Local professional development groups aims to help Black young professionals

Business

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — A local organization wants to help minorities get their foot in the door during their career search.

It’s called the Hampton Roads Young Black Professionals group and its goal is to not only connect young people to opportunities but also put them in the best place for them to succeed.

“I actually love that there was a group that actually helped my people to one succeed,” said Dionna Campanella.

She said she joined the group a few years after she had graduated from Norfolk State University, but wishes she had joined sooner.

“It was just such a different way of a unique way of networking it was just made so fun,” she said.

She joined the group primarily on Facebook where it serves as a community, a place to find jobs and internships. It also tests their skills and knowledge so they are prepared for the workforce by working with local business owners.

“Starting off as a business owner, you want to go to someone who is actually doing it. Your best learning experience is people who are already in the community doing those things,” said Jemmalyn Hewlett, who owns the WeCare salon spa and café in Virginia Beach.

She said opening her doors is what makes the difference for young Black professionals

“It’s very important because we want to see more of that. Growing up I didn’t have the ability to want to learn or be around people that were showing,” said Hewlett.

She says she works with the group and offers internships and starting positions for anyone interested because she wants to be a part of the solution.

“Starting off as a business owner you want to go to someone who is actually doing it, your best learning experience is people who are already in the community doing those things,” she said.

Although Campanella did not work directly under Jemmalyn, she says it’s that attitude and willingness that helped her push forward.

“I have taken on my dream job, so it was a major impact for me from then to now,” said Campanella.

The groups admin shares a lot of professional development ideas and opportunities. If you’d like to join or want more information click here.

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