Six Western Massachusetts women and girls will be honored at the 2nd Annual Woman of BEAUTY Recognition Gala on Oct. 30 in Holyoke, Mass. The annual awards are hosted by the organization Beauties to Behold, founded by Jasmine Elizabeth. Their mission is to help turn inner city girls into world class leaders.
Elizabeth is fully committed to empowering youth, particularly girls to raise the standard they set for themselves and their peers. The Gala will feature a keynote presentation and play by Auyne’ Brooks. The play, “I’mma Do Me,” is written and produced by April Dae and is a 15-character one-woman play that examines the heartache and humor of poverty in Am…erica.
Honorees for the evening include:
Nicole Griffin – (Walking in Purpose Award)
Nicole Griffin is a woman with a purpose to help match individuals and employers so they can reach their goals. Using her own life experiences, she stepped out and successfully launched Griffin Staffing Network to assist others in building economic development of Greater Springfield. Everything about Nicole Griffin is inspiring. Committed to giving back to the community, she has assisted in putting together community events to help raise funding for under privilege homeowners. Financially Nicole has sponsored events within the City of Springfield such as -Richard Allen’s 30 Haircuts for Back to School Benefit for unprivileged youth in the city of Springfield, Leadership Pioneer Valley and MotherWoman. She has never had anything handed to her. Everything she has achieved is through her hard work and dedication to making Springfield a better place.
Marli Chai – Young BEAUTY Award
Marli Chai Turner began her modeling career at the age of 6. Born July 10, 2004 and raised in Springfield Massachusetts, Marli has never let her circumstances kill her ambition. Although her parents divorced, and the baby of 5 siblings, Marli was instilled with the necessary discipline to begin to secure her future. Marli has admirably balanced school and church with her aspiration to model.Marli is an 11 year old visionary and the founder of BOSS BABY modeling agency . She looks to build up and encourage youth through her mentorship. As a young lady who enjoys helping others, she prides herself on giving back to her community by offering modeling and mentoring classes and workshops throughout the community. She is a professional published model and the youngest CEO in the modeling industry.
Althea Haines – Education Works Award
Althea is a mother of seven children, and she decided four years ago to go back to school. She received her Bachelor in education/science. Her major was history. She decided to major in history because she’s also a teacher at her business. She wanted to educate and teach the children about their history. She’s also an entrepreneur with her twin sister. They’ve been operating their business for the pass 11 years. They received the Martin Luther King Jr legacy award from the Mayor Office. They also received the Common Ground award from Unity First, the Fonders. She volunteer her time as the head basketball coach at Dunbar Community Center. She will attend Springfield College for a master program in the spring of 2016. She’s a great person, loving sister, friend,daughter and mother.
Tracye Whitfield – The Villager Award
Tracye Whitfield is currently the Director of Community Engagement at Martin Luther King Jr Family Services Inc. and a Co-facilitator of the Mason Square Drug Free Coalition. In the latter role, she is an advisor/mentor of the “Lead by Example” youth group. Since her start in November 2014 she has increased the youth’s participation in several community programs and events. Under her leadership, the youth had the opportunity to visit the Massachusetts State House to lobby against the Big Tobacco Companies marketing strategies to sell tobacco products to youth. Tracye has worked as a committee organizer on several community projects and she always encourage the Mason Square Drug Free Coalition Youth Group “Lead by Example” participation. These projects include but not limited to The Community Family Day held at Hennessey Park, MLK’s Safe Summer Resource Fair, The Historically Black College Tour Committee and Martin Luther King Day Celebration held at the MassMutual Center.Tracye graduated Magna Cum Laude from American International College with a BA concentration in Finance and a Master’s of Science in Accounting and Taxation from American International College.
Crystal Senter Brown – Artistic Expression Award
Crystal Senter-Brown, has been featured in Redbook Magazine, Vibe Magazine and Essence Magazine and has been a performance poet and writer for most of her life. Born in Morristown, TN to a bass-playing Baptist preacher (Dad) and a visual artist (Mom), Crystal performed her first poem onstage at the age of six. Since then, she has performed at thousands of events and has shared the stage with many performers such as M.C. Lyte, Nikki Giovanni, Sonia Sanchez, Ruby Dee, Nona Hendrix and more.She is the founder of the Ella Louise Backpack Project, which provides backpacks and school supplies to homeless children in the Springfield, MA area. She is the author of five books: But Now I See, But you have such a pretty face, Doubledutch, Gabby Saturday and “The Rhythm in Blue“. Her stage credits include The Vagina Monologues and playing Glinda the Good Witch in The Wiz. She is an adjunct professor and lives in New England with her husband Corey, son Adonte and a maniac puppy named Venus.
Latoya “Brenda’s Child” Bosworth – Eye of the Beholder Award
Brenda’s Child is the self-proclaimed diva on a mission to inspire and save lives.
Born Latoya Bosworth, she dubbed herself Brenda’s Child at the age of 21, in honor of her late mother Brenda Kay Swinton. With little bit of brass, plenty of bold, and the right amount of vulnerability, she has performed as a spoken word artist all over from her hometown of Springfield, MA to San Diego, CA. In 2007 she published her first poetry collection. Since then she has published seven books, including two novellas and a memoir. In 2012 she challenged herself by collaborating with two fellow artists to help write, direct, and act in the the stage play The Thick Chronicles…A Body Image Story. Brenda’s Child currently writes for the monthly publication An African-American Point of View Newspaper . With a special education teacher certification, a B.A. in Sociology, and an M.S. in Nonprofit and Philanthropy, this PhD candidate has also shared her parenting and self-esteem articles on Blackandmarriedwithkids.com and ForHarriet.com.
To purchase tickets or for more information visit, beautiestobehold.com.