About Us

Our Mission

Taking It Pro helps women of color achieve career and professional success by providing quality professional tools and resources, career guidance, and an alliance of remarkable women.

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Our Vision

Our vision is to energize women of color to be bold and relentless in identifying, pursuing, and achieving their career goals.

Energized. Bold. Relentless.

Our Team

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Dr. Natasha Knight

Co-Founder and Career Coach 

 

Dr. Knight is a multi-passionate entrepreneur, career coach, and program strategist. She has more than 15 years of experience working in academia, government, and private industry as a public health professional. Those experiences allow her to provide young women of color with mentorship and coaching on considering multiple career options and making strategic career transitions. She is passionate about helping women believe in their worth and walk in their purpose!

Key Accomplishments

  • MPH, University of Pittsburgh

  • PhD, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Maryland School of Public Health

  • MBA, University of Richmond

  • Certified YouMap® Coaching Professional

Dr. Nanlesta Pilgrim

Co-Founder and Career Strategist

 

For over 15 years, Dr. Pilgrim has led and supported HIV research in the United States, the Caribbean and Africa focused on reducing vulnerabilities to HIV and increasing access to HIV prevention and treatment services. In doing this work, she has navigated the academic, nonprofit, and corporate industries. She leverages the lessons learned along the way to help young women pursue and achieve their goals.

 

Key Accomplishments

  • MPH, Yale University

  • PhD, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

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Dr. Alezandria Turner

Media Production Consultant

 

Dr. Alezandria Turner is committed to fostering community and opportunities for advancement for professionals who are underrepresented in their field. Dr. Turner has created media content for the education and entertainment industries. She has 10 years of leadership experience in academia and government.

Key Accomplishments

  • PhD, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Our Story

Picture it -- August 2007.

Orientation for incoming doctoral students at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Nanlesta's Perspective:

 

Nanlesta was on the fourth floor for the building surveying her new academic home - truly anxious about this journey she had started. As she was walking along, she noticed another student studying the map on the wall, apparently a bit lost.

 

Nanlesta recalls thinking, “Should I introduce myself? What if I’m interrupting her? Get it together and go for it.”

 

Nanlesta introduced herself to the young woman, who was Natasha. Natasha was indeed lost but was friendly...

 

Natasha's Perspective:

Natasha was wandering around the fourth floor of the building looking for the locker she'd just been assigned for the year. She had no idea where she was going, and there was no one around whom she could ask for help. 

When she paused to look at a map, she noticed another student standing nearby. Being a little shy and, in some strange way, hoping to feel some sense of accomplishment and assurance that she belonged in such a daunting place by simply finding the locker on her own, Natasha wasn't sure that she could work up the nerve to ask the young lady for help.

To her surprise and relief, she didn't have to! Nanlesta walked right up, extended her hand, and introduced herself...

Nanlesta couldn’t help Natasha find her locker, but in their 2-3 minute exchange, they learned they were both first-year doctoral students and quickly exchanged telephone numbers to stay in touch.  

From there a lasting friendship was created. They even defended their dissertation in the same week and graduated, with doctoral degrees in hand, on the same day! 

Throughout their PhD and career journeys, they learned valuable lessons about navigating various career and professional development opportunities and challenges. Equally important, they learned the importance of supporting each other and other women along the way. 

 

The lessons they learned were so intriguing that they often discussed working on career and professional development ventures together. Natasha and Nanlesta wanted to share their stories and experiences to help other women of color be more strategic in navigating their way to career success. 

 

Many years later, they turned their words to action and founded Taking It Pro so that they could encourage other women of color to be energized, bold and relentless in pursuing their career goals.

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