Lola Tomorrow, from struggling student to White House aide now helping Black women make millions 

Abu Mubarik August 01, 2023
Lola Tomorrow meets Michelle Obama. Photo: Lola Tomorrow/Forbes

Meet Lola Tomorrow; she is a former White House official who worked with Michelle Obama, a lawyer, writer, and wife of the 44th President Barack Obama.

Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, to a Nigerian father and an African-American mother, Tomorrow was expected to pursue a career in law, engineering, or medicine when she enrolled at Illinois State University, according to Forbes.

Instead, she started events involving thousands of college of students. Her organizing skills soon caught the attention of the department chair who told her to consider event planning as a major.

“I looked into the major, and I never looked back,” she recalled about her journey. “Once I declared [my] major, my mom [is] a scrapbooking queen. She reminded me that when I was in the third grade, I planned my first event: a surprise baby shower for my teacher. My mom has all the records of me writing down every student that gave $2.25. I made a budget and itinerary and [listed] all the details. We bought a cake [and] had the principal get the teacher.”

However, Tomorrow’s decision to go into events faced resistance from her father, who did not entertain the idea of his daughter going into event planning and even likened events to organizing parties. In college, Tomorrow was also struggling with her academics. She was put on probation in her first semester and by the second semester, she was dismissed. 

“I sat down with my academic advisor, and I’m in tears because I’ve been an honor roll student my entire life, and here I am getting kicked out of college. She said, ‘Listen, young lady, 90% of African American students from the inner city of Chicago and Chicago Public Schools [are not] ready. Go to a two-year college, finish there, then come back,’ and I refuse,” she said.

She approached the university’s president and pleaded with him to have her remain in school. As per Forbes, she was given an ultimatum that if she retained a 3.0 GPA and graduated in four years, she would be given another chance.

Although she did not achieve a GPA of 3.0, she managed to graduate in four years and went in for her chosen career as an event planner with the National Parents Teachers Association (PTA), organizing all of their national events for different groups of people.

Tomorrow’s breakthrough came in 2009 when she got a notice that Michelle Obama would be attending the group’s annual legislative conference. She was tasked to organize the event even though she initially declined because she saw the task as a big one. Before Michelle Obama was about to speak at the event, Tomorrow crawled on stage and quickly applied steam to a wrinkled fabric she noticed ahead of the first lady’s speech.

Her effort was eventually recognized by Michelle Obama’s office and was approached with an offer to work with the then-first lady. In less than a month, she was already traveling with the first lady as an aide.

Her services were also contracted by others like the organizers of the Grammy Awards. This led her to eventually launch her own company Faith Figures which has mentored hundreds of women into millionaire status, Forbes wrote.

According to the platform, her company generated over $10 million in revenue for companies across various sectors. Some of the sectors included beauty, coaching, healthcare staffing, transportation, marketing, child development, and education.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: August 1, 2023


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