By Megan Wagner, MH ’16
University of Dallas junior Samiyah Davis started the nonprofit Confidence Rules out of personal experience, having walked with a dear friend through a difficult time when they were just 13 and 14 years old. Her central message to her friend was “you matter” — a key theme in her work with youth — and with the help of social media, Confidence Rules took off when Davis was 17. Aiming to prevent exploitation and abuse in youth, the nonprofit helps young people struggling with depression, suicidal thoughts and bullying by getting to the root of the issue: lack of confidence. The team of volunteers offers mentoring, counseling and workshops.
“I set out to impact youth, but Confidence Rules has influenced people ages 10 to 46,” said Davis.
While it has been difficult to host many in-person events in the past year due to COVID, Confidence Rules volunteers have been able to create care packages, which included lunches and hygiene products, for the homeless in Dallas. Additionally, they awarded their first scholarship and provided water, hot meals and portable showers to Dallas residents who struggled with February’s severe winter storm.
Davis is motivated by a desire to encourage and inspire young people from all backgrounds and hopes that one day, Confidence Rules will be able to host a youth conference free of charge. Additionally, through the nonprofit, Davis has found a passion for motivational speaking; however, her ultimate career goals go beyond Confidence Rules.
“I love doing it, and although I may one day be able to make a career from motivational speaking and will always have my nonprofit, I hope to continue climbing the business ladder, landing eventually as a marketing director for a top company,” she said. “I love the research, graphics and information behind marketing.”
A native Texan from Cedar Hill just southwest of Dallas, Davis began studying business as a high school student at a Dallas ISD magnet school. When considering her college options, she knew a strong business program would be at the top of her list.
The real-world experience and professional expertise of UD’s business professors drew Davis to UD. Associate Professor of Business Michael Stodnick, Ph.D., Adjunct Instructor Jim Hamilton, MBA, and Associate Professor of Marketing Laura Munoz, Ph.D., impart knowledge to their students based on their own business success. Davis has learned from their vast experience and, as a result, grown more prepared for the business world. Her interest in business has flourished during her time at UD, as has Confidence Rules.
“I have had the honor and delight to be Samiyah's professor at UD,” said Munoz. “I witnessed her pursuit of value and truth through her work in Marketing Theory and Practice and Professional Sales and Negotiations. Samiyah devotes the time, does the hard work, and has an outstanding ability to be coached. That openness to feedback and her active listening skills make her an outstanding professional woman, and she is just getting started!”
Davis will not be pursuing a master’s immediately following graduation; instead, she will continue to work on her certifications because “the learning never stops.” When she is not inspiring others and serving the community, Davis enjoys painting and sketching to relieve stress. Now at 21 with a year left to complete her bachelor’s degree, Davis is confident of her place in the business world and plans to continue offering hope to struggling youth across the Metroplex.
“Her grit shows in her passion for helping others with her positive messages via her nonprofit work,” said Munoz. “Samiyah is truly a role model for UD students on what it is to live a personal and professional life that aligns with values such as charity, grace and humility.”