About Shatoyia

👑 My Story

I am a (@schoolofjoie) Louisiana native who grew up in poverty and was exposed to abuse, violent racism & financial hardship at a very young age, and I always sought out leadership and educational opportunities to have the capacity to rise above my circumstances and live a life I can truly enjoy and be proud of, a life of faith, adventure, genuine love and relationships and positive social impact and progress.

Where I come from,having material things was more important than actually being wealthy--it was more cool to look like you have it all together and play the part of "being paid and having money" than to actually have it all together and actually have money / be wealthy. It is very difficult to want more out of life but only be surrounded by individuals satisfied with a life of mediocrity and poverty, surrounded by folks taking pride in working long, hard hours only to continue living paycheck-to-paycheck and having to ask favors to keep the lights on, food on the table and upkeep an image that was slowly crumbling with every child who left home to pursue a better life.

Growing up in poverty, I desired to attain "the American dream"--to be presented with the opportunities to be successful. I started businesses to pay for academic and leadership activities, studied long and hard to be the best of the best, was top of my class in school, and you can find my name mentioned in almost anything pertaining to education and leadership in my community. No social life for me--all of my time went into education, business, chores, work and repeat. Though it's a joke where I come from, I self-harmed almost everyday.

The racism (more like colorism) down South is very explicit and is embedded into the framework of even my own culture, andI witnessed minority communities work tirelessly just to put food on the table for their families and then pass away in debt, unfulfilled and haven't known what it means to truly enjoy life.

​ Despite the promise of opportunity if I checked all of the boxes (and even excelled beyond the boxes) my entire life, I found myself going into debt to survive with no guarantee of a job if I graduated college and no matter how hard I worked or what I achieved, a higher quality of life or decent pay seemed so out of reach, despite my qualifications and experience. I moved across the country to another state where I didn't know anyone, didn't have family around and begin to navigate new social territories with new rules that I did not want to adhere to in the name of finding success.

I held several jobs in a variety of different industries, most of them in the education system, in leadership and business, and I found myself desiring so much more than the daily grind of going to work, going home, paying bills and repeat. So, I decided to go into entrepreneurship and business full-time as a foundational alternative to traditional paths to success and have not looked back since.

In my journey, I witnessed and continue to witness the generational and historical effects of the lack of awareness (or desire to be aware) of how essential a supportive community, a mentor, education, and health is to escaping the mental and financial poverty we all grew up in. We all have dreams of being wealthy and living a high quality life, but we are not taught the fundamentals of stability and wealth building or how to navigate the system to get there, especially as people of color, and even more specifically, people of African descent in America. And allies are not taught how to effectively get involved and help make this knowledge and resources more accessible to diverse demographics. As a person of African descent living in the USA, I feel a duty to help us as a collective combat our unique obstacles in society that everyone else are either insensitive to or just don't care about.

As of September 2021, I am starting over in my wealth building journey and in taking all of the lessons I have learned in education, business, entrepreneurship and in what kind of a life I want to live and putting all of my wisdom into a program called, 5 Stages to Building Generational Wealth, where I am teaching those with a serious interest in saving, managing and investing in their future for personal growth and financial security.

​ Through this program (and all of my programs, First Ladies of Poverty Foundation ; School of Joie ), I aim to share my wisdom, knowledge, resources and networks with those serious about education for a higher quality of living, business, investing and building generational wealth. With my work in leadership, education, business and program development, I also aim to advocate for racial equity and solutions to the unique professional, financial and social obstacles presented to minority communities, women leadership and effective, community-based poverty reduction that levels the playing field of opportunity and success for minority communities.

👑 My mentor-ship style can be summed up as straight no chaser accountability. Other words that have been used to describe my mentor-ship style is passionate, poised, challenging, comfortable...you can see testimonials via the comments below. Communication is important to me, and I hope we would be able to establish a relationship of open communication. Iwould start off with getting to know each other, sharing stories and setting expectations.I want to know your story and really understand who you are as an individual.We would then move forward with creating a custom strategy and blueprint for you to reach your personal, professional and financial goals.

👑 Ultimately, through my mentor-ship style, you will come to understand that I genuinely want to see you succeed in life, support you through tough times and celebrate the victories (small and large) with you. I give tough love with a compassionate delivery so that you are held accountable to the goals and vision that you have set. I support you in choosing the right paths that work for YOU and your goals...

Career and Professional Bio:

👑 Shatoyia's professional career started at 8 when she created a business to sell snacks to her peers so that she could afford academic and leadership educational programs that she took interest in. In high school, she graduated with AP and Honors with a long resume of accolades under her belt, including Miss National Honor Society, Miss Spanish nominated and a Service Above Self award given to her by the local Rotary club and over 1.4 million in academic scholarships, while working as a librarian at a middle school and leading a variety of academic and behaviorial programs. Since, education, business/entrepreneurship, leadership and management and faith-based ministry work has always been re-ocurring themes in her professional experiences.

👑 After high-school, she left Louisiana for college on the other side of the country. In 2017, she was selected as a solo international global literacy project and ministry community leader, program coordinator and manager forBeyond El Campo in Costa Rica and spoke at a variety of colleges and non-profit organizations. In 2018, she switched gears and focused on business and entrepreneurship full-time, serving as Miss Black America Massachusetts whilst doing social impact and management operations consulting work with her own consulting company for non-profits and small businesses, such as Institute for Training and Development, GPI US, US Performing Arts Camp, MIT Innovation Conference, Self-Dial Americorps, Harvard Business, NextGenHQ Summit, Power in Your Purse, EaseNation, Make-It-Springfield, Trinity College, HerCampus, College Fashion Week, HerConference: EmpowerNYC, Harambe Seed Funding at Harvard Business, Harvard African Business Conference and other high-profile business, entrepreneurship, education and women's empowerment organizations.

👑 In 2019, she served as guest and media for the Collaborative for Educational Services: Improving Outcomes for Students Living in Poverty and Trauma, Business Fights Poverty NYC and Next Gen Summit. She also worked at a variety of local educational institutions and served in many capacities, won an award for volunteer of the year and served as Ms. Massachusetts 2019 AWOS and national Ambassador for Afri(k)que, appearing, speaking, hosting and performing for a variety of women's empowerment and business / entrepreneurship organizations, conferences and other events around the U.S. She also served as mentor and judge for entrepreneurship and business competitions such as Diamond Challenge and WIT and closed out the year with 4 prestigious awards and honors for her work with her organization, First Ladies of Poverty Foundation.

👑 Currently, Shatoyia travels and serves as Founder and CEO of First Ladies of Poverty Foundation, a multi-awardwinning community center and resource hub providing educational resources, community, group/private mentoring and coaching options and business and investing trade programming for entrepreneurial-minded minority individuals who are the first (or one of the few) in their family to think about or start the process of building generational wealth. Her service to the community is extended into her service as Co-Chair, international poverty and racial equity specialist and diversity, equity and inclusion chair for SCORE Westernmass, a mentoring organization for small business owners, national ambassador for Afrikque, an organization empowering women out of poverty and founder / creator of School of Joie, an organization empowering modern women to confidently claim title of CEO of their lives with elegance, poise and femininity--and without shame or reservation. She also takes on business development consulting and various speaking / hosting and content creation / influencer opportunities through the year and will be authoring a book for 2022.

👑 In her 16 year (and counting) professional career, Shatoyia has earned a strong reputation for being a forward thinking, energetized visionary who confidently and gracefully creates innovative, timeless and sustainable solutions to some of the world's biggest issues in education, leadership, diversity, equity and inclusion and poverty reduction.​She credits her underdog success and wisdom to (first and foremost) Yahweh, fueled by the Holy Spirit with a touch of unwavering resourcefulness, resilience and business savvy with a lifestyle anchored in lifelong learning and humility.

Awards & Honors 2021

A W A R D S (&) H O N O R S


  • Business Development Associate: Sunglass Hut

  • Women Innovators & Trailblazors Mentor (WIT)

  • Book: 5 Stages to Building Generational Wealth: A Research-Based Guide for Individual, Community and Generational Poverty Reduction

  • Book: Value of a Woman Series: Maintaining High Value Relationships

  • Book: Value of a Woman Series: The Makings of a High Value Woman

  • Book: Sawngs of Sunshine: 365 Affirmations for Daily Use

  • Book: Value of a Woman Series: What a Woman Brings to the Table

  • Founder/Creator: School of Joie, JDVS

  • Co-Chair: Small business development and DEI Chair, SCORE WesternMass

  • Diversity Movement Podcast Guest: DEI, Poverty, Racial Equity

  • Nominee & Award Recipient: 100 Women of Color 6th Annual Gala and Awards, Simsbury, CT

  • Guest Speaker: (9 to Survive) Pandemics Impact on Women, SaygeLink

  • Partnership: Valley Venture Mentors in Springfield, MA

  • Interview & Article Feature: E.B.A.U with Khem Soul

  • Executive Producer / Host: Beyond the Poverty Line (relaunched)

  • Mentor: Score Western Mass

Awards & Honors 2020

A W A R D S (&) H O N O R S