Elois Hannah has a passion for advocacy. She first joined the Community Tampa Bay family in the summer of 2017 as an ANYTOWN® delegate where she met some of her closest friends that she now considers family. She then went on to be a part of Community Tampa Bay’s Advocacy Academy as part of the first cohort to go to Tallahassee. Elois states that this is where she transformed into an advocate and leader for her own community.
As a senior at Freedom High School, she worked to bring attention to the “School to Prison Pipeline for African American Girls.” Her Capstone Research project highlighted the discipline challenges that African-American girls face in the classroom as well as other educational environments.
Elois began working toward her desire to uplift and support girls of color after attending two separate summer programs at Princeton University and recognizing that she shared a similar challenge that other academically gifted girls from around the country faced. They felt socially and culturally isolated in the classroom. This realization led Elois to create a new nonprofit organization that brings support for Girls of Color in the classroom. The program will offer social support, self-esteem, confidence building programs and will teach some important tools of advocacy to young girls.
Elois was very engaged in her high school as a member of the National Honor Society, the Vice President of the African-American Studies Club, and the historian of the Astronomy Club. She had lettered in volleyball for three years and played basketball. Elois was part of the Freedom High School Chamber Choir and will travel with the group to New York next year. She ranked first place in the Florida Business Leaders of America regional competition and advanced to compete at the state level. She helped organize a “Walk-In” at school to raise awareness about common sense gun legislation and created a lineup of speakers and a voter’s registration drive for hundreds of students during the 20-minute observance.
In addition to staying busy in school, Elois has been fortunate to take advantage of national, regional and local programs. She was selected out of thousands of applicants throughout the United States to attend the competitive Disney Dreamers Academy in 2017. She was also selected to be a part of the Gamma Theta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., ASCEND program. As a high school freshman, Elois competed with a group of upper classmen from local high schools to win the Computer Mentors Business Competition Challenge. She placed second in the Hillsborough County Center of Excellence Brain Bowl and played competitive volleyball for local Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) teams.
She was also an active member in the youth ministry of First Baptist Church of Progress Village where she sang in the choir and was part of the dance ministry. She has donated nearly 200 hours in the community as a volunteer with a homeless shelter, collecting items for a domestic abuse shelter, Metropolitan Ministries, and with Community Tampa Bay.