspiration can you leave the audience?
Vanetia: “Divorce your fears and marry your strength!” These are the words that I say to myself every day, because with every new day comes new fears. You have to mentally prepare yourself for anything that comes up against you. Never allow fear to stop you from doing anything. Always remember, if God brought the vision to you, he will be there with you on the mission. Every day I am on a mission to my vision, and you should be too.