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Young wonder woman shortlisted for city's top award

OPRAH’S COUCH: Talisha Johnson says her ambition is to help others and be interviewed by Ms Winfrey

A YOUNG entrepreneur from Birmingham has been shortlisted for the 2015 West Midlands Women of the Year’s Aspire Award at the tender age of 21.

At 16 years old, Talisha Jonhnson was plotting how she would redefine a classic fairytale when she released a self-published book entitled Snow Black, The Seven Rastas and Other Short Stories while most of her peers were preparing for their GCSEs.

Looking back on her accomplishment, the savvy businesswoman said: “Publishing my book was a really big highlight for me, primarily because I was so determined to do it when people were telling me I couldn’t.

“When I think back now to how young I was I think, ‘gosh I could have been doing anything else’ but it’s a really proud moment for me that I was able to write my own book and have something tangible.”
Now a little older and wiser, Johnson has turned her passion for people into a number of successful business services engaging with young girls and the greater community.
“My achievements aren’t just about self-satisfaction – it’s about helping people and inspiring other people to step out and fulfil their true potential,” added Johnson.


In 2009, Johnson co-founded Youth 4 Excellence CIC and currently stands as executive producer for the Annual Celebrating Youth Excellence Awards – an event which recognises the positive achievements and contributions of exceptional young people in Birmingham and the West Midlands.

On her ambitions, Johnson explained she was motivated both by life and people. “Waking up, everyday I think God’s giving me another day to get it right and inspire people, and I think people in themselves inspire me to give them something that they may never have experienced before because I always say that my dreams can be someone else’s deliverance.“

Now training at BBC West Midlands Radio as a full-time broadcast assistant, Johnson continues to juggle the role with Skool Girl Online – Birmingham’s only lifestyle magazine for teenage girls of which she is the founder and editor.

Johnson attributed her discipline to her religious upbringing. “Faith is my foundation,” she said. “I’ve grown up in a Christian household so that’s always going to play a massive part in all that I do. If a decision contradicts my faith I won’t do it.”

The West Midlands Women of the Year Aspire Award is designed to celebrate the outstanding contribution made by women and will take place next month.

Despite the many accolades to her name, the passionate entrepreneur who is the youngest of three children explained that she was content with taking things slowly but had big dreams she planned to make a reality.

“I just try and take everyday as it comes, my ultimate goal would be to be interviewed by Oprah. When she interviews you, you know you’ve made it, but I’m always working towards paying off my parent’s mortgage. I’ve always felt that when I can do that I would feel successful.”

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