We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful Tiara Moore. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with Tiara below.
Alright, Tiara thanks for taking the time to share your stories and insights with us today. One of the toughest things about entrepreneurship is that there is almost always unexpected problems that come up – problems that you often can’t read about in advance, can’t prepare for, etc. Have you had such and experience and if so, can you tell us the story of one of those unexpected problems you’ve encountered?
Covid-19 had officially changed the way that our programs could be ran. We could no longer teach our after school programs in person but still knew that there were young girls out there that needed the information/skills we taught. We were not financially prepared for the shift and our content wasn’t readily available for a virtual space so we decided to take the last two years to rebuild and rebrand.
We are currently working on a series of free Ebooks that will be readily available for our students that cover topics that we would normally cover in our after school programs and we are currently working with other local organizations and business to provide a virtual 6 weeks mentorship program in which we will provide our young ladies with free laptops in order to complete the course.
As always, we appreciate you sharing your insights and we’ve got a few more questions for you, but before we get to all of that can you take a minute to introduce yourself and give our readers some of your back background and context?
I graduated from Texas Tech University with a Bachelors in Business Administration (Major in Accounting) and a Master’s of Science in Accountancy. During her time in Lubbock, I volunteered with multiple Boys & Girls Clubs, the SPCA, Habitat for Humanity and completed other projects around the community. I was heavily involved in organizations on campus which included; the Lauro Cavazos & Ophelia Powell-Malone Mentoring Program, Sigma Alpha Lambda Honors Organization, Black Student Association and the Accounting Leadership Organization. I also had the pleasure of becoming Alpha Phi Alpha’s 2013 Miss Black & GoldAfter graduation, she spent time in Dallas working with various branches of the Dallas Public Library and Rise, a non-profit organization that focuses on eliminating domestic violence in our communities, before beginning my work with Ernst & Young.
While in grade school, I trained classically in modern and ballet dance. This ultimately led me to graduating from Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. I was afforded the opportunity to complete four years in the Distinctly Debutante Program and during my time in the Distinctly Debutante Program, I gained knowledge in formal etiquette, professionalism, and the development of true sisterhood. And in November 2018, I humbly accepted the offer to become the coordinator/director of the very program that changed my life.
I am also a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
My Inspiration for L.A.C.E
When I was a teenager, I had the opportunity to teach at a young girl’s camp, Just Us Girls. I shared with them my love of dance and the arts, but our conversations quickly evolved into life talks and nurturing the mind, body, and spirit. I am fortunate to have been exposed to different cultures, experienced the performing and visual arts, and received the best education — all of which played a vital role in shaping me into a well-rounded individual. After my experience with the girl’s camp, I began to think about the young ladies who do not have the opportunity to attend camp, become a debutante or have a mentor. I do not believe that a young ladies’s socioeconomic status should stand in her way of life changing experiences. I created L.A.C.E to eliminate that wall and give all young ladies the opportunities that I grew up with!
L.A.C.E seeks to develop, inspire and empower young ladies with the use of educational programs, mentoring interactions and once in a lifetime opportunities. L.A.C.E wants to provide our young ladies with a safe haven that allows them to focus on mental, spiritual and physical health. Once entering L.A.C.E, our young ladies will be exposed to programs that aid in developing self-worth and discipline. These programs include (but are not limited to) the cultural arts, etiquette training, career building, nutrition, and self-awareness.
Learning and unlearning are both critical parts of growth – can you share a story of a time when you had to unlearn a lesson?
Giving you major backstory but come along for the journey lol ;)
I was in first grade and I remember the class doing this coloring project. Our teacher was going around and passing out candy and for the ones who she felt were doing a really great job she would give the student two pieces. I remember looking at my project and being so so proud of the work that I had done. I had took my time and I just knew that when she saw it, I would get two pieces of candy. Well, she finally came around to me and you guessed it, I only got one piece! And to be honest, she didn’t even look twice. Well, little did I know that little moment would change the way that I looked at myself for a very long time. I had convinced myself that my best was never going to be good enough. I convinced myself that other people’s validation was more important than my own. And I even stopped myself for reaching for certain goals because I was petrified failure and rejection.
When I first started teaching my after school programs for LACE, I noticed that a lot of the young ladies were looking to me for the same validation that I needed from that 1st grade teacher. And when I was trying to help them push past that I noticed that the “lesson” would come up short because I was trying to teach something that I wasn’t applying in my own life. That’s when I decided that I had to start “practicing what I preached” if I expected this organization to be successful and truly impact these young ladies lives.
Thats when I decided to start going to therapy consistently and creating goals (both personally and professionally) that made me extremely uncomfortable but challenged me to be my best self.
Life became worth living when I learned to stop looking towards others for validation and acceptance.
We’d love to hear a story of resilience from your journey.
It was 2017 when I decided to leave my corporate job at one of the top accounting firms in the world to pursue Ladies for Art, Culture and Education (LACE) full time. I had talked it over with my fiance` (now husband) and he was willing to take on the extra expenses so that I could get my non-profit off the ground. Everything was going well and I was even asked to host my first after school program for an elementary school.
In 2018 my husband had got injured, was out of work longer than we expected and I had just found out I was pregnant. We were struggling to pay our bills and I was funding the after school program out of pocket. Of course my initial response was to go back to work but I had made a promise to the young ladies and I wasn’t willing to walk out of their lives so abruptly. They had finally looked at me as someone they could trust that wouldn’t just leave them.
That is when I decided to start driving for Uber Eats. My typical day was driving a few hours a day for Uber, completing lesson plans for the program, using the money I earned to shop for materials for the program and then going home to help my fiance as he healed from his injury. Did I mention I was pregnant?!
I believe I cried almost everyday for months, but as I look back. Every tear was worth it. I not only proved to myself I was strong enough to take on what life had thrown our way but I solidified that LACE wasn’t just another project or goal that I could say I reached. It was a passion and my purpose, and those girls were worth fighting for.
- Website: http://www.foreverlace.org/
- Instagram: foreverlace_org
- Facebook: Ladies for Art, Culture and Education