Akilah C. Bernard
Founder, Chief BEAUTY Officer & Lead Coach

Akilah C. Bernard (formerly Akilah C. Thompson) is the Founder & Lead Coach of I AM BEAUTY. She is passionate about helping participants fall in love with themselves, to discover their passions and purpose and reach their fullest potential. She coaches with rigor, compassion, love and her commitment to using her light to light others. As a teenager and young adult, Akilah experienced low self-esteem, colorism, bullying, physical abuse, suicidal ideation and molestation. She was fortunate to have the support of women who mentored and allowed her to realize that her past did not have to define her future. She went on to graduate Summa Cum Laude from North Carolina A&T State University where she earned Bachelor degrees in Accounting and Business Economics. She spent six years in corporate america working for two of the largest public accounting firms in the world, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and Deloitte & Touche LP.

In late 2011, Akilah realized she wanted to use her trials as a teen and great success as an adult to support girls and women in reaching their fullest potential. She left a six-figure career and founded ACT Inspires, Inc., in which she uses her talent as a motivational speaker, life coach, fitness guru, actor, model, singer, and author to encourage others to "Release The BEaST...become the BEST you." By doing so, she believes anyone can achieve his or her own unique version of success and happiness.

In 2013, she developed the program, I AM B.E.A.U.T.Y. Bootcamp, which helped teens build self-confidence, set goals, and hone life skills essential to success. Since the teen bootcamp was launched in 2013, I AM BEAUTY has evolved into a separate brand with signature programs for women, apparel and media platforms. To further the mission of I AM BEAUTY to include mental health counseling, Akilah obtained a Master's In Social Work (MSW) from Adelphi University. In her studies and research, she focused on developing interventions to support adolescent and teen girls build healthy self esteem and self-efficacy. She is the creator and host of the Keeping It BEAUTY radio show and Editor-In-Chief of She is also the author of the forthcoming book I AM B.EA.U.T.Y Girls Guide: Maximizing the B.EA.U.T.Y in You.

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