From Foster Care to the Director’s Chair


Charell Star is the Director of Content and Innovation at Essence Global, an online journalist at and AKC.TV, and a  contributor + featured lifestyle, tech, and fashion expert for on-air segments. As a  former foster care youth and now advocate, Charell is an appointed Board Member of CASA NYC and City Living NY. Charell is well versed in storytelling, marketing and fashion/tech innovations. Charell speaks to empower other women to advocate for themselves in negotiations, businesses to tell their unique stories, and audiences to embrace their past to propel their future.

Charell is a former foster care youth, who beat the odds and became the first in her family to graduate from college. Through years of hard work in marketing and content creation, Charell has climbed the corporate ladder and is currently the Director of Content and Innovation at Essence Global, where she leverages her zeal for telling dynamic stories with her infatuation with media and emerging technologies. 

She is also an online journalist at and AKC.TV, and a contributor + featured lifestyle, tech, and fashion expert for on-air segments. She currently sits on the Board of CASA NYC and City Living NY.

What do you see when you look in the mirror?


When I look in the mirror I see a woman who has come far and plans to go further. I see someone who fights and speaks up for others when she can and deserves to be patient and forgiving of herself when she can’t. I see someone I’m both proud of and still working on. 

What do you do for a living?

I tell stories for a living. I’m the Director of Content + Innovation at Essence Global which is my fulltime job. I work with broadcast and digital publishers to authentic create branded content and experiences for audiences. I’m also an on-air host and correspondent and develop trend + lifestyle segments for TV and digital outlets. 

How do you think self-love plays a role in success?

Self-love plays such a big role in your personal success. You have to believe in your own self-worth and love yourself because you’re not always going to find external validation. The more affirmations you say to yourself, the more you believe that you are worthy of taking up space, the more you will be able to bring the best of you to your life and work. You have to love yourself first. 

How do you think we, as women, can work together to lift each other?

I think we as women can do a lot to lift each other. Two things we can and should do in particular are support and make room for each other. I know the mantra of “lift as you climb” sounds cliche but it is so important. Champion the women around you and push open the door so others can come behind you. 

Have you had any adversities that you’ve had to overcome in order to achieve success?

I’ve had to overcome many adversities on my path to success including surviving foster care and learning how to thrive in the corporate world. I’d like to say that once you overcome one challenge you’re good. But there is always a new one to tackle. What I’ve learned is to use what you’ve learned, take mental health breaks when you need it and just keep pushing forward.  

What has been your greatest accomplishment to date?

My greatest accomplishment to date is my participation in the foster care documentary, Feeling Wanted. The foster youth and adults who have told me they felt seen or inspired by that film have brought tears to my face. I’m proud that I’ve been able to use my story to motivate others and help change perceptions about foster care youth. 

What inspires you to keep growing?

My inspiration to keep growing is my desire to keep helping people along the way. The more I grow the more people I can inspire and motivate. 



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