The founder and director of The Rare Academy, Ena Logan, has had a passion for children and the arts for as long as she can remember. As a Richmond native she grew up participating in theatre, modeling, piano lessons, and dance. She had a strong spiritual upbringing in giving back to her community and the importance of education by her mother, who has been an educator for over 30 years and a lifetime of servanthood. During her matriculation at Howard University, God gave Ena a vision to impact girls by teaching them how to embrace the young lady who God created them to be. Following graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, she has been motivated even the more to make a difference in the lives of girls; as she has served as a therapeutic day treatment specialist, in-home counselor, instructional assistant, and behavior interventionist. Ena is currently enrolled at Virginia Commonwealth University in the Counselor Education program in pursuit of a master's degree in School Counseling.
Ena has encountered many girls who have not been afforded the opportunity to have diverse experiences in culture or the arts. It is Ena’s life goal to open the door of possibilities to girls who never knew that they existed and motivating them to strive for excellence in everything that they do. Ena is beyond thankful for her greatest gift, her husband, JT Logan. They are a dynamic team and together are the owners of Four Deep Multimedia LLC., a full range advertising and marketing agency.
What was your inspiration to start such an awesome organization?
God placed it on my heart to start The Rare Academy Inc. in 2012. This was soon after I pledged a Christian sorority in college called Alpha Nu Omega Inc. I believed that the tools of spirituality, self-esteem, and sisterhood that I gained from that experience could be applied to young ladies in my community who were not afforded the opportunity to have women in their lives to instill these values.
Where did the name of your organization come from?
The Rare Academy Inc name came from a conversation that I had with God about what He wanted young ladies to know about how He created them. I kept hearing the word "rare". It began as R.A.R.E., young ladies who are radiant and representing excellence. That is still our motto but we don't utilize the agronomy. Young ladies need to know that God created them to be different and we have to empower them to understand those differences and embrace them.
What is one characteristic you believe every leader should possess?
Every leader should possess the characteristic of passion for what they do. If a leader is not passionate about the mission and vision of their business or organization, the sacrifices will not be worth it and they will not fully commit to the task at hand. I love what I do and I am passionate about the young ladies who I serve. Passion makes every day worth the risks and the challenges.
What is one of the biggest challenges you believe women in leadership face?
Women in leadership are always taught that we can't have it all. If we want a career, we must sacrifice having a family. If we want family, we must sacrifice career. It takes a lot of hard work to have it all but we as women have to hold each other up as we all choose our own path to make it to the top!
Can you share a defining moment in your role as the founder of your organization?
A defining moment in the founding of my organization was in 2015. I was just getting the hang of the programming that I was offering and one of my clients threw me a curve ball. She came to class and talked about how she wanted to get pregnant so that she would have someone to love and love her back. This was a middle school student and her perception of becoming a parent was frightening to me. She did not fully understand what she really wanted, which was to love herself. I planned an event for girls like her to come together and talk about teen pregnancy. Guest speakers were invited to discuss the lessons that they learned as teen moms. I thought that maybe 5 girls would show up. We ended up having 45 girls from all over Richmond attend. In that moment, I stood back and looked at all of the girls. They were different ages, colors, and sizes but they were all beautiful. In that moment, I knew that I was making a difference.
Where can we find more information about your organization?
You can find more information about The Rare Academy Inc. at www.therareacademy.org and our instagram account @therareacademy