Alumni Spotlight: Aerika Miles launches i AM brown Originations

October 6, 2021

Aerika Mikes i AM brown Originations founder next to vending machine.Atlanta native Aerika Miles is one eagle soaring to new heights. Miles recently began her journey into entrepreneurship and cites Tallahassee Community College for providing a pathway to earn a bachelor’s degree through the TCC2FAMU program. Later, Miles continued her education by earning a master’s degree at the University of Washington.


“The professors at TCC really pushed me to excel as a student and they were very patient,” Miles said. “My academic advisor offered adequate guidance when selecting courses that were best suited for my learning abilities.”


In September, Miles launched i AM brown Originations (iAbO), a multiservice agency featuring vending machines in Dallas, Texas. The goal of her vending machine service is to provide underrepresented communities with minority owned products that are not readily available to them in convenient locations.


“I want to promote minority businesses,” Miles said. “It can be difficult for companies of color to garner the level of exposure received by their counterpart. Hopefully, iAbO will serve as a platform to showcase minority owned products.”


Among her many accomplishments, Miles is also a former softball player at TCC. Her experience as an athlete led her to participate in a post graduate internship at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) serving in the Accelerating Academic Success Program. Miles said it is important to prepare athletes for life beyond the court or field and her colleagues recognized her efforts.


Aerika Miles NCAA“Aerika’s involvement has added to the NCAA because she has been involved with one of our respected grant programs, the Accelerating Academic Success Program,” said Lamarr Pottinger, Associate Director for Leadership Development at the NCAA. “That program helps several institutions across the country provide academic support to their student-athletes to achieve success in the classroom and beyond. Her work with the Career in Sports Forum has helped close to 100 student-athletes improve their resumes through our resume development program that she administered.”


Miles encourages other people interested in entrepreneurship to take a leap of faith and bet on themselves.


“The pandemic has really shown many people that one source of income is too close to no income,” Miles said. “When owning your own business, you gain a sense of independence and the opportunity to nurture your talent.”


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