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The Jewell Jackson McCabe Emerging Leaders Institute, Inc. Is Proud to Celebrate Its 5th Graduating Class

Women Rising:

Prepared, Inspired, & Ready to Lead

Saturday, December 7, 2013 10:30am Smyrna Community Center 200 Village Center Smyrna, Georgia 30080

About ELI The Jewell Jackson McCabe Emerging Leaders Institute, Inc. (ELI) is an international 501(c)(3) tax-exempt women’s leadership training and development organization. ELI is committed to developing a diverse organization that fosters creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit by enriching the lives of women through leadership opportunities, personal and professional learning, and cultural experiences. We empower women to contribute to society as global leaders. ELI is comprised of three core divisions: Leadership (adult), Young 100 (collegiate), and Young Leaders (teen). Since its founding in 2008, ELI  has had over 300 women and girls participate in its programs in Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Texas, New Jersey, Canada, and Japan. 

was the 2011 recipient of the Community Empowerment Award, presented by the My Sisters Keeper Foundation for Women and featured by Black Celebrity Giving in July 2011.

presented 17 of its volunteers with the President's Volunteer Service Award, one of the highest volunteer awards to be earned in collaboration with the White House's initiative on service; and participated in the 2011 One Voice: Reproductive Health and Environment Summit in Washington, DC.

Message to the Graduates The Board of Directors is exceptionally proud to welcome the fifth class to membership in the Jewell Jackson McCabe Emerging Leaders Institute! The 49 women and girls who completed the Leadership and Young Leaders programs are prepared, inspired, and ready to lead as exemplified by their performance over the course of the program. Do not dwell on mistakes; learn from them and move on. Do not be afraid to change course if what you are doing does not satisfy you. Try different things, join new groups, work with new people – learn from each experience. Know that you have everything you need to prosper and be successful – and if more is required, it will come. Ladies, you are the leaders the world needs – right now. You are bold, fearless, prepared and ready to lead, mentor and coach other women and girls in every arena. Rise to every occasion as you are presented with opportunities to speak, write, present, train, and guide others to greatness. Go forth and prosper!


Jewell Jackson McCabe Emerging Leaders Institute, Inc. Class of 2013 Graduation Celebration

Women Rising:

Prepared, Inspired, & Ready to Lead Saturday, December 7, 2013 10:30am Smyrna Community Center, 200 Village Center Smyrna, Georgia

Stefanie White, Leadership Class of 2012 Mistress of Ceremonies

Greetings ……………………………………...………. Ms. Lynita Mitchell-Blackwell, Esq. Co-founder Invocation ………………………………...………………………….. Ms. Nan Walker, Board Member Introduction of Mistress of Ceremonies ………………......................…. Ms. Jillian Smith, Board Member History .………………………………………………...……….…… Dr. Reggie Smith, Board Member Occasion ………………………………….….... Ms. Travena Wilson Evegan, Founding Board Member Introduction of Our Speaker……………………….………………. Ms. Stephanie White, Class of 2012

The Charge: Prepared, Inspired, & Ready to Lead

Benecia Ponder, Esq.

Attorney, Author, Life Coach Presentations

Leadership ……………………..……………................................. Ms. Dashawn Mayweather, Co-founder Young Leaders ………………………..……………………………… Ms. V. Ivana Foster, Co-founder Special Presentations .………………………………….…… Ms. Lynita Mitchell-Blackwell, Co-founder Board Members …………………………………………..……. Ms. Dashawn Mayweather, Co-founder Closing Remarks ………………………………………....… Ms. Lynita Mitchell-Blackwell, Co-Founder


About Our Speaker: Benecia Ponder Attorney, Author, Life Coach, Speaker

Benecia Ponder’s dynamic ability to inspire and motivate audiences stems from a combination of her impressive professional background and overwhelming life experiences. As a former attorney and business development strategist, Benecia combines her professional expertise and strong sp spiritual foundation to offer her audiences and clients a thought-provoking and strategic approach to facing personal and business challenges. After overcoming tremendous setbacks to achieve high levels of personal and professional success of her own, Benecia is also able to provide clients with the keen insight of someone who’s “been there”. Trained by the Coaching and Positive Psychology Institute, Benecia utilizes the cutting-edge techniques and tools provided by the research and evidence-based field of positive psychology to combine wisdom and compassion into one captivating and entertaining message that empowers Christian women to prosper in business and in life. Benecia’s speaking and coaching focus on sustainable results that can be replicated over a lifetime. She empowers and equips her clients to align their lives with their core vision, develop strategies for attaining greater levels of success, while providing the practical resources and tools they need to stay motivated. In addition to operating at peak performance, her clients gain the emotional intelligence and spiritual fortitude they need to enjoy their success.


Jewell Jackson McCabe Emerging Leaders Institute, Inc. 2013 Graduating Class Leadership Division The Leadership Division guides a group of adult women to further develop core competencies through a holistic approach to build a professional portfolio. The following women successfully completed program. Jewel Anderson is the Founder of VIRTUOUS Career Services which is a non-profit organization that provides career counseling and job readiness to those that need it. She is also the Career and Alumni Services Specialist for Year Up Atlanta where she meets an 85% outcome for placing students in IT related careers. Civically, Jewel serves as the Resume Evaluator for Diversity Career Expo's and a partner for The Bethel Center, working with young girls from ages 12-25. She is on the fundraising committee for Beverly Cunningham Outreach Center, Secretary for National Coalition of 100 Black Women Decatur/DeKalb, founding member of Under30CEO - Atlanta chapter, and President of the Georgia State University Collegiate Entrepreneur Organization. Jewel is a mentor to young entrepreneurs. Her passion to see others succeed led her to launch Under 30 Following the Vision, a magazine and scholarship program created to help Georgia entrepreneurs 30 years of age and younger get exposure, development, and funding. Jewel holds an AA in Communications from Georgia Perimeter College, and is currently pursuing her BS in Public Policy from Georgia State University.

Elaine Bryant is a Youth Life Coach and Leader. She is the Founder/Executive Director of Caring & Sharing, Inc., a nonprofit organization for teen girls. With over 20 years experience working with youth Elaine’s desire to help young girls discover their creative gifts and natural talents began out of her need for direction as a young teen growing up. Stir It Up Girls Leadership program was created to guide girls towards achieving direction as they travel to their path in life. Elaine has a unique appreciation of mindset and the power it has to change patterns of behavior. In her personal life and working with youth Elaine focuses on building strengths and minimizing weaknesses through feedback, self discovery and action plans. As individuals we have the power to change the world. Elaine is a certified etiquette and manners instructor, motivational speaker, active community volunteer and child advocate. Elaine lives in Stockbridge, Georgia and loves to hike, read and travel.


Shavontia Cochran is an ardent champion of children and adolescents. She thrives in her work as an Adult/Child & Adolescent Therapist with Odyssey Family Counseling Center, working primarily with children in various crisis situations. She also counsels adults with various mental health and life concerns, and thoroughly enjoys volunteering her time in the community, speaking and facilitating seminars on mental health and chemical dependency issues. Shavontia earned her Bachelors of Science degree in Psychology from the Georgia Southern University, and worked full time as she obtained her Masters of Science in Mental Health Counseling from Georgia State University. Shavontia enjoys writing on issues within her specialization, and has published an article and presented on counseling internship best practices and the effect of work and financial stressors on college student academic performance. To wind down from the intensity of her profession, Shavontia enjoys cooking, traveling and kickboxing.

Tamara A. Garrett is an educational and environmental advocate, specializing in women and children’s issues. She utilizes her substantial experience gained as a Contracts Manager with BP to educate community groups and guide non-profit organizations in creating and executing effective policy analysis and advocacy campaigns to advance education and environmental issues. Upon honorable discharge from the United States Navy, Tamara obtained both her Bachelors of Science in Broadcast Journalism and Masters of Business Administration from Florida A&M University. Upon graduation, Tamara began her career as a Procurement Specialist with Hewlett Packard, building a formidable reputation that earned her a Manager position within two years before transitioning into the energy industry. During her time at HP, Tamara earned her Juris Doctor degree from Georgia State University College of Law and became a certified mediator. She combined her desires for advocacy and education to found the Environmental Justice League, a non-profit organization committed to fundraising and educating as to responsible natural resource management. Tamara has been recognized with several awards, including the Florida A&M University 125 Outstanding Alumni of the Quasquicentennial.

Tanika Gray-Valburn is serves as a News Editor/Producer at CNN, working closely with

CNN’s 1000 broadcast and print affiliates. She investigates, pitches and develops stories to serve CNN, HLN, CNN International, CNN en Española, and CNN dot com while constantly monitoring affiliate analysis. Working with CNN’s Diversity Council focusing on community outreach, Tanika has led a variety of CNN’s unique initiatives; including a six-month campaign promoting the awardwinning Black in America series. The culminating event was a town-hall screening with community leaders, students and education stakeholders-creating a broadcast partnership with Atlanta Public Schools. In prior roles at CNN, Tanika worked as an Assignment Producer in 2005 and was tasked with a variety of high-profile and impactful broadcast duties, including producing, writing, and marketing news segments. As


a result of her work she was awarded three Journalism Peabody Awards for her contributions to coverage of the 2008 presidential election of Barack Obama, the Arab Spring in 2010 protests and the BP oil spill. In 2010, Tanika received the Rising Star Journalist award from the Alliance for Women in Media.

Chjanaya King is a Tax Accountant with Deloitte Tax, LLP. In this capacity, Chjanaya is responsible for understanding the intricacies of tax regulations and the impact of these regulations to businesses. This foundation allows Chjanaya to provide her clients with business tax services that address each client’s overall tax profile, ensuring tax compliance and planning, while simultaneously balancing long-term tax strategy. Chjanaya’s previous work history includes ten years of call center management experience with an emphasis on operational effectiveness, training and project and launch management. Chjanaya is a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham and holds both a Bachelor’s Degree (2012) and a Master’s Degree (2013) in Accounting. Chjanaya is currently working towards her Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certification. In addition to traveling, Chjanaya enjoys volunteering with her church and various civic organizations and spending time with family and loved ones. Chjanaya has embraced living a life of purpose and service. Chjanaya believes that servant leadership is the key to elevating others to living lives of promise, purpose and service. Chjanaya resides in Birmingham, Alabama, with her family.

Raven Lee serves as the Human Resource Coordinator for the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Police Department. She obtained her Bachelor of Business Administration in Management from American InterContinental University. Raven is a veteran of the United States Air Force, having served 4 years as a Finance and Accounting Journeyman. Following her tenure in the Air Force, Ms. Lee worked for Lockheed Martin assigned via contract to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She served in various roles including Evaluations Analyst and finally as a Senior Strategic Planner. Raven developed her management skills managing projects and contracts, but the most valuable skill she learned was that people truly don’t care what you know until they know that you care. This continues to be her approach to how she interacts with people in her day to day life. Raven has volunteered with several organizations over the past few years and enjoys giving back to her community. She is currently studying to take the Graduate Records Examination Test and plans to pursue her Masters in Human Resource Management.

Beverly Lovejoy is a financial management and budgetary analyst with a wealth of experience in government contracts and investment securities. She currently serves as the Financial Analysis Advisor with Dell Services Federal Government, managing a five-year $125 million contract for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Previous to this position, Beverly was a consultant with Deloitte. Beverly appreciates and embraces the challenge of multitasking. She earned both her Bachelor of Arts degree with a concentration in Finance and Masters in Business Administration from Georgia State University while working full time – first as an Office Manager with INROADS, a prominent


non-profit that assist minority students earn a position in corporate America; then as an administrator and analyst with INVESCO PLC. Beverly is deeply invested in her community. She enjoys her work as a volunteer Statistician with the Center for Black Women’s Wellness, having served in the role since 2009. She also enjoys working with the Susan G. Komen Breast Walk, Lupus Foundation, and Food International’s Haiti Food Aid Packing.

LaTay Mays is a Master Cosmetologist who does “Celebrity Hair with a Professional Flair!” Her clientele ranges from the professional woman to celebrities. She has had the honor to work with Chilli (Rozonda Thomas) of TLC, Vivica Fox, Lisa Raye, Regina Belle, Kandi Burguss, and Mary Mary, just to name a few. And before she relocated to Atlanta, she was the stylist for the majority of the wives and children of the Denver Broncos and Nuggets. Additionally, LaTay has served as master stylist on television shows and magazines. LaTay is also the founder and lead trainer of Global Glam Ambassadors, an intense professional stylist training program that prepares stylists to work on movie, magazine, and other professional sets in the entertainment and beauty industries. LaTay says that, “I know God created me to bless women to feel beautiful and look beautiful, that’s where my love of Hairstyling comes from. To have a woman sit in my chair and cry tears of joy because she feels the best she has felt in her life. They say your energy comes from your head and that’s why I continue my journey in the hair industry.”

Saniyyah McCullough is an authority on advocacy for children, specifically those who are victims of domestic disturbance and human trafficking, and utilizes her legal background and network to obtain resources and justice for victims. Saniyyah began her advocacy journey in college when she pushed the limits of her college campus upon publication of a controversial piece on race relations in the student magazine at University of West Georgia. That experience taught her that those who can speak must do so for those who cannot. Once she completed her Bachelor of Science degree in English, Saniyyah sought to expand her legal knowledge and obtained her Paralegal Certification from Emory University. With her heart to serve and passion for law and advocacy, Saniyyah was led to volunteer and later serve as Executive of the Sister 2 Sister Mentoring Program, a key service component of the Georgia Association of Black Women’s Foundation. In recognition of her work on behalf of adolescent victims, Saniyyah was awarded the 2013 Excellence in Child Welfare Award by the State Bar of Georgia Young Lawyers Division Juvenile Law Committee.

Shayla J. Nealy is City Council Member-Elect of the Union City Council in Georgia. She is also an influential leader in the water industry, working on both the enforcement and implementation sides of several permitting systems established by the Clean Water Act - public and private sectors. In her current position as a Water Resources Engineer with the Clayton County Water Authority, she is responsible for all the County’s watershed related programs involving compliance and reporting. Shayla earned her Bachelor's degree in Biological and Agricultural Systems Engineering from Florida A&M University and Master's degree from Central Michigan University with a concentration in Public Administration at Central Michigan University. She is a devoted public servant, having partnered with environmental agencies and others to ensure a healthy sustainable environment by spearheading water quality monitoring efforts and cleaning local waterways by


serving as the Global Poverty initiatives vice chairman with her sorority, Nu Lambda Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Shayla is also a Certified Floodplain Manager, and has held a variety of leadership roles with professional organizations.

Mona Shah-Joshi is an international expert in stress management and personal development, helping people to achieve greater success and fulfillment in their lives. Since 1994, she has facilitated more than 20,000 hours of programs for the Art of Living Foundation (AOLF) and the International Association for Human Values (IAHV). Operating in over 150 countries, Art of Living is a non-profit, educational and humanitarian organization founded in 1981 by world-renown spiritual leader and humanitarian Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Art of Living offers highly effective programs that foster inner peace, happiness and well-being. Using a unique, synergistic blend of breathing techniques, meditation, yoga and wisdom, Art of Living programs have helped millions around the world transform their lives. Universities, corporations, government institutions and spiritual organizations have sought Mona’s expertise on wellness, work-life management, women’s empowerment and interpersonal relationships. She has been a featured guest on television and radio shows. Her work with children has led her to conduct IAHV’s Youth Empowerment workshops for underprivileged and violent sectors in Jamaica. Mona is actively involved in developing social service projects with the AOLF and IAHV.

Stacie Stepney is an event planning consultant, assisting for-profit and non-profit organizations plan, implement, and execute professional and memorable events. Currently, Stacie serves as the Continuing Education Planner and CME Coordinator at Piedmont Hospital, as well as her own services working with several organizations in the community. Stacie obtained her Bachelors of Science degree in Healthcare Management. She began her health career as a cytology assistant and transitioned to education and planning. Stacie completed her Master’s of Science in Medical Educational Leadership at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine this year. Stacie is a member of Toastmasters International, and earned the Competent Communicator and Advanced Leader Bronze Educational Award. She also serves as the Choir Director of Spread the Word Christian Ministries, and is the proud mother of three. Stacie’s quest in life is to prepare people to be self-sufficient and contribute positively to society.

Rokeya Stone is a maven of entrepreneurship. An Interior Designer and owner of The Décor Bistro, she assists clients on a sliding scale budget to maximize their living space for efficiency, comfort, and style. Rokeya is also founder of A Family Affair Solutions, imparting knowledge and skill to small business owners from startup to implementation. Rokeya manages all of this while a full time student at Ashford University where she maintains a 4.0 GPA majoring in Early Childhood Education Administration. Rokeya Stone is a "Jane Of All Trades" and has embraced the gift to create wealth with multiple business entities. With her solid reputation, she is not only pursuing entrepreneurial endeavors for herself, but also assisting others to do the same. It is her passion to encourage, create, design, empower, and inspire business owners to pursue their dreams. Her energy is contagious and her tenacious attitude ignites people to want more out of life.


Shanon Wilson is a Retention Specialist for AT&T in their Home Solution Department. She has worked for the company for many years helping generate money and retain customers. For her outstanding performance, Shanon has been awarded trips to Orlando Florida to be a part of the “Circle of Excellence”. Shanon is currently working towards her Bachelor of Science degree in business administration at Kaplan University. She enjoys working with the elderly and serving the community as a member of the Order of the Eastern Star. Shanon is a native of Washington D.C. and enjoys reading and spending time with friends and family.

Alexandria Washington is the youngest daughter of Steven and Pamelia Washington of West Melbourne, FL. She is a Certified Nursing Assistant with Westminster Oaks Assisted Living Facility in Tallahassee, FL. When the opportunity is available she enjoys volunteering in her community. Currently, Alexandria volunteers with the Leon County Health Department in the area 2B HIV/AIDs outreach unit and as a Sexual Violence Prevention Facilitator. With the completion of her Bachelors of Science degree in Health Science in 2013 Alexandria decided to continue her education. Currently she is a graduate student at Florida A&M University working on her Master of Public Health degree with a projected completion date of 2015 and a member of the Future Public Health Professionals.

Young Leaders Division The Young Leaders Division equips teen girls with essential life skills that facilitate a positive transition to adulthood. This year’s program was facilitated due to a collaborative partnership with the Dorothy Height Academy of Leadership at Benjamin E. Mays High School. We sincerely thank Ms. Sharon Gay and the DHAL leadership team for their support, and congratulate the 33 young ladies who completed the program.

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Jewell Jackson McCabe Emerging Leaders Institute, Inc.

Most Valuable Resource The Most Valuable Resource award is presented to the ELI volunteer who goes above and beyond her role and responsibilities to ensure the organization’s programs continue to provide exceptional benefit to its participants within her division. The second recipient of this award is Jewel Anderson.

Eternal Flame The Eternal Flame Award is presented to the ELI volunteer who goes above and beyond her role and responsibilities to ensure the organization’s programs continue to provide exceptional benefit to its participants across multiple divisions. The second recipient of this award is Cynthia Walton.

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Jewell Jackson McCabe Emerging Leaders Institute, Inc. Special appreciation to our sponsors and supporters Auntie’s Baked Goodies BURST Agency Global Transition Enterprise Picture Lady Pinkie Premier Transitional Services Smyrna Community Center The Leading Through Living Community Total Wine & More

2013 ELI Leadership Team Founders & Eternal Board Members V. Ivana Foster, M.Ed Dashawn Mayweather, M.Ld Lynita Mitchell-Blackwell, Esq. Deborah Williamson Board of Directors Jewell Jackson McCabe, Honorary Member Jillian Smith Leo “Reggie” Smith, Ph.D Nan Walker Facilitators Dashawn Mayweather, M.Ld Lynita Mitchell-Blackwell, Esq. 12 | P a g e

2013 Emerging Leaders Institute Graduation Program  

Graduation program commemorating the commencement of the 5th and best class of the Jewell Jackson McCabe Emerging Leaders Institute, Inc. th...

2013 Emerging Leaders Institute Graduation Program  

Graduation program commemorating the commencement of the 5th and best class of the Jewell Jackson McCabe Emerging Leaders Institute, Inc. th...