Mea Boykins is a 27-year-old native of New Orleans. Boykins is a non-profit & scholarship founder, event planner, fundraiser, business development consultant and international public speaker who is currently training to be a pilot. She is a graduate of Spelman College (2011), Kings College London (2013) and University of San Francisco (2016) with degrees in Psychology, Child Psychiatry & Global Entrepreneurial Management. While at Spelman, Boykins created the Student Emergency Assistance (S.E.A.) Scholarship for juniors and seniors who had exhausted all of their financial resources and have an impending balance placing them at risk for expulsion.
When asked to describe herself, Boykins identified herself as “a spiritual person who’s also adventurous, and free-spirited; a lover of humanity.” Mea goes on to explain how she has become the person that she is today: “I’ve always been a person that cared about others and wanted to serve the community. When I was 12 years old, I worked as a tutor for children with autism. Since I was a kid, it was always in my heart to help others to be better. As far as spirituality, that’s a journey. It’s something that I started in my teenage years and cultivated over time. Everything that I do is tied into my spiritual beliefs, including my current and future career plans as well as my morals and principles. My ultimate goal is to do God’s will in all areas of my life. Boykins is a well-rounded individual with a sound sense of ambition, drive and faith. She is also an aspiring pilot and explains how this came about: “Yeah so I love traveling so I thought it would be cool if I learn how to fly so I can fly myself around. It’s become sort of like a hobby for me.”
Before starting her first Master’s degree, Boykins commenced S.E.A., Inc., an international nonprofit, which helps disadvantaged youth and homeless individuals around the world. Thus far, Boykins has lived in 5 countries and planned over 15 events and fundraisers around the world, in locations like England, China, Spain, NYC, ATL and New Orleans with partners like the United Nations, MTV, Bravo TV and influencers across various fields. As a result, Boykins has been featured in celebrity media such as Hello Beautiful, Black Celebrity Giving and international blogs. This past June, she was awarded the “Outstanding Achievement Award” by Rev. Jesse Jackson at Rainbow Push Coalition’s 45th annual international conference.
Boykins has a blossoming and already successful career which she massively enjoys: “the most enjoyable thing about my career is working for myself; and managing clients. Event planning and fundraising are skills that are easily measurable. In life, I believe it’s not about the effort, instead it is about results. Working in those fields provide instant gratification as there are swift and strict deadlines, and that is how I work best. If I were working in an office, I may not see the results of any given project for months to several years. Regardless of what I’m doing, I like to be an asset and add value. Boykins further explains that this form of instant gratification is part of the process of setting up a long term gratification. “I work with influencers, politicians, celebrities and entrepreneurs, so leveraging those partnerships and continuing to brand myself within my Global Management and Marketing company is important. Also, in the future, I plan on launching an incubator for young social entrepreneurs (amongst other things).”
There are many obstacles and challenges that Mea Boykins has confronted and had to overcome in her pursuit of success. “In order to get to where I am today I have faced certain challenges in my career journey, such challenges include stigmas of me being a young woman, people think they can take advantage; and it’ll sometimes be influential people. They want me to volunteer, and I’m like ‘no I’m not going to volunteer; I know my worth. There is a stigma that millennials want everything handed to us and that we aren’t willing to work hard; however, I work around 70 to 80 hours per week. It’s a major sacrifice as I don’t see my friends much or vacation when I want. Nonetheless, it’s a blessing, so I don’t complain, but at times it can be challenging to maintain tunnel vision.”
Boykins concludes by giving crucial advice to those that would like to go into the same career space she occupies; “Before you can be great in any career you have to be grounded. Find a mentor in the desired field and allow them to be a guide towards your goals. Once you have security and inner peace, go for it and aim high! Branding yourself and aligning with people and places that will catapult you into your destiny is key, so network and keep gaining valuable contacts. Partnerships are pivotal for any entrepreneur and business, so strategically connect with those who align with your mission. If a partnership doesn’t work out with one of your contacts from the beginning, don’t be discouraged. Keep the lines of communication open with the people and brands in which you wish to work. Continue to build a relationship with them and support their endeavors, and follow up to see if there is room for synergy in the future. ” Mea Boykins is the epitome of an individual who balances personal growth and a thriving career. She has achieved the dream of owning her own life as an entrepreneur, and is still growing.
Written by: Oyin Ogunkanmi
Interview by: Vincent Ellis White
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