As activists and young women of color, we represent communities directly impacted by violence, racism, poverty and crime. We managed to overcome the trauma and struggle we grew up with but stories like ours are rarely heard. Because of that, far too many young people are convinced that they’re powerless in the face of pain. Our goal is to challenge that belief and offer a new way forward.

Our message for those at the margins is that you can use your pain, your passion and your life experience to transform the world around you – just as we did. After a decade of working in social justice, and doing the hard work of healing from past traumas, we have valuable advice and insightful guidance to share. Our experiences will demonstrate to our audience what’s possible when you turn personal struggle into a force for good.

We hope that our ever-evolving collection of resources will help you to better understand yourself and your place within the world. I Am Here To is based on exploring the best version of yourself but it will require you to ask the hard questions, again and again. We want you to move from breakdowns to breakthroughs, to discuss burnout, anxiety and questions of self-worth. With our tools, we want you to arrive at a space of clarity and joy that comes with any commitment to build something bigger than yourself.
I AM HERE TO … Use my personal experiences as a driving force to improve the lives of others. … To eliminate barriers that restrict people from showing up as their authentic self … To fight for those living at the margins because I know what it’s like to not have what you need to be what you dream.”

– Jamira Burley

I AM HERE TO … Live a life with an open heart and an open mind, embrace the opportunities and challenges that help me grow … To give and love with no expectations ... To fight for injustice and disrupt the cycle of violence … To live and share a joyful life of purpose … To build a business that will leave a positive impact in the world.”

– Ariela Suster

Philadelphia native Jamira Burley turned the pain of her brother’s death from gun violence into a life of social activism. Now based in New York, she is the Head of Youth Engagement and Skills at the Global Business Coalition for Education and an activist for gun violence prevention and criminal justice reform. Ariela Suster, also currently based in NY, grew up in El Salvador, no stranger to violence, she saw firsthand the harrowing effects of war during a period that included the kidnapping of her brother, military invasions, shootings in her home, and car bombs in her neighborhood. She sought to disrupt the cycle of gang-related violence in her country by establishing SEQUENCE her company of handcrafted jewelry and accessories that employs young men who are at risk of joining gangs and live in violent communities to handcraft and produce the beautiful products.


“Share our holistic process for healing, reconciliation and finding joy.”

Ariela Suster & Jamira Burley

Our Guiding Principles:

We also like to call these our RTJ (Return to Joy) Principles

1. I’m Enough:

We discover our worth by looking inside of ourselves, freeing ourselves of the need to be perfect, and loving who we are.

2. Breakdown To Breakthrough:

Sometimes we have to lose it all in order to gain what we need. How we navigate our struggles determines how high we rise.

3. Open Heart And Open Mind:

The heart and mind like to work together, so ensure they both remain open to life’s possibilities.

4. Be the Expert of Your Own Experience:

Master who you are by getting to know yourself. Your life experiences can be a powerful channel that can lead to you making an impact in the world with your unique story, skills, voice.

5. Throw Your Assumptions Away:

When you make an assumption, you tell yourself that something is true without having any evidence that it is. Practice a nonjudgmental attitude, look for the positive in people, and aim to be the best version of yourself.

6. Purpose Not Position:

Your title won’t always reflect your purpose. Do the work that is required, regardless of your title or job description.

7. Self-Care Is Revolutionary:

Give your body and mind time to rest, reset, and rejuvenate, so you can avoid or reduce the symptoms of stress and anxiety.

8. Age Is Not a Barrier:

Life begins every morning you wake up, and there is no age requirement to pursue a new purpose, learn something new, reinvent yourself or even to change the world.

9. Make Profit But Not At The Expense Of Progress:

Always be conscious of people and the planet when making decisions about generating profits and growth.

10. Create A World Where No Voices Are Unheard:

We believe in the freedom to express yourself, with empathy, respect and without discrimination or ill will from others.

11. You’re Not Alone:

Asking for help doesn’t make you weak. Allow others to share the burden, so the impact you seek to make comes to fruition.

12. Liberate Yourself:

Let go of self-inflicted barriers and limitations and tap into your inner power, your unique voice.

13. Plan For Happiness:

The work is important but seek joy in all that you do. Connect with others, savor the small things and squeeze more joy out of every day.