By Janice Neumann Daily Southtown

Tamera Trimuel was only 9 when she began to notice that noticed the talents and beauty of Black girls were underappreciated.

So she got busy and started her own company, with the help of her parents, as a way to let Black girls know they should embrace their innate potential. Tamera’s Treasures sold custom bracelets, T-shirts and treasure boxes, all made by its namesake.

“I think because it was a message that wasn’t told enough to young girls, especially young back girls,” said Trimuel, who lives with her family in Harvey. “In the society we live in today, we’re kind of undervalued … we don’t treasure girls enough.

“I really feel it was necessary to instill in girls of that age.”

Now a senior at Marion Catholic High School in Chicago Heights, Trimuel has taken that adage one step further and published a book about the need for Black girls to start recognizing their own worth.

Trimuel said “Dear Black Girl, You Are IT!,” which is available on Amazon, was a continuation of what she started in her trinket company.

“The whole book is just really my self-journey and a love letter to myself but in a way that can inspire young girls,” she said. “It is a self-empowerment book for young girls to inspire them to know they’re intelligent and triumphant.”

For Trimuel it was her parents who inspired her with their work ethic and determination. They owned a real estate company for more than 20 years. But during the recession of the late 2000s, it folded.

“However, this didn’t stop my parents,” Trimuel said. “Although we experienced many tumultuous times, they never stopped hoping, they never stopped trying, they knew one day sunlight would appear after the storm.”

Trimuel juggles AP courses and a slew of extracurricular activities, such as being vice president of Outreach for her school’s Black Student Union, co-anchor for the Marian Catholic Network, a member of the Gospel Choir and senior editor of the school’s yearbook. Outside of school, she and her friends have cooked breakfast at a Ronald McDonald House and she has volunteered at church, helping parents pick out and wrap gifts for their children.

Trimuel said she accomplishes all this by being intentional, a trait she also learned from her parents, who “poured into me endlessly just being intentional about what you want, and what you want to do, so you can do it and get the results you require,.”

Several teachers at Marian Catholic High School said they were in awe of all that Trimuel has accomplished. What’s more, her knowledge base and talents just keep growing, they said.

“She is a very strong-willed, strong-minded individual who has her beliefs, but the remarkable part is she is also extremely curious and willing to learn and she uses what she learns to continue to grow her beliefs, rather than using her beliefs to limit what she learns,” said Christopher Engel, who teaches AP English and honors philosophy classes.

Engel said he was also struck by her creative talent and wasn’t at all surprised when he learned she had published a book.

“She had a natural ability and craft with how she wrote but yet she definitely always wanted to learn how to improve it,” Engel said. “She was very self-motivated to express herself in a stronger, better way.”

Jen Pasyk, who teaches theology, said she was impressed by Trimuel’s openness to both learning and sharing

“If she made some great connection — it reminded her of something that happened in her family or church — she would make that connection out loud,” Pasyk said. “I just loved it.”

Pasyk also said Trimuel, who works as her teacher’s aide, was empathetic, talking to students to help them solve their problems and knowing just when to help her teacher.

“For me, she’s that epitome of the wise old soul,” Pasyk said.

“A lot of times freshman are so worried about other things and are timid or reserved … she was secure enough in herself to just be herself and that attracts people to her,” Pasyk said.

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