Wednesday, October 18, 2017

BOSS Spotlight Feature: Jamila Trimuel, Founder of Ladies of Virtue

From the south side of Chicago, Jamila Trimuel is a results-driven leader and encourages others to pursue purpose at all costs. She is the Founder of Ladies of Virtue, an award winning mentoring program that has empowered over 1,000 girls to become confident leaders.

1. July 1, 2017 marked your 1 year anniversary since you left your 9-5 to pursue Ladies of Virtue full-time.  What obstacles have you faced and what keeps you going?

When I made the decision to leave the stability of a lucrative 9 to 5, there wasn’t a big grant on the way.  With the support of my husband, I walked out on faith because Ladies of Virtue (LOV) was the only thing that I wanted to do. My biggest obstacle has been learning how to build an organization that can support me full-time and the growth of our organization. What keeps me going is that LOV provided opportunities for girls to visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture, tour Howard University, speak to over 200 people at the Project Management Institute – Chicagoland Chapter dinner meetings, meet with politicians at the MENTOR Summit in D.C., and in 2018 some will be traveling to Latin America. Many of them would not have experienced this if it weren’t for their participation in LOV. We are changing lives by teaching girls how to lead and getting them out of their comfort zone.  


2.  What inspired you to launch Ladies of Virtue?
Growing up in South Shore, my father said “You are an African girl and you can do anything you put your mind to” every time he put me to bed.  My mom used to sing “Me and you will conquer the world”. These affirmations provided me with the confidence to know that I could achieve my dreams. I noticed at an early age, however, many of my friends did not have a similar upbringing.  I remember thinking, what if they had someone to help them along on their journey.  This is what Ladies of Virtue is all about.  We stand in the gap for girls who may not have positive role models in their lives.  Most importantly, our mentors serve as part of the village to help each and every one of our girls achieve their dreams.  

3.  Tell us about your upcoming “Leading with Virtue” Cocktail Reception.  Why is it important to lead with virtue?
We are celebrating 6 years of providing mentoring and leadership programs to over 1,000 girls living in under-resourced communities!  On November 3rd, we will honor 5 phenomenal executives and entrepreneurs who lead with purpose, passion, and perseverance.  
Oftentimes when people talk about success they mention something that can be placed on a resume - how much revenue they raised, new business deals or a recent promotion. Leading with virtue is important because it speaks to your legacy. What do people say when you are not in the room? Are you dependable? Are you trustworthy? When you are no longer on this earth, your character is what people will remember.
For more info or to purchase a ticket, please go to http://www.lovchicago.org/events.html

4.  What is an inspirational quote that you live by?
Matthew 10:20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
This reminds me to keep focusing on what matters – Are my efforts making a difference? Are we changing lives?
Who were some influential people or mentors that helped or encouraged you along the way?
When I was a Junior at the University of Illinois Urbana – Champaign, a guest professor stated, “choose your career based on what you would do for free”. I don’t remember what he looks like and I don’t know his name but those words always stayed with me.  This is how I live my life!

5.  What are your “must-haves” to keep your career or business going strong?
Mentors!  When I started LOV full-time, I mentored many girls but I never had one!  My first mentor was Risa Davis and she is a VP at United Way.  I met her through the IMPACT Leadership Development program hosted by the Chicago Urban League. She is still my mentor even though the program is over.  Now, I have three mentors. Each one has a different role and pushes me to be better.  

6.  What is your definition of a BOSS?
My definition of a BOSS is someone who lifts as they climb. As women, we can all go further when we stop competing and start collaborating.

To find out more about Jamila Trimuel, visit her at:

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