What is your name and what do you do?
My name is Dorian Johnson and I am the Program Manager for the S.E.E.K (Social & Economic Empowerment Through Knowledge) Program at Building Blocks Services, LLC. Currently, the S.E.E.K program is preparing 18-24 year olds to become Certified Pharmacy Technicians. In addition, our students are gaining leadership development, workforce development skills, financial literacy, and other important competencies that will support them in the world of work and/or assist them in furthering their education. I absolutely love what I do because I am giving back to the community and building futures one skill at a time. In my spare time, I create digital content for my various social media outlets that focuses on Women’s Empowerment through my brand, The Femme Focus.
Are there any childhood experiences that led you to where you are today?
I can’t say that there is a particular childhood experience that led me to where I am today, but I will say that overall life experiences have led me here. The good, the bad and the indifferent have made me into the woman I am today and for that I am thankful. I like to think of myself as an open book, and in being transparent, I am empowering and helping another girl/woman along life’s journey. No one should ever feel alone in what they go through. Sometimes all it takes is sharing your story that makes us relate to one another.
How did you get started in your current field today? And where did that passion come from?
The name, The Femme Focus began back in 2009 as a segment on a Midday radio show titled, “D. Marie in the Midday,” that was hosted Monday through Friday, on WNSB 91.1, on the campus of Norfolk State University, in Norfolk, Virginia. The segment was used to give tips on life, finances, health, family, relationships, and overall positivity to the target audience of women that listened in. After studying mass communications in undergrad at Norfolk State University, I knew that I wanted to impact women on a more profound level, along with continuing my love for the media. I then decided to go back to school and on December 13, 2014, I conferred a Master of Arts degree in Urban Education with a focus on Urban Community Counseling. My passion comes from the journey my life has taken and is currently on. I love being a woman and want to empower other women to loves themselves just as they are.
Who do you look to for inspiration?
I find inspiration all around me. There isn’t a particular person or thing that inspires me. It can be something I read in a book or a conversation with a stranger that I have in the checkout line at the grocery store.
What makes you stand apart from everyone else in your field?
I stand apart in my field in that I’m not afraid to work with and empower women from every walk of life. I think we often forget about the women who aren’t where we are in life and that don’t have the same educational background or upbringing as ourselves. It’s not every day that we see those women as the target population in most of what people consider “women’s empowerment” these days. If we seek to empower one, then we must empower us all and not forget those who are often overlooked along the way.
What tangible piece of advice would you give young girls who want to be where you are?
A piece of advice that I would give to young girls would be to never let anyone or anything stand in your way...including yourself. Sometimes we can be our own worst enemy when it comes to self-doubt and low self-esteem. Challenge those thoughts in your head and SPEAK LIFE to your situations and circumstances.