My name is India Rochelle. I am a bestselling
author, web designer, Huffington Post contributor, and female entrepreneurial
guide. I am also the founder of She Freely
organization for teen girls by teen girls who are or have experienced homelessness,
suicide, and abuse. In autumn, I host a podcast on iTunes called Empowering She. There I encourage women
to inspire, uplift, and teach each other. 

Currently, I have been
focusing more on female entrepreneurship. I help women all over the world
achieve personal freedom in their businesses and lives by providing help with
social media, web design, and an array of rebranding and digital services to
women of every niche. Before I got to this level of success, I experienced many
ups and downs. Most of them were supposed to break me, intimidate me, and
create a diversion on my journey through life.

 I tell people all the
time that I was not supposed to be alive to tell my stories of pain in my
rearview and success in my present. But I believe I am favored just like so
many who have survived anything traumatic. Though in my past I endured abuse,
homelessness, and a drug addiction, I am blessed to now be a survivor, mother
of two beautiful children and a fiance of a man who shifted my perceptions and
encourages me to achieve my dreams everyday.
I enjoy and take pride
in giving back to others. Whether it be by writing, donating, or just giving my
time. i am always spreading love, words, and wisdom to everyone I encounter.
This year for my birthday I gave over 150 teenage girls my book, “A Fearless Guide To Manifesting, Launching,
& Celebrating Female Entrepreneurship.”
 I am currently working on a fiction
novel dedicated to encourage teenage girls in unprecedented situations.
I find a quote by Janelle Monet to be a great description of my fearlessness.
She says, “I feel
myself becoming the fearless person I have dreamt of being. Have I arrived? No.
But I am constantly evolving and challenging myself to be unafraid to make mistakes.”
I Often
I wonder if I’m really here. I have to pinch myself because I am no longer
walking in fear, but with my head held high, unbothered by negativity, and
confident in my choices, direction, and purpose. Who I am now didn’t happen
overnight for me. I had to work hard and recondition my way of thinking,
surviving, and becoming.being fearless is my way of not giving in to conformity
and inspire others to become everything they should become. Being fearless is
my favorite thing about myself and the most encouraging thing to watch within
other women who aspire to be more.
Most of my life I was told that I was naive to be so trusting, loving, and
giving to people I may or may not know. As a teenage runaway, I earned a great
deal of hurt from being to open and too free with my heart. But though
everything around me seemed to hurt me more and more everyday, for some reason
my heart would mend just as quickly as it was broken and I would pick myself
back up again and continue to find hope in love and friendships. I never
stopped believing that one day I would achieve greatness and become someone
that everyone said I would never become. And sure enough, I did become, rise,
and ascend. My optimistic views on life may have hurt me in the beginning, but
I was strong enough to learn lessons from all of my mistakes and still hold no
grudges against anything with life. Since discovering this part of me as a huge
asset to who I am, it has pushed me to continue to love unconditionally and
encourage other beautiful women to do the same.
Education rules the nation. I believe in this solely because education is what
saved my life. At 17, I decided to drop out of school. Unaware that I would
soon become pregnant and have to make a way with my beautiful little girl. I
grew up around educated people. My mother had been a school teacher for so many
years, that some of my earliest memories are watching her teach, write
curriculums, and buying me books that sparked my imagination. My grandmother birthed six children.
All educated and well-spoken. Each different, but knew that the only way
outside of hurt was to rise in education. Before having my daughter, my family
begged me to return back to school. Not only for myself, but for my unborn
child. I knew I had to. And I feared the possibility that after having my baby,
I wouldn’t get a chance to. So at 8 months pregnant and 18 years old, not only
did I graduate with my class of 2007, but I also walked into motherhood as an
educated woman and able to unlock jobs, positions, and a world I didn’t even
know existed.

Now, with a degree and a constant
need to feed and grow my intellect, I continue to educate myself and encourage
my children to learn as well. I have even inspired my now 8 year old daughter
to start writing her own children’s book series.
My children and my elders. I was
raised to respect both the young and the old. To learn from those with a new
set of eyes and to be humble towards those who have already seen and lived my
years. I learn everyday from children and have more friends who are older than
my age because of my attraction to wisdom. Because my grandmother helped raise
me for more than half of my life, she has been my greatest teacher. And because
my children have helped mold me, they have had the most profound influence on
Maya Angelou
Of course, I am a fan of her books, but when I was about 12 years old, I
attended one of her book signings at a local Barnes & Nobles Bookstore. I
stood all the way at the end of the line. In fact, I may have been last in
line. But I’ll never forget her beautiful smile and the African head wrap she
wore around her head. I stood there for a while and finally Ms. Angelou finally
was able to sign my book. She not only signed it with the biggest smile I had
ever seen, she also gave me some words of wisdom. I grew up reading all of Ms.
Angelou’s books. Over and over I would find encouragement through her stories,
poems, and speeches that made me feel okay to be different and helped me
understand that no matter what happens to me, I can still rise because that
opportunity was given to everyone.
Nelson Mandela
A peaceful soul that not only fought for the rights of others, but the right of
all mankind. He didn’t just want unity for Africans and those of African
descent, but for the world! His movement that encouraged world peace influences
who I am today. Unity is what we need. So unity is what I speak. I practice
unity in everything I do. In my business and in life, I do my hardest to bring
people together from different parts of the world and from many different
ethnicities. It is important to me to be unprejudiced, non-biased, and love
unconditionally. And role models like Nelson Mandela are the greatest ones to
Lupita Nyong’o
I believe the heavens opened when they made this beautiful woman! Not only is
she the first Mexican born Kenyan to win an Academy Award, she also was given
her own day by the head of the New Heritage Theatre Group in Harlem, NY! The
woman is doused in beauty and has become a mogul for girls of not only the
African race, but of many different colors. I was most inspired by her movie
roles and how she poured her heart out on the stage at the oscars. I admire her
power to unify with her voice and humble demeanor. 
My envisioned goal for the next five
years is to continue to help women launch successful businesses and to grow my
organization She Freely
 so that I can
help more teen girls around the world. I also envision writing more books and
even starting a publishing company that caters specifically to publishing books
for female entrepreneurs, teen girls, and little girls of every age.
The first step is raising our voices
on injustices and our right as women. Though I am not a native of Africa, I am
very aware of how women are treated since most of my closest friends are
African women. Most of which who have very distinct and valid views, but are
afraid to speak up on things because of some demented fate they feel they will
meet. Not only do they fear this for themselves, but also for the people they
love. They also want to continue to feel welcome in their community. I
encourage African women to speak up! It doesn’t matter how far you are, your
voice matters.
I am a huge believer in meditation.
And there are many ways to do it without sitting with your legs crossed and
humming mantras. I journal, listen to the violin, and sip tea sometimes just to
simply relax. It clears my mind and helps me make better choices within my
business and life. 
The African woman should be inspired,
celebrated, and empowered because they have endured so much and have remained
so strengthened that they deserve it! Even through it all, the African woman
walks with such grace and dignity. Something that I deeply admire and that
African women themselves should recognize with themselves also. 
If I had an opportunity to work in he
African Union in the women’s advocacy and empowerment department, I would first
start with assisting and encouraging our younger generation of little women.
Because they are the future of a new world and age, it is important that they
receive education, nurturing, and proper tools to become successful and
prepared. It is even more important that they are heard and feel valued. For
adult women I would create a program for them that helps them find their
purpose in the world. The program would include technological education, public
speaking, branding, and ways to advance in their careers outside and inside of
Africa. Their voices deserve to be heard.
To every African daughter, sister,
mother, wife, and aunt, you have to know that there are no boundaries in this
world because nothing is solid. There are no walls that can’t fall down and no
ocean that can’t be crossed. Your reach is limitless because our world is
infinite. Let this encourage you to reach your dreams and understand that just
because you’re in one place, doesn’t mean you can’t be in another.