Andrena Sawyer is an author, business strategist, and diversity advocate whose background includes surviving the civil war in Sierra Leone. Her authenticity and battle-tested principles inspire audiences to embrace their past, own their present and maximize their future.
Originally from Freetown, Sierra Leone, she and her family moved to the United States when she was nine years old due to a civil war that left thousands dead and untold numbers maimed and displaced. She now credits her family's move during the war for her interest in human triumph and perseverance. She has since actively worked to mobilize and empower others.
At age 15, she founded Triple “T” MAD (Teens Trying to Make a Difference), a community service organization for teens in central New Jersey. As a student at Howard University, she continued to cultivate her interest in community development by founding Rock, the MIC—an annual outreach for youth in the DC area. These experiences laid a firm foundation that continues to define her work.
She is the President of P.E.R.K. Consulting, an advisory firm for small to mid-sized nonprofits and businesses, and the Founder of MCWEN—a faith-based network for women of color entrepreneurs.
Through her work, she has helped hundreds of organizations and thousands of individuals move from ideas to purpose-driven work.
First question I always ask is this… other than that brief information I just shared, can you tell us in your own words, “Who is Andrena Sawyer?”
Your background, coming from a war torn area in Sierra Leone, how long did it take you to adjust to living in the United States?
At what age did you find Christ?
As you grew older, what started you down the path of starting “Triple T MAD?”
What type of impact did that make in your community and in your own life?
You went to Howard University, what did you major in there?
While at Howard University, you founded another outreach that is an annual event, “Rock the MIC.” Can you tell us about that outreach?
Being an entrepreneur is not as easy as some people think. What advice can you give to someone listening to us today that wants to become an entrepreneur?
As you advice someone who is preparing to become, basically, “their own boss,” there will be days when they wonder, “Am I doing the right thing.” What do you share with them when they are facing those questions and may be discouraged from their lack of quick success?
What is “purpose” as it relates to those whom you are trying to help?