Growing up around strong female role models gave A’Niyah the blueprint for what it means to be a true, servant leader. A’Niyah was born and raised in Anderson, Indiana. She attended Anderson Preparatory Academy, a military high school, graduating salutatorian. During high school her love of STEM and passion for science were solidified which led her to graduate from Indiana University with a degree in Biology with a Business Life Sciences certificate.
After college, she decided to take a seat at the corporate America table at Eli Lilly and Company. During her 5 year tenure, she’s progressed through the corporate ranks as a Diabetes Sales Representative, Sr. Associate Diabetes Marketer, and newly promoted Primary Care Sr. Business Director.
When she’s not strategizing to improve patient outcomes, she pursues her passion as a motivational speaker advocating for women’s involvement in STEM fields and empowering women to be DISRUPTIVE leaders in their networks through her initiative #DaretoDisrupt.
Miss Indiana USA 2021:
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Pictured with late mother, DeVeta Whigham
No stranger to pageantry, this proud Hoosier earned the titles of Miss Indiana University 2017, Miss Kiwanis Balloon Festival 2019, 2nd runner up at Miss Indiana USA 2019 and was the reigning Miss Indiana USA 2021. In 2021 on Halloween Night, just weeks before she was set to compete for the Miss USA crown. A’Niyah lost her mother, DeVeta Whigham, in a tragic car crash. Not being one to give up, she uses this heartbreaking experience as a lesson in perseverance as she continues the dream the two shared for years.
Dare to Disrupt
Five years ago, I was told that I didn’t have a resume fit for corporate America. I had degree in biology and a certificate in the business of life sciences, and still to the recruiter that wasn’t enough. But, I knew I was more than capable to have a seat at the corporate America table.
In spite of their denial, I chose to DISRUPT this perception and forge my own path at the same company I was told I wasn’t “qualified enough”to join. This is how #DareToDisrupt was created.
To DISRUPT, you have to challenge the status quo, insert yourself in spaces that lack diversity and inclusion, and never become complacent.
So many people face countless obstacles in their journey of life, and sometime succumb to them. I’m a walking testimony to never give up on your dreams, that you are powerful beyond measure and where there is a will, there is a way. Which is why I take every opportunity to share my story to speak to others, to motivate them, and to encourage them to #daretodisrupt.
Cultivating Future STEMinists
In today’s society, women continuously face strong social stigmas pertaining to their careers in the workplace. Our society has shaped our views and tainted our minds to believe that women are restricted to certain career interests. STEM-related fields are one of the hardest hit areas for stereotypes and gender biases. In order to promote diversity within STEM areas, we have to be able to destroy the idea that women are only subject to certain fields.
To counteract such stereotypes, I feel that it is my duty to enlighten and cultivate future STEMinists -people who support and advocate for Women in STEM. I work to empower our young women to envision themselves in this field and act as a STEMinist role model. Our young women are innovative and the necessary trail-blazers that are needed to drive STEM in our society.