By Kristina Huderski
Destiny Diggs, the founder and CEO of Young Black Successful, at the age of 21 has come a long way with her new online business. In 2014, during her freshman year at LIU Post, she came up with the idea of opening a business that would help college graduates find jobs. After hearing friends at WCWP saying they were afraid that they would not find jobs, Diggs felt inspired to do something. “People should have a way out of their current situation post graduation,” Diggs said.
Diggs did not think the idea of opening a business would ever happen, but she felt the need to help. Diggs wanted to open a business solely to help members of the African American community find jobs right out of college. One day, that all changed because of a “Forbes” magazine. Diggs read an article about Wall Street and how being in the black meant having money. On that day, she decided to name her business Young Black Successful, a title with dual meaning that could be for all races. Her customers can either be young, African American, and successful or young, have a lot of money, and successful, whichever way you feel the meaning fit you.
Throughout 2015, Diggs went into a deep thought process and felt she needed to experience different things in order to figure out Young Black Successful’s mission statement. She began to go on a hunt for mentors who could help these graduates find jobs. Diggs did a lot of radio interviews in the Delaware Valley area, which is where she is based out of, and went to many career events to network and gain support.
In late 2015, Diggs felt that her business was on its way. She applied for an LLC, which is a limited liability company. She then purchased a domain name for her website, www.youngblacksuccessful.org and began building her team. After searching for hardworking professionals, she hired Steven Hargrove as web designer, Chris Schley to do the businesses PR, Aliyah Dukes as event coordinator, Gary Diggs, who is also Diggs father as CFO (office of finance), and Malachi Matcho as photographer. Schley began to book radio interviews for Diggs at many radio stations in her area such as WTMR in Camden, NJ and FMHDMS Radio in Philadelphia, Pennsylviana. Diggs also made up a professional flyer], took promotional pictures, made social media accounts on all networks, and designed business merchandise.
On Aug. 1, 2016, Diggs launched the Young Black Successful website and held a launching party at a jazz club called Warmdaddy’s in Philadelphia. Over 300 people came to show their support for Diggs and her new business. Diggs father, Gary Diggs, who is the CFO of the company, has been so proud of his daughter and her business. “Destiny Diggs and Young Black Successful is not just another jump start business, but a foundation coined on positioning people to tap into their own inspired talents and display greatness for generations to come,” he said.
Since Diggs launched Young Black Successful, she has gotten a lot of criticism and hate from friends and people on social media, but has kept her head held high. She has lost many friends who don’t agree with her company and been called racist numerous times. Some people from the African American community were disappointed with her because they felt the business was no longer for only their people as it originally was supposed to be, but now for everyone. Diggs had to also give up opportunities for her business, such as a chance to teach dance to children in Korea over the summer.
The mentors at Young Black Successful have been working their hardest to not only help new college graduates find jobs, but also help high school students find internships. There are currently 52 mentors with the number still growing. These mentors have different professions that allow customers of Young Black Successful get the help they need. Benjamin Gerdes, a broadcasting professor, is one of these mentors for Young Black Successful and help customers who want to be in the broadcasting field. Simone Malone, an internet radio host from Philadelphia who is another mentor, recently helped high school senior, Troi Henson get an internship at the Internet radio station, FMHDMS Radio in Philadelphia. Since the launch of Young Black Successful, many things have happened. The businesses clothing line that is available online, which consists of a t-shirt, sweatshirt, two crew necks, hat and flip flops, has been receiving orders from all over the U.S. The business has also been doing professional photo shoots with models wearing the merchandise. One of the models for Young Black Successful, Amber Castle, was inspired by this business and knew she had to be apart of it. She said, “I didn’t want the money for modeling, I just wanted to be a part of a brand I like.”
As for the future of Young Black Successful, Diggs is working on a pop up fashion show that should happen sometime in the first week of March in New Jersey. New merchandise is being added next month, and adjustments are being made to the website to help people network more efficiently.
Diggs said, “I thank God that I was chosen for this because I feel it was part of my purpose and destiny. I didn’t choose this, it chose me.” Young Black Successful has helped over 30 people with the help of their mentors. After Diggs graduates, she is hoping to find an office for Young Black Successful instead of basing her business solely online.