The Women Who Inspired We

When discussing Women Exceeding, there is never a time that I leave out where the inspiration stemmed. In 2010, I was so inspired by my three close friends that four years later I felt moved to start Women Exceeding. -Christina

Bryana Holcomb

Bryana Holcomb, founder of Faith & Finesse, is dedicated to empowering all whom she encounters through writing, speaking, and coaching. Her aim is to inspire YOU to be the best version of yourself! As a writer, Bryana is a published author and has written and edited for major print and online publications. She is currently the Editor for and began her career in publishing as a fashion and music editor for BOLD Magazine in Los Angeles, CA. Bryana earned a Bachelor of Arts in Gender and Women’s studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and continued on to receive her MBA in Management Strategy.

Aleya James

In order to have harmony, one must understand melody and its purpose in music. We know that the melody id the tune and the easiest part to remember. It is ultimately the part of the song that we always seem to have stuck in the back of our minds. Like melody, Aleya James has the ability to transform anything she touches. Aleya’s journey began on the South-side of Chicago where her mother and grandmother fostered her deep love for music by putting her in vocal lessons at age 8. Spending most of her childhood studying music and dance, she went on to receive a degree in Music Business from Columbia College. Her innate ability to make others feel special was apparent early on, which led her to mentoring young artists through performance coaching. This journey landed Aleya in Los Angeles where she moved to continue her pursuit in music. It was in Los Angeles that Aleya realized not only did she have a gift for music, but also a love and strong desire for helping others. Over the past 5 years, Aleya has devoted her time to working at Covenant House California, a homeless shelter for at-risk youth. She started as the Music Coordinator where she facilitated programs that offered music classes to under privileged youth. She later moved on to become the Life skills Coordinator where she mentored youth and aided them in reaching their immediate goals by giving them the necessary skills to do so. Having a deep connection to issues like generational poverty, homelessness and racial inequality; Aleya’s passion for social justice led her to spear head a community project dedicated to helping victims of police misconduct. It has been Aleya’s lifelong devotion to foster change in the world via activism and art. Her life story is a testament of the power of community and togetherness. Most recently, Aleya has joined the WE organization to continue her work in this as a Motivational Speaker. As her story continues to unfold, she is dedicated to making sure the world remembers the name Aleya James.

Isra Shatat

Isra Shatat is a Lead in 3PL Tech, and a motivated Talent & Media Relations Manager. 
She recently launched a small media agency where she oversees and develops small business operations as well as develops and elevates creatives/ special projects. Shatat, born and raised in Chicago, holds a BS in Communication from the University of Illinois and is also certified in teaching English as a second language from International Tefl academy. 
She has over 10 + years of media and management experience in the Entertainment industry as well as 4+ years in the Logistics industry.  

Christina Danielle Cornelius

Women Exceeding holds such a valuable place in my heart. It is important to me for you all to understand what sparked the inspiration for Women Exceeding. From the beginning, I never dreamed that my admiration for others would grow into something as amazing as Women Exceeding. One day I realized that I was surrounded by amazing women, accomplishing amazing achievements. I felt inspired. I love meeting strong independent women. I wanted to honor them in some way. I first tried to do this in 2010 with a blog post on my very elementary blog, which had virtually no followers. In this post, I honored three close friends whom I admire very much, Bryana Holcomb, Aleya James, and Isra Shatat. You can guarantee that you will be learning more about each of them in the future. As the years grew, I was not just satisfied with the blog post. I juggled ideas of how I could honor these wonderful women in my life. By this time I had accepted the fact that I am not a blogger. What I am, is a networker. I love helping and connecting people. I thought to myself: how could I do this on a larger level? I could go further than just a blog. I could create a resource for women that displayed women accomplishing their dreams. This resource would assist with mentoring and guidance, career advice and tips, women spotlights, videos, news articles, and an external resource guide; and thus “Women Exceeding” was born. So here it is ladies, take it, use it, and BE GREAT.
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