Niki Watson grew up in Augusta, GA during the 1980’s War on Drugs era. She witnessed firsthand the supply and demand of drugs flowing through her neighborhood. As a result, the potential of some of the youth within her community was wasted; keeping them from becoming scholars, leaders, and change makers. Ms. Watson was able to overcome the well-known outcome of many living in her neighborhood by graduating high school and going away to college.
In 2003 she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from South Carolina State University, she left college with an open mind of seeing what life would bring her. Immediately after college, Ms. Watson moved to Washington, DC where she saw black excellence by working at the State Department during General Colin Powell’s tenure. There were numerous black owned businesses grossing over millions of dollars in revenue on the DC area. This experience left an impression on Ms. Watson and she knew she had to let other people know; people who did not have the means to witness this type of greatness among African Americans who were also raised in poverty. She knew that if people saw a representation of themselves being successful, this could inspire people to become successful leaders. This could instill a power in them to encourage others to become strong leaders and create change makers within communities.
With this need now known, Ms. Watson’s vision was clear and she created Future Successors in 2012. The overall mission of the organization is to inspire to empower the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs. Ms. Watson decided to start this movement back in her hometown of Augusta, GA. She wanted to show the youth a different product to sell than what she had witnessed during the time of her youth and to also show the youth of the community what a successful African American looks like, besides what is portrayed on mainstream media.
Since the establishment of Future Successors it has accomplished the following achievements:
- Taken many underprivileged students on annual college tours to emphasize the importance of education by walking the campuses of Harvard, Howard, Duke, Georgetown and NC Central, to name a few.
- Awarded multiple college scholarships to graduating high school seniors.
-Created an annual youth career and business expo event, exposing graduating high school seniors to well-known fortune 500 companies.
- Developed 50+ relationships with corporate and community leaders to understand their journeys of success.
- Continues to challenge the issue of gun violence by collecting 100+ firearms off the streets and in collaboration with local artists, turns guns into wearable jewelry.