Aubreana Stephenson Holder J.D.

Aubreana Stephenson Holder J.D.
Chief Operating Officer
Federal Management Systems Inc.
Washington, D.C.
Age: 37

Aubreana Stephenson Holder lost the ability to walk and speak while an undergraduate at the University of Maryland, College Park.

?Look at me now,? she exclaims.?Fully recovered, the self-professed technology geek is the chief operating officer and a board member at Federal Management Systems Inc., a government contracting company. ?It?s one of those things I overcame. It made me take a semester off from school, but it made me determined to either hit my dad?s mark or beat it. He graduated from Howard in three and a half years,? she recounts. ?When I went back to school I didn?t tell my parents I wasn?t one hundred percent. Now I know I can do anything I put my mind to.?

Stephenson Holder graduated in three and a half years with a bachelor?s degree in criminology and criminal justice, followed by a degree from the David A. Clarke School of Law at the University of the District of Columbia and certifications in human resources. She is a Cohort member of the Scott Hawkins Leadership Institute, which grooms dynamic women for leadership roles in The Links Inc. and the wider world. The daughter of Guyanese immigrants, she joined Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. and is the vice chair of her chapter?s Family Strengthening Committee and chair of Seasonal Wraps. ?I went down that path from meeting my mom?s friends. It was amazing to see service on that level. Organizations like this open more doors for women,? she says.

Stephenson Holder also is a member of D.C. Central Kitchen; Casa de Maryland, an immigration advocacy organization; and All Shades of Pink, which supports women battling breast cancer. ?I?m giving back. My dad instilled in me that wherever you get in life, it?s not just because of you; it?s because of people who made a way for you to get there,? she says.