Happy Black Business Month! Please introduce yourself and business:
Hi, my name is Jenni Steele. I am a mother of 3 residing in London, England and the Founder & Managing Director Project YANA CIC. I am also a qualified Early Intervention and Prevention Youth Practitioner, Healthy Relationships Educator and National Ambassador for Domestic Violence, UK.
What do we do at Project YANA CIC? For the last four years and counting, Project Yana aims to work with high risk young people who have directly been affected by gang related violence, sexual grooming, criminal and sexual exploitation, domestic violence and abuse.
I am an experienced speaker and qualified youth practitioner working 121 with young people and with statutory agencies (and referral agency) to ascertain the long and short term impact of their traumatic experience, develop a care pathway, harness and empower young people to develop their key skills. The long term purpose of the program is to help young people to recognize and accept their self worth, build their confidence and recognize situations that pose risk and reduce the long term harm.
What makes you unique in your industry?
We offer a wrap around support service, not just 121, for our teen clients. The family will also be supported if needed and will be sign posted to other services if necessary including therapy. We create bespoke education programs based on the needs of the school, College and clients not just in the UK we are international.
During the lockdown period in England we created a podcast series to support, educate and offer solutions to families in the community. We support both girls and boys which is rare in this industry especially when it comes to domestic abuse.
Please share your top 3 most proud accomplishments to-date:
Any advice to other women in your industry?
I started out with a vision. After gaining the necessary qualifications, I emerged with a mission for change. I keep myself educated and updated in order to offer the best support that I can through all levels of my services. I never saw owning a business as a part of that vision. We all have to start somewhere if doors close, start to build the foundation you are going to need to be grounded. I remember applying for support roles in my industry before I got my qualifications.
Nobody would give me a chance at the time and the rejection was hard to deal with. Now those very companies are coming to my door for support services (I did that!) I could have given up. Build trusting with long standing business relationships partnership is key. Word of mouth goes a long way and quite often your name, business or services reaches spaces way before you do!
Obtain clinical supervision. I can’t say this enough if you are working to support people through trauma or life challenges don’t forget your support! Especially if you have continued to work like myself through pandemic/ lockdowns. Companies think about your staff’s health and well-being and make it part of the companies self care going forward it’s very important.
What is next for you in 2021 and how can readers connect with you:
As mentioned above during this year I became a patron of a school in Ghana. Alongside the support of a charity partnership we purchased curriculum books at the beginning of the year. In July, I visited the country and created the library. In January 2022, we will be launching an after school creative learning program for the children in Ghana, alongside the same charity Juvenis. There are exciting times ahead however education, empowerment and creatingsolutions are key to change.
Connect with us :
The Teen Inspiration Lounge Podcast. Available on Spotify and all leading podcast platforms.