Yolanda Flournah Perkins, CEO of Undies by BlendiTone
Written by: Timmesha Burgess
Yolanda Flournah Perkins, from prison to TEDx speaker, book author, and now, innovator of Undies by Blenditone & Swimmie Caps, featured in Parents Latina magazine- the first swim cap brand to depict images of black and brown girls, that aims to empower the beauty of natural hair and melanin skin tone. Yolanda personifies the true meaning of a Phoenix Rising!
After serving a three (3) year prison sentence, Yolanda decided to reclaim control of her life. After her release from prison, Yolanda spent time in a transitional home where the rules were law. Unless Yolanda was able to secure employment, and fairly quickly; she would be sent back to prison to serve more time, said her housing counselor at the time. Despite the 200+ job applications she submitted while living in a transitional home, Yolanda was unbale to find employment due to her criminal record and lack of work history. Feeling defeated and facing returning to prison, Yolanda reached out to a long-time friend who connected her to an opportunity that almost seemed impossible. Yolanda’s ability to speak Spanish- a skilled she learned while spending time in Argentina as a teenager; ultimately landed her a position with Goodwill Industries who happened to be in the market for a bi-lingual representative; and Yolanda fit the bill. But she, didn’t stop there!
Graduating cum laude with a Bachelor’s of Science in Criminal Justice 2007, and later earning a Master’s degree in Health Services Administration from Florida Gulf Coast University. She went on to further her education at Nova Southeastern University where she earned a second Master’s in Human Resource Management and in June 2019, will receive her Doctorates in Education from Nova Southeastern University.
After hard work, dream journaling, and pursuing an educational career, Yolanda attributes, “I always say use your adversity to create opportunity, I was a convicted felon that nobody wanted to hire; I felt defeated and useless, but I pushed through.” When asked about the opportunity to be a TEDx speaker, Yolanda states, “When I stepped on the TEDx stage to present my talk, everything I had experienced and every adversity I faced was worth every minute! I want to help as many women and men as I can, to let them know that if I can spend three (3) years in prison, but come out and become TEDx speaker…So can they”.
Yolanda Flournah Perkins, a woman who chose to evolve while in the darkest place in her life, became the woman who when faced with flight or fight…chose to fight!
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