INNOVATION: Era of Enlightenment [Janniya]

Janniya Hodge

Born and raised on Chicago’s South side, Janniya Hodge is a graduate of Gwendolyn Brooks’ High School as their C/O 19’s Treasurer. Her passion for mathematics, “hustling” and sports led to her acquiring many academic and athletic scholarships - one of which was a full-ride academic scholarship to Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology for mechanical engineering. 

Unfortunately, during her senior year of high school, she endured a sports-ending injury, requiring a full knee replacement surgery with a year of physical therapy. Devastated by this event and the results, Janniya turned her pain into fuel to drive her success through The Gray Matter Experience (TGME). 

Today Janniya is a proud alumna of TGME (Cohort 3 & Hustle Hacks). Although she had experience being a self-taught hair stylist, selling customized phone cases, and snacks throughout high school, it wasn’t until joining TGME that Janniya grasped what an “entrepreneur” was and used that knowledge to become full time self-employed. 

With her hairstyling business; StylesByJanniya (@StylesByJanniya2.0) and beauty supply delivery service; Kargo Kangaroo, LLC ( ), Janniya has made life changing connections. She is also a musical artist and has plans to begin releasing her music in the upcoming year. Janniya has recently found herself on panels speaking about her journey (Fifth Third Bank x The Black Women’s Expo), has won 1st place in a TechRise pitch competition and has worked with amazing mentors, allowing her to pursue her dreams of being a successful business owner. 

 “TGME has shown me my purpose again after I thought I lost it all.” -Janniya Hodge

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