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Black businesswoman brings rags to riches story to Chicago

Crusader staff report

She went from living on the streets of Baltimore to being a self-made millionaire with a doctorate degree from Stanford.

Today, Dr. Venus Opal Reese is a motivational speaker who’s crisscrossing the continent to tell her rags to riches story as a successful Black businesswoman who climbed her way to the top after hitting rock bottom.

Renaissance Chicago North Shore Hotel

Reese recently brought her inspiring life story to Chicago, where she spoke and taught aspiring Black female entrepreneurs at the Renaissance Chicago North Shore Hotel in Skokie. The visit was part of Reese’s “The Black Woman Millionaire Tour: Heal Your Way to 7-Figure Success-On Your OWN Terms.

Reese told her story during a phone interview with the Crusader. She grew up in Baltimore. By the time she was 16, Reese was homeless amidst prostitution, drugs and violence on the city’s streets. Reese said one day while on the streets, she prayed, “God please help me.” Reese said that’s when her 9th grade math teacher, Judy Mae Francis, drove up and took her in. Reese said Francis bought her toothpaste and other personal hygiene products.

Some 14 years later, Reese graduated from Stanford University with her 2nd master’s degree and a Ph.D. Reese said she made millions through her company Defy Impossible. Reese said she’s on a fast-track to make $4 million in 5 years. She became a tenured professor before she decided to write a book about her life. Reese said she was turned down by 30 publishers before she decided to self-published her book, Black Women Millionaire: A Revolution that Defies the Impossible.

“It’s a matter of being a master your own destiny because the essence of what we’re talking about is freedom,” Reese told the Crusader.



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