Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number: Youth Council Representative Arieanna Saddler is a Young Boss in the Making
By Megha Goel
The first thing that strikes you about Arieanna Saddler is her effervescence. A Tremont Youth Council Representative, Saddler is a seventh-grade student of Northeast Ohio College Preparatory School in Cleveland. She is confident and optimistic at heart. Her zest for life and desire to be independent is so infectious, and it’s only when she starts talking about her entrepreneurial endeavor of doing nails that you begin to question yourself, does age really matter? In a candid conversation, she shares how she directed her passion for creating a business venture and began on the pathway of financial freedom.
Born in Puerto Rico and brought up in Cleveland, Arieanna Saddler has taken her love for nail art seriously and has done what most of us only dream about or strive to do. Due to the forced closure, Arieanna started painting and decorating nails for people from the realm of her house. She creates her own pattern and designs, charging $25 in cash for a full set. “I started doing nail art for my friends, and since they loved it, others who know them started approaching me. I love creating art on nails. I am waiting to turn sixteen to get a shop from my uncle and own a nail salon. I want to study and go to college so that I can communicate better. I want to step out of my comfort zone, push beyond my limits, and make something of myself.”
“My mother is my role model and inspiration. She has always taught me to be independent. My mother runs multiple things at the same time confidently. She is a waitress at a Mexican restaurant and works hard to make sure that my siblings (an elder sister and a younger brother) and I are comfortable.”
Some people work hard to rise from their existing conditions. And then, there’s the other kind — people, who become so overwhelmed by their circumstances that they live without making any strides towards their dreams. Saddler is the former. She not only aspires to make her life better but also contributes towards helping the less fortunate. “I split my earnings into two halves and the second half into two other,” she says. “I spend the first half on myself and on procuring material for my venture, and the second two halves go to my mother and the homeless around my area.” The seventh-grader shares, “I want to make money and make myself too.” She says, “every time my friends and I make some money, we make sure that we share some with the helpless on the streets. We buy some food and go out distributing to the needy in the area.”
MAKING TOMORROW BETTER THAN YESTERDAY
Arieanna Saddler aims to put persistent effort into making a better future. She shares, “I have been a part of YODJ (Youth Online Discussing Justice) for a couple of weeks now. The mentoring and breathing exercises help me calm down. I can share my issues with them, and it has helped me do better.” As a young entrepreneur, she shares her view on financial success, “working consistently to be in a better position tomorrow than yesterday. Young people like me run side hustles like washing cars, running lemonade stands, and creating nail art. With sessions like YODJ, we learn how to save, plan, budget, and utilize the money that we have wisely.” The 12-week online Discussion Series convenes 6–12th graders to exchange perspectives in an online classroom with diverse participants. She explains that the two-week session proved so helpful for her to budget and spend her earnings. “Starting this week, my friend Anjelina is pursuing YODJ too.” Arieanna further shares, “I know how important it is for us to learn about different subjects that lead to a successful future. To get to a good place in life, we must be prepared for the future. And this can happen only when we do our bit to bring a change and constantly educate ourselves from available sources like YODJ.”
To hear more about Arieanna’s story of entrepreneurship, she is featured on the Exploring Money episode of the EYEJ Speaks Podcast. Along with participants of the recent EYEJ Speaks episode, she discusses business, entrepreneurship, and money. Listen to the podcast at https://apple.co/2NCLL3g.
To learn about how you can impact the social justice work of Empowering Youth Exploring Justice visit, http://eyej.org/giving/.