Charla Stegall Young
BA, Broadcast Journalism, minor in Spanish, 1993
President & CEO, Power to Exhale, LLC, a global women’s empowerment organization with more than 527,000 members in 197 cities and five countries
How did USM prepare you to achieve your goals?
USM was the perfect preparation ground for my 22-year career as a journalist, now entrepreneur. I learned the true craft of writing, articulating myself and collaborating with people who had diverse backgrounds. Those invaluable years in college giving me that much-needed foundation helped me to spring forth with a successful business and career on a base of incredible knowledge from amazing instructors.
What would you tell my younger self?
That it’s going to be alright, and Exhale, you’ve got time! If I had to do anything all over again, I would take my time going through USM. I took 18-hour course loads each semester to finish in three years. I was putting out some fire. I don’t know what fire. But I was in a total rush to put it out. I finished college in three years and rushed into adulthood. If I could talk to my younger self, I would say party, go on dates, eat the cake, have a lot of fun, slow down and enjoy your youth. You have time, and life is short so enjoy every moment.
Words of wisdom for Black college students?
It takes a lifetime to build a reputation and seconds to tear it down. Choose wisely but be sure to enjoy your time on campus.
What was the most impactful topic covered in The Unheard Word?
The research I did to write the story about the Queen of Sheba. I learned as much as those who read it.