Founder & Chief Executive Officer
Chelsea is currently a junior at Columbia University studying political science and business management. As a first generation American, and native of Brooklyn, New York – Chelsea attributes her success to the strong female figures in her life that believed in her potential to achieve greatness. Inspired by the village of women who raised her, in high school she designed an eight-week youth mentorship and leadership program for girls between the ages of 10-14. When she arrived at Columbia, she brought together a team to create what is now known as WEBelieve, a non-profit organization that equips young women with the tools needed to not only positively change their lives, but the lives of those around them.
Thus far Chelsea’s traveled to Washington D.C, Turkey, Tunisia, and Burma due to her passion and involvement with social justice and poverty alleviation initiatives. She plans on continuing her travels to better understand and then combat the struggles women face globally.
Chelsea believes there’s no dream too big for her to pursue. As a Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholar and ANNPower Fellow, she will continue to defy the odds by helping to break down the barriers for her and the next generation to come.
Executive Vice President
Born in Ghana, West Africa and raised in Georgia, Akua is a junior at Columbia University currently studying pre-med and majoring in Psychology. Akua is also a part of the track team at Columbia, her main events being the 100m, 200m, and 400m. Her passion for youth empowerment stemmed from her experiences as a youth at the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Atlanta, where Akua gained an appreciation for community and mentorship. Akua assumes the mentorship role wherever the opportunity presents itself, those of which include tutoring, teaching Sunday school at International Central Gospel Church, and being an advisor to several young girls.
Today, Akua is the Executive Vice President of WEBelieve. Her passion for developing the future generation into powerful leaders coincides perfectly with the foundation’s mission. She created the eight-week curriculum which focuses on building a strong and positive mindset based on the various challenges she has encountered in her life. Akua believes that one cannot change the circumstances they are placed in and the obstacles they face, however, one can control how they approach such situations. Akua’s current motto is “They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds”– an embodiment of her character and beliefs.
Stephanie is currently a junior at Baruch College, she is studying Public Affairs, New Media Arts, and Sociology. She is the Creative Assistant of Refract Magazine, a college magazine dedicated to non-fiction literature. Stephanie has managed the social media for over five companies. She is a creative, regularly taking part in many different types of art such as; music, writing, photography, and videography.
After working closely with young girls in various parts of Jamaica, she discovered how vital it was to reassure them of their power. She made it her mission to help girls of color realize that they are just as bright and beautiful as everyone else.
Her goal is to make sure all girls understand that it’s okay to dream and that they can achieve anything they put their minds to. Her motto is,”my mother does everything so I can do everything”. She lives by those words and hopes to inspire young girls all over the world– one day at a time.
Director of Social Media
Katrina Sainvil was born and raised in New York City and is currently a junior at Pennsylvania State University. In school she is majoring in political science and minoring in sociology. Coming from an all-girls high school, she developed a strong sense of women-hood and sisterhood. Katrina believes that every young woman, especially women of color, deserves to have the same opportunities as the next.
In her junior year of high school, Katrina went to World Youth Day in Brazil, where she met and listened to the stories of hundreds of young women from all over the world. Such an experience inspired Katrina to join an organization like WEBelieve. During her summers, Katrina is a youth soccer coach in Brooklyn and always tells her students to “reach further than the stars”. That is exactly what she hopes to manifest while being a part of this organization. Katrina adamantly believes, there is no goal too big to attain.
Director of Innovation & Strategy
Oten Iban is a junior at Columbia University originally from Michigan who is studying Political Science and Race and Ethnicity Studies. She has always been eager in discussing how various identities permeate power politics. In high school Oten co-founded her high school’s first diversity club: The African American Awareness Club. She created this club to address how the classroom dynamic works between students of various identities.
Oten has also worked as an assistant manager in the Career Management Library of Columbia University’s Business School, assisting students with career research. She has also volunteered with America Reads, teaching elementary school students reading comprehension techniques. Oten now serves as the Director of Innovation & Strategy for WEBelieve because she thoroughly recognizes the importance of mentorship and empowering the young girls of today into the leaders of tomorrow.
National Communications & Social Media Chair
Tatiana Codnor-Perry is a sophomore at Temple University double majoring in Media Production and Strategic Communications with a minor in Criminal Justice. From Queens, New York, Tatiana has always been interested in the arts and media. Because of this, she aspires to one day become an entertainment lawyer working in film and television. She currently does work in social media with past experiences at companies like AOL and VP Records. Over the summer, Tatiana also does various volunteer activities working with youth in New York schools. Her goal is to one day be able to give back and help young black girls be the best they can be.