After overcoming significant childhood adversity, Mia Dunlap proudly graduated from Spelman College in Atlanta, GA making her a first generation (traditional) high school and college graduate. Mia contributes her success to her village and to her courage to ask for the support she needed.

During her journey at Spelman, she spent her eight-ten week summers doing internships across California, DC, and Atlanta as a youth advocate. In 2010, Mia traveled abroad for the first time, again becoming the first in her family to do so–spending two weeks in Ghana, West Africa with Spelman College students.

After earning her Bachelors of Arts Degree in English, Mia moved to New York City where she earned her Masters Degree, became a teacher, dean of climate and culture, and later an interim principal.

Mia has continued to listen to her life and started (AYA) Adversity Yields Audacity, Inc as a keynote speaker and personal development coach with the vision to curate a life that she loves and to help others do the same.

She now lives in Atlanta and works remotely as a Senior Director of Learning and Culture at an education non-profit.

Her favorite quote is, “So tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

-Mary Oliver

Notable Engagements

  • Emcee of Praise Fest -Spelman College
  • Introduction of Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr. – Spelman College, Atlanta
  • Leadership Coach for senior leaders, Ramapo for Children
  • First Generation College Student Speaker, Spelman College
  • Carter G. Woodson’s Eighth Grade Graduation, Chicago
  • Spelman College WISDOM Center’s Tenth Anniversary, Atlanta
  • Gwendolyn Brooks College Prep Academy’s Senior Class Luncheon, Chicago
  • Navy Yard Clubhouse – Madison Square Boys & Girls Club, New York
  • Special guest on Black Girls Rock taping, New Jersey
  • Leadership Coach, Ednovate
  • Leadership Development Training, Whittle
  • Whole School Antiracism & DEIB Session, Ascend Charter
  • Curate Your Life Workshop Facilitator, Cornelll University
  • School Culture Consultant, Achievement First


The Audacity: From Poverty to Possibility

The Audacity: From Poverty to Possibility Documentary