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Meet Tamíka Jones-Tabbs of The Zuri Of Nubia in Philadelphia

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tamíka Jones-Tabbs.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Tamíka. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I was born and raised in (North) Philadelphia, PA and a proud graduate of two HBCUs – Undergraduate Degree from Virginia State University – {Business: Marketing}, and a Graduate Degree from Cheyney State University {Elementary Education}, in addition to a postgraduate specialized degree from Gwynedd Mercy University {Reading Specialist Certification, K-12}. As a lifelong learner, educator and philanthropist with a distinct focus on exploring and instructing through Culturally Relevant Pedagogy (Education) it just made sense to me to explore additional avenues which led me to become an EduPreneur, an educator who is an entrepreneur, who lives life through the lens of educating ALL YOUTH but specifically Urban Youth.

I decided to take it a step further by continuing to educate by “teaching” with fashion. I currently work for one of the largest School District’s on the East Coast as a College and Career Readiness Coordinator and while working with urban high school populations I notice year after year that there is such a disconnect between leaving the comforts of the neighborhood, attending college, and actually going to college. I began working outside of my 9-to-5 to offer more exposure to high school students and later to middle school students in order for them to gain early exposure and interventions to aspire for post-secondary education. Through my clothing line, I expose students with educating about our culture and history.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Challenges are a part of life and with that said my personal, professional, and business challenges force me to learn new things, explore and listen. My road hasn’t been smooth but I have focus, tenacity, vision, and a passion and desire to help young people. With these characteristics, it gives me the strength to meet my goals of helping students get into college while creating a conscious clothing line.

My biggest struggles are fear, funding, and exposure. Fear tends to creep his disparaging head into my life every so often to “remind” me that I may not be good enough or I’m already working hard at my “day job”. Funding is a struggle as one of my main goals for creating my fashion line is to create financial scholarship opportunities for high school students – a portion of my proceeds from my clothing line goes towards scholarships for graduating seniors – so if there are no consistent sales the scholarship becomes a struggle to provide. And lastly, sustainable exposure for my business. I aspire for the day to be worldwide for my education services as well as my conscious clothing and providing youth scholarships.

**HBCUs {Historically Black Colleges & Universities} are very near and dear to my heart as well as the sustainability of their existence. Dollars are earned every year in order to support students who not only attend any college or university but also those who have earned and accepted admission to an HBCU.

The Zuri Of Nubia – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
The Zuri of Nubia was created to educate, empower, and energize students, families, and professionals. My almost twenty years of education has awarded me the opportunity to assist and empower students and families with post secondary educational decisions. The Zuri of Nubia Education Services has developed and implemented a college and career going culture within middle and high schools in Philadelphia.

These strategies help to prepare students academically, socially, and emotionally to ensure that all students meet graduation requirements, exceed expectations and are prepared for college, career, and receive access to post-secondary opportunities upon graduating from high school. The Zuri of Nubia Fashions was then created as a conscious clothing brand where our clothes not only educate but infotain & are eye-appealing conversation starters. We are intentional in depicting positive images relevant to the African-American/Black/ and Afrikan experience on apparel and other retail items.

HISTORICAL NOTE: The Zuri of Nubia comes from loving the word Zuri, which comes from the Swahili name for “beautiful”. Nubia is for the native or the inhabitants of Nubia – that’s me! I AM NUBIAN!!!

As an Educator: Educator – PreK – HS, Computer Proficient (PC & MAC), Typing Instructor, College Prep/Financial Aid Workshops, Technical Assistance for Afterschool programs, Organizational, Marketing, ESL/Basic/ & GED Tutor, AVID Instructor, and Certified Reading Specialist.

As a Designer: Conscious Fashion Apparel that not only educates but are eye-appealing and conversation starters.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
This experience is present, past, and future, every time I see the internal “lightbulb” going off within a student I AM PROUD! Every time I sell an item, I am excited about the possibility of making an opportunity happen for a graduating high school senior who now has added support by receiving a scholarship from me and again, I AM PROUD! Every day I am excited about the possibilities of what is still to come!!! Currently, I am working on a College Prep Book for families, educators, and students, and a children’s book about attending college… Follow us for updates!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Earle Brown (Eyes of Distinction) (for the 3 solo pictures at the bottom)

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