Dr. Stephanie Akoumany is the Founder and CEO of Bloom, a leadership, wellness, and community- building media and education company. She is also the host of the Blooming is A Habit podcast. Stephanie is a speaker, researcher, and educator who helps schools and businesses to cultivate cultures that embrace diversity, equity, inclusion, resilience, and holistic wellness.
At Bloom we are guided by one question. What can it mean to be human? We look to our past, analyze our present, and take massive actions to create a future that serves and respects us all! As we actualize our dreams together, we evolve together, and push humanity forward.
The Blooming is A Habit Podcast
The Blooming is a Habit Podcast series highlights innovative solutions to complex social challenges discovered by students, parents, educators, business professionals, business owners, and health & wellness leaders as they pursue their passions and create careers and/or businesses of their dreams. Her guests share their journeys and their impactful interventions in the areas of Health & Wellness, Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, Family, Relationships, Sex Education, Education, Science & Technology, Career & Business.
Bloom uses the latest insights from public health, psychology, and neuroscience to create engaging media, tech, curriculum. workshops, conferences, and events that help humans bloom into their best selves.
Bloom helps individuals, families, schools, nonprofits, and businesses plant seeds of mindfulness, play, productivity, resilience, empathy, and inclusivity in their everyday lives and create roadmaps for holistic success! Bloom honors the idea that happy, healthy, and empowered people can change the world!
Dr. Akoumany has over 9 years of experience helping over 300+ students, 100 educators, and 75 parents gain life, leadership, mindfulness, wellness, diversity, equity, inclusion, and conflict resolution skills in Baltimore and Washington, D.C.
Dr. Akoumany created the 2019 Bloom Wellness Summit which was sponsored by the Johns Hopkins Center for Adolescent Health in Baltimore, MD to help middle school girls and their teachers brainstorm and learn how to make wellness a priority at their schools. https://www.jhsph.edu/research/centers-and-institutes/center-for-adolescent-health/blog/bloom-wellness-summit.
She presented at the ADVIS (Association of Delaware Valley Independent Schools) Professional Development Conference on “Making Students of Color’s Mental Health and Wellbeing A Priority” in December 2019. She served as a keynote speaker at the National Coalition for Girls Schools Educating Girls Symposium At Bryn Mawr and an Urban Education Class at Towson University n November 2019 on how to help girls thrive in school, college, and beyond. She also presented at the 2018 NAIS POCC Conference on Self Care & Mindfulness Strategies for Faculty of Color.
Dr. Akoumany earned her Ph.D. in American Studies at University of Maryland College Park in May 2018 and is a proud Baltimore City Public Schools, Samuel Ready Scholars, B.E.S.T., and Bryn Mawr School alumna. She loves exploring connections between human development, psychology, public health, public policy, girls & youth empowerment, adverse childhood experiences, relational aggression, social emotional learning skills, emotional intelligence, implicit bias, neuroplasticity, mindfulness, and sexual education.
Dissertation Research: Black Adolescent Girls & Resilience
Dr. Akoumany's dissertation "Reimagining Resilience: Exploring Black Early Adolescent Girls' Experiences, Desires, and Needs While Growing Up In Baltimore City" highlights how black early adolescent girls utilize resilience strategies, particularly, self-assertion, storytelling, creativity, play, and community building to cope with daily stressors.
Her doctoral work aimed to use research and mentoring to inform social change and cultivate a more comprehensive understanding of girls of color’s complex identities.
She served as the lead researcher and facilitator of a three year longitudinal ethnographic and participant action research study, conducted from 2010-2013, at a Baltimore City public school. Eighty-five, hour-long, weekly and biweekly workshops were conducted with 55 black middle school girls between the ages of 11-14 years old, who were in three different grade-based cohorts, until their respective eighth grade graduations. Dr. Sheri Parks directed her dissertation at the University of Maryland College Park.
Introducing President Barack Obama
In 2009, Stephanie interned at the U.S. House of Representatives and introduced President Barack Obama at a televised White House press conference advocating for increased Pell Grants for college students from low to middle socio-economic statuses. https://www.c-span.org/video/?285476-1/president-obama-remarks-higher-education-policy