When Marian Catholic senior Tamera Elyse Trimuel was just 9 years old, she started her own business, Tamera’s Treasures, for which she created custom-made tiara treasure boxes to remind girls to “treasure the girl in you.”
Now 17, Trimuel is continuing her efforts with her book, “Dear Black Girl, You are IT: A Guide to Becoming an Intelligent and Triumphant Black Girl” (Trimar Holdings Group, $14.99).
“I’ve always had a passion for inspiring girls since I was 9,” she said. “My whole message from that age has been self-love.”
She credits two unique conferences with inspiring her to write the book.
In 2018, she was selected to attend Disney Dreamers Academy in Orlando, Florida, a conference hosted by comedian and TV host Steve Harvey and Essence Magazine. There she was exposed to advanced leadership techniques and professional workshops designed to help Black teens pursue success in their futures.
That same year, she received a scholarship to attend the Black Girls LEAD conference in New York City, sponsored by Black Girls Rock, which exposed her to women leaders of color and leadership training to help empower her.
“When I got home, me and my mom sat down and were like, ‘What can we do to inspire girls even more?’ The book came up,” she said. “It’s a self-empowerment book for young ladies.”
While it’s a short book at just 53 pages, “Dear Black Girl, You are IT” packs in strong messages around four themes: see you, love you, express you and free you.
“See you” encourages readers to look in the mirror and see their flaws and beauty and appreciate both. In addition, she tells them to look inside themselves and see and appreciate their inner beauty.
“Express you” asks readers to use their gifts and talents to inspire other people.
“I think a lot of times we allow our gifts and talents to lay dormant in us,” Trimuel said. “I always say that when you keep your dreams and your passions all to yourself, you’re not only hindering your potential, but you’re also hindering somebody else’s, because a lot of times people’s dreams and goals lie in yours.”
“Love you” is about readers loving who they are and “free you” encourages readers to free themselves from negativity and toxic people and allow their minds to be free so they can love themselves.
Not many girls Trimuel’s age are speaking out about loving themselves, she said, which makes her book important.
“In the climate that we live in today, not even just for Black women but for all women, we kind of have a lack of self-worth, we don’t see ourselves as beautiful,” she said. “We’re too critical of ourselves and we don’t have anybody in our ear telling us we are worth it, telling us that we are OK, telling us that we can be anybody we put our minds to.”
Trimuel’s parents have been instrumental in teaching her to love herself and instilling in her the knowledge that she can accomplish anything she puts her mind to. Her mother is a particular inspiration through her work with the women’s ministry at their church.
“Fortunately, God has blessed me with parents who pour into me, who give me love, who give me the truth, who give me advice, and a lot of girls don’t have that,” she said. “So I wanted to pour life into them [other girls] and to give them advice and love and things like that.”
Trimuel takes her relationship with God seriously too.
“That’s one of the biggest reasons why I am the way I am,” she said.
While her parents instilled a faith in her, seeing God work every day in her life and the lives of others deepens her relationship with the Lord. Even though it’s not easy being 17 and going against the popular culture’s messages and telling women to love themselves, God gives her strength, she said.
“He pours into me so I can pour into others,” Trimuel said.
When she’s not writing books and inspiring other young women, Trimuel serves as vice president of outreach for Marian’s Black Student Union, is co-anchor of the Marian Catholic Network, and is a member of the Gospel Choir and senior editor of the yearbook.
To learn more about Trimuel’s efforts, visit tameratrimuel.com. “Black Girl, You Are IT!” is available through Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com.
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Schools in the Archdiocese of Chicago celebrated Catholic Schools Week this year by highlighting their Catholic identity and showing appreciation to all the members of their communities, just as they always have, but things did look a little bit different.