Aqeelah-Jihaada Thompson was born and raised in Buffalo, N.Y. She is the founder of Rise to My Call, a business focused on empowering people through motivation and inspiration to take intentional action and live in their purpose. Aqeelah graduated from the College of the Holy Cross, where she majored in Psychology and developed a deep interest in Sociology. The education she received is where she learned more about the oppression that she saw around her and deepened her interest in being a part of creating change in communities like where she came from — the East Side of Buffalo. Once she learned how the circumstances that she grew up in were created and not “just the way things were,” she knew that meant she could help change those same circumstances. Now she is working to play a role in creating that change.