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#SocialSpotlight: The Lemonade Circle Organization

As many of you don't know, I spent the majority of my childhood growing up in the suburban outskirts of Portland, Oregon. While yes, the state of Oregon has an endless amount of stunning viewpoints, rolling hills, and great eats, one thing the state does lack is people of color, or at least it did when I was there. Being a black woman in her adolescence, and very much in the stage of finding oneself, the lack of diversity and cultural exposure definitely took a toll on me both mentally and emotionally. Growing up, I remember on numerous accounts feeling out of place, loads of self hatred, and overlooked compared to my peers.

During that time, there were no outlets for young black kids to come together, empower each other, and learn from one another, which is why seeing more and more organizations, like The Lemonade Circle, arise makes me tremendously excited for the futures of young kids of color. Started in 2017 by Mrs. Brandi Adams-Coleman, allow me to introduce the amazing black-women-owned organization known across San Antonio as The Lemonade Circle.

What does LEMONADE stand for?

L- Lead by Example

E- Excel beyond the status quo

M- Mentor our sisters behind us

O- Overcome adversity

N- Network with members in the local, state, national, and international community

A- Affect change within ourselves mentally, physically, and spiritually

D- Discover the power of ONE

E- Explore the world around US

What was your biggest push to start this organization?

Brandi has a big heart. She's always had a strong desire to reach back and mentor a group of girls, especially those who may be facing personal challenges. When she had some time to focus, she started with 5 girls from her Alma Mater, Davis Middle School.

What was the purpose in starting this organization?

While working with the first 5 girls, Brandi noticed a significant interest and need for an organization that would center San Antonio's girls of color with an emphasis on black girls. In 2019 The Lemonade Circle was born, officially.

Has that purpose changed since starting? How is your mission different/the same?

The purpose has stayed the same, but the organization and brand have grown. There is strong community interest in The Lemonade Circle. We've been approached by schools and a nationally recognized nonprofit requesting to have our programming duplicated within their schools and organization. We have parents reaching out from other states requesting to start a local chapter, so we've grown to include a chapter in Ft Meyer, Florida. We have an LC alum in college who would like to start a chapter in her new city.

What does LEMONADE and TLC organization mean to you, personally?

The Lemonade Circle has been life-changing for me. I sought an organization for my daughter to join and found a home. It is not easy to be a mom at any time in history, but what a time to be a mother of a black son and daughter during a racial reckoning, and a pandemic, while taking care of an elderly parent and transitioning from a 22-year military career. The Lemonade Circle has allowed me to turn my angst into action. It is the organization I needed as a little girl.

"If I could describe The Lemonade Circle in three words, it would be as follows; Powerful, Necessary, and Home, in that order" - Prane Royster

What are some ways you make lemonade?

I'm an encourager and cheerleader; I find joy in connecting people to resources and people who can help them achieve their goals and dreams. Then I circle back to remind them of their dreams. Advocacy is my superpower. If you have a cause or fight that touches me, I will not let you quit, and I will support you in any way I can.

What are your top three motivations/inspirations for the organization?

  • Providing black girls with a safe space to dream out loud

  • Providing our girls with opportunities to enter spaces they deserve to be in but may not have access to

  • Helping our girls recognize their own gifts and find their voice

What has been your biggest accomplishment since starting?

Helping my daughter discover the gifts of service and giving back. Most of my work as COO takes place in my home office, so every day is a teaching moment to take my daughter to work. She always asks what I'm doing, and we have fantastic conversations about The Lemonade Circle's importance. This time with her is priceless.

Biggest learning lesson/challenge?

Time blocking! I split my time between my family, my full-time job, and my passion (The Lemonade Circle). After burning out last year, I learned quickly that it's essential to schedule tasks in blocks of time, including planning time to rest and decompress.

What is one of your biggest goals for the organization in 2023

To pay staff so that we can keep up with the demand. It's a blessing to have accomplished so much with an all-volunteer team! That's a testament to the mission and the community.

What advice would you give to young girls looking to make lemonade who may need access to an organization like this where they are?

Look for opportunities to make LEMONADE at school and at home. Look around and find a need. It doesn't have to be big to be impactful. Talk to their teachers and parents and engage their friends. This exactly how our Florida Chapter was born.

"For the future of The Lemonade Circle, you can expect Growth, Expansion, and LEMONADE on a larger scale" - Prane Royster

To say the least, I absolutely love everything about The Lemonade Circle. Not only are they teaching young children of color the importance of confidence and community, but they are teaching them how to be functioning and positive members in society. Organizations like The Lemonade Circle truly do have the power to transform the lives of children of color, and it is truly refreshing to see more and more people of color understand the importance of not only representation, but guidance and mentorship. I hope that, as a community, we continue to make LEMONADE in our daily lives, and use The Lemonade Circle organization as a great example of what it is to take control of our own life, despite any and all odds.

Connect With The Lemonade Circle!




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