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Who Am I?: Women's History Month Series


After starting out as just one week in 1980 fourteen states across our country not only acknowledged the entire month for Women's History, but also included it into their school curriculum by the year of 1986. After some lobbying, congress officially declared March as Women's History Month in 1987 and now from March 1st to March 31st the nation recognizes the contributions Women have made in history. 

While we often think of those who have lived decades ago when we recall historical women, DSD would like to switch things up. This year we would like to honor our young shakers, way makers, and future leaders who are leaving an impact on our communities that will make a difference years from now and join the greats. Tune in everyday in March to see who we highlight in our "Who am I"? series. Follow us @dsdlegcyfoundation on instagram to see the complete series!

Who am I? I am Nykidra Robinson, a 34 year old Baltimore native and CEO of Black Girls Vote. After graduating from Randallstown High school in 2000, I attended Frostburg State University where I majored in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. At Frostburg State University, I became a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated and one of less than five African American Home Coming queens. Since my graduation there has not been another African American Home Coming queen at that university. Upon graduation I studied in Beijing China for a few months which was one of the best experiences of my life. In 2015 I founded Black Girls Vote after witnessing a series of events which included the Baltimore Uprising after the murder of Freddie Gray. I noticed not only the impact that these events had on my community, but the impact that politics had on these events. I realized the 2016 elections were coming up and this would be the perfect opportunity to galvanize our community to advocate for change through policy. In the first year Black Girls Vote has been to many places such as the Democratic National Convention, the Republican National Convention, and the Formation World Tour to name a few. In the future we hope to expand to college campuses, and create chapters across the country and eventually the world. Who am I? I am a business woman and a philanthropist who has a strong passion for my community in its entirety, but especially Black women.

Who am I? I am Nykidra Robinson, a 34 year old Baltimore native and CEO of Black Girls Vote. After graduating from Randallstown High school in 2000, I attended Frostburg State University where I majored in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. At Frostburg State University, I became a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated and one of less than five African American Home Coming queens. Since my graduation there has not been another African American Home Coming queen at that university. Upon graduation I studied in Beijing China for a few months which was one of the best experiences of my life. In 2015 I founded Black Girls Vote after witnessing a series of events which included the Baltimore Uprising after the murder of Freddie Gray. I noticed not only the impact that these events had on my community, but the impact that politics had on these events. I realized the 2016 elections were coming up and this would be the perfect opportunity to galvanize our community to advocate for change through policy. In the first year Black Girls Vote has been to many places such as the Democratic National Convention, the Republican National Convention, and the Formation World Tour to name a few. In the future we hope to expand to college campuses, and create chapters across the country and eventually the world. Who am I? I am a business woman and a philanthropist who has a strong passion for my community in its entirety, but especially Black women.

Who am I? I am Ann Makosinski, a 19 year old entrepreneur and inventor. I am an only child from Canada and while still in high school I invented the "Hollow Flashlight". This Flashlight allows the heat from the human body to power an LED light bulb, eliminating the use of batteries. I am also the inventor of "e-Drink" which is a device that converts heat from hot drinks to charge cell phone batteries. I have received multiple awards and acknowledgments that include Forbes' 2017 "30 under 30", Sustainable Entrepreneurship's 2015 "Sea of Excellence Award", and Popular Science's 2016 "Youth Inventor of the Year Award". Who am I? I am an inventor, innovator, and a positive change for our future.

Who am I? I am Ann Makosinski, a 19 year old entrepreneur and inventor. I am an only child from Canada and while still in high school I invented the "Hollow Flashlight". This Flashlight allows the heat from the human body to power an LED light bulb, eliminating the use of batteries. I am also the inventor of "e-Drink" which is a device that converts heat from hot drinks to charge cell phone batteries. I have received multiple awards and acknowledgments that include Forbes' 2017 "30 under 30", Sustainable Entrepreneurship's 2015 "Sea of Excellence Award", and Popular Science's 2016 "Youth Inventor of the Year Award". Who am I? I am an inventor, innovator, and a positive change for our future.

Who am I? I am Leyda Hernandez, a 28 year old business woman and educator. After starting Florida State University at the age of 16 and gaining two Bachelor's degrees in Studio Art and Public Relations, I continued my education by gaining my masters in Science at West Virginia University. In addition to educating students at New York University and Fashion Institute of Technology I am also the Director of Marketing iSpot.tv. This advertising analytic company offers brands a chance to measure and analyze ad performance and allow insight into the competition. Who am I? I am a young woman who breaks the status quo and educates my community.

Who am I? I am Leyda Hernandez, a 28 year old business woman and educator. After starting Florida State University at the age of 16 and gaining two Bachelor's degrees in Studio Art and Public Relations, I continued my education by gaining my masters in Science at West Virginia University. In addition to educating students at New York University and Fashion Institute of Technology I am also the Director of Marketing iSpot.tv. This advertising analytic company offers brands a chance to measure and analyze ad performance and allow insight into the competition. Who am I? I am a young woman who breaks the status quo and educates my community.

Who Am I? I am Tyler Duckett, a 22 year old J.D. Candidate at the University of Baltimore School of Law. I am a Baltimore native; and after graduating from Milford Mill Academy in 2012 I spent two years at Hampton University before attending my alma mater The University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where I obtained my B.A. in History. While at UMBC I was fortunate enough to produce my thesis entitled "The Textbook Factor: Assessing Civil War Memory in Post-War Education 1865-1915" in addition to winning the History Department's Bell Maas Prize for Academic Achievement.   Since starting at UB Law, I've become a member of the Black Law Students Association. I also currently serve as the Community Outreach and Communications Director for PERFORM, a movement created by fellow black law students which advocates community involvement, education and literacy, political engagement, and any means that serves to mitigate social issues within our society. In the future I hope to practice law in the Maryland area. Who Am I? I am a woman who believes in the power of education and awareness who hopes to advocate for our community in a multitude of areas.

Who Am I? I am Tyler Duckett, a 22 year old J.D. Candidate at the University of Baltimore School of Law. I am a Baltimore native; and after graduating from Milford Mill Academy in 2012 I spent two years at Hampton University before attending my alma mater The University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where I obtained my B.A. in History. While at UMBC I was fortunate enough to produce my thesis entitled "The Textbook Factor: Assessing Civil War Memory in Post-War Education 1865-1915" in addition to winning the History Department's Bell Maas Prize for Academic Achievement.

Since starting at UB Law, I've become a member of the Black Law Students Association. I also currently serve as the Community Outreach and Communications Director for PERFORM, a movement created by fellow black law students which advocates community involvement, education and literacy, political engagement, and any means that serves to mitigate social issues within our society. In the future I hope to practice law in the Maryland area. Who Am I? I am a woman who believes in the power of education and awareness who hopes to advocate for our community in a multitude of areas.

Who I am? I am D'ymond Shant'yl Dantzler and today would have been my 23rd birthday, graduating Cum Laude posthumously from the illustrious Delaware State University, earning my Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications. A lovely lady of Delta Lambda Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc and member of Sigma Alpha Phi.  Graduating top 5% of my high school class at Randallstown High School in 2012, a 2011 Congressional Page for United States House of Representatives, 2010 Woman of Tomorrow for the State of Maryland, and co-founder of A Spiritual Inspiration Mime and Dance Ministry. A recipient of over 20 citations in a lifetime. Holding tons of positions and being a leader is what I am most proud of. Creating a new voice, a new vision, a new direction, a change for tomorrow. As woman we create the change today for a better tomorrow by continuing to educate, empower, and provide positive self- images.  Who am I? I am D'ymond Shant'yl Dantzler the legacy of the DYMOND SHANTYL DANTZLER LEGACY FOUNDATION INC and future author of D'ymond's Gems of  Inspiration 💎

Who I am? I am D'ymond Shant'yl Dantzler and today would have been my 23rd birthday, graduating Cum Laude posthumously from the illustrious Delaware State University, earning my Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications. A lovely lady of Delta Lambda Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc and member of Sigma Alpha Phi.
Graduating top 5% of my high school class at Randallstown High School in 2012, a 2011 Congressional Page for United States House of Representatives, 2010 Woman of Tomorrow for the State of Maryland, and co-founder of A Spiritual Inspiration Mime and Dance Ministry. A recipient of over 20 citations in a lifetime. Holding tons of positions and being a leader is what I am most proud of. Creating a new voice, a new vision, a new direction, a change for tomorrow. As woman we create the change today for a better tomorrow by continuing to educate, empower, and provide positive self- images.
Who am I? I am D'ymond Shant'yl Dantzler the legacy of the DYMOND SHANTYL DANTZLER LEGACY FOUNDATION INC and future author of D'ymond's Gems of
Inspiration
💎

Who am I? I am Francina Smith, a 23 year old artist, pageant queen, and mentor. After graduating from Malverne High School in New York, I attended Morgan State University where I majored in Theatre.   Why art? “The kind of beauty I want most,” stated the late great American actor Ruby Dee-Davis “is the hard-to-get kind that comes from within – strength, courage, dignity.” Dee’s connection between beauty, art, and life have been the foundation which has inspired people to continue the development process of wanting to cultivate the artist within. To be an artist, is to forever be vulnerable to the realities of this world, yet find beauty in what is to come. From a young age, I had a love for creating stories. As a result I seek to bring people to truth through the arts. Life experiences have molded me into who I am and why I choose to create and tell the stories I tell.   At the age of sixteen, my father died from kidney failure. Fatherless. June 11, 2010 came and left me with a new reality that I couldn’t come to terms with. My sweet sixteen year had gone from me dancing with my father, to a final goodbye that left me with many unanswered questions. Until I recognized that in order to heal my wounds of life, I had to expose them as an artist. As an artist I am forever seeking to tell the truth. Which is one of the reasons I went on the journey of writing Same Blood/ Different City, a one woman play that explores to the mental psych of the many women impacted by gun violence in America; and Black Panties, a web series I am currently producing, about the woman’s intuition.   The more we learn to live to express ourselves, the more we learn to stay true to the beauty and uniqueness of our creation. I am a co-founder for, New York based mentoring program, Crown Me Mentoring. Crown Me Mentoring is a mentoring program for high school girls to understand the importance of public service, in exchange for one hundred completed hours of public service the young queens receive a prom package. There is an overwhelming spirit of fulfillment one finds when they pursue their journey life has required them to travel. That is the kind of beauty Ruby Dee-Davis refers to, which requires “strength, courage, dignity,” because this beauty allows one, as an artist, to sing the “song of life” fearlessly. In the future I hope to get Crown Me Mentoring to be bigger and better for the next school year, to have success and longevity in the entertainment field, and to create FREE spaces solely for learning the arts in Urban Areas. Who am I? I am a leader in my community who hopes to leave her stamp through on the world by connecting people to GOD, truth, and art.

Who am I? I am Francina Smith, a 23 year old artist, pageant queen, and mentor. After graduating from Malverne High School in New York, I attended Morgan State University where I majored in Theatre.

Why art? “The kind of beauty I want most,” stated the late great American actor Ruby Dee-Davis “is the hard-to-get kind that comes from within – strength, courage, dignity.” Dee’s connection between beauty, art, and life have been the foundation which has inspired people to continue the development process of wanting to cultivate the artist within. To be an artist, is to forever be vulnerable to the realities of this world, yet find beauty in what is to come. From a young age, I had a love for creating stories. As a result I seek to bring people to truth through the arts. Life experiences have molded me into who I am and why I choose to create and tell the stories I tell.

At the age of sixteen, my father died from kidney failure. Fatherless. June 11, 2010 came and left me with a new reality that I couldn’t come to terms with. My sweet sixteen year had gone from me dancing with my father, to a final goodbye that left me with many unanswered questions. Until I recognized that in order to heal my wounds of life, I had to expose them as an artist. As an artist I am forever seeking to tell the truth. Which is one of the reasons I went on the journey of writing Same Blood/ Different City, a one woman play that explores to the mental psych of the many women impacted by gun violence in America; and Black Panties, a web series I am currently producing, about the woman’s intuition.

The more we learn to live to express ourselves, the more we learn to stay true to the beauty and uniqueness of our creation. I am a co-founder for, New York based mentoring program, Crown Me Mentoring. Crown Me Mentoring is a mentoring program for high school girls to understand the importance of public service, in exchange for one hundred completed hours of public service the young queens receive a prom package. There is an overwhelming spirit of fulfillment one finds when they pursue their journey life has required them to travel. That is the kind of beauty Ruby Dee-Davis refers to, which requires “strength, courage, dignity,” because this beauty allows one, as an artist, to sing the “song of life” fearlessly. In the future I hope to get Crown Me Mentoring to be bigger and better for the next school year, to have success and longevity in the entertainment field, and to create FREE spaces solely for learning the arts in Urban Areas. Who am I? I am a leader in my community who hopes to leave her stamp through on the world by connecting people to GOD, truth, and art.