Up-Close and Personal with Top Women’s Panelist: Tina Brown

 Tina Brown

Executive Director, Overtown Youth Center



  1. Where were you born and raised?

I was born and raised in Miami, moved to Savannah, Georgia for college, but moved back when I graduated.

2. What was your dream job as a kid and why?

As a child I wanted to be a hair stylist, but High School opened my eyes to other careers and made me realize I wanted to be an accountant. Growing up in the inner city here in Miami, becoming an accountant meant challenging myself. Having people in my life that really believed in me made me believe in myself, so I accepted that challenge.

3.How did you get where you are today, and who/what helped you along the way?

I am where I am today thanks to some very compassionate people who never stopped believing in me. My mother, high school teachers, and college professors thought I had what it takes, in terms of perseverance, to achieve anything I wanted. I have them to thank for the person I am today.

4.What would you say is your greatest accomplishment to date?

Being a community leader and a change agent for a community that I actually grew up in is my biggest accomplishment to date. Going to school and majoring in accounting, I thought I would work in the corporate sector my whole life, but I have always loved empowering people, which is so important in changing communities. The skills I gained in college and while working in the corporate sector positioned me to be a leader in a community where I can play a major role in empowering the youth and families and advocate for people who may not know how to advocate for themselves.

5. What’s your secret for success?

Persevere and never give up. If there is a doubt in your mind whether you can be something or not, you burry that doubt and stop at nothing to achieve your goals. Several times I had that doubt, but I played hardball and make sure no one knew that doubt existed.

6.Who are the mentors that stand out to you the most?

My High School teacher was my mentor. He took the time to help me learn about myself, and about life in general, and always stuck by my side. Sometimes it was in a very silent way, but he was always there rooting and cheering me on. To this day, I still consider him as someone who changed my life.

7.What’s one key leadership lesson you’ve learned along the way?

To always trust your instinct. This has helped tremendously throughout the years. Act on the instincts that keep nagging at you and make the best leadership decision that you can make early on.

8. What is one thing that not many people know about you that may be surprising?

To a large degree I seem very confident on the surface, but that’s not always the case. People are sometimes surprised when I say that. Sometimes I have internal struggles and don’t feel as confident as I should be.

9. How do you disconnect/what do you do for fun?

When I go home I disconnect by engaging with my three children. Something I really love to do is dance, so my kids will say, “Let’s go out!” and I’ll pretend that we’re at the club by putting on some fun music and flashing the lights. Dancing with my husband and kids is the perfect way for me to disconnect.