Let’s Talk About Health (Part 1: Diet)

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*~ MYEvents will run every Thursday evening at 6:00pm, Pacific Standard Time. ~*

*~MYGirls Blog Series will run every Friday evening at 6:00pm, Pacific Standard Time. ~*

 

HI THERE YOUNG GIRLS!!!

It has been quite a while since our last MYGirls Blog Series entry.  Many factors came into play, life changes took place, and for a while, I became overwhelmed.  I wasn’t quite sure how to pull myself out of the state I was in, and in turn, I neglected you beautiful young girls.  I want to begin this new blog entry by first saying that I apologize for disappearing for such a long period of time.  Even though it is how I chose to cope with my personal circumstances, becoming silent was not my intention.  Again, pretty young girls, I apologize for my absence, and I will do all that I can in order for it to not happen again.

(I will actually further elaborate on my previous situation, in my next entry, Let’s Talk About Health (Part 2:  Mentality), which will be from first-hand personal experience.)

Today, however, we will be discussing something very important to the growth and health of all young girls around the world:  diet.

 

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So, why is your diet so important???  Well, your health is directly related to the foods you eat.  What you consume affects your weight, height (as you are still in the growth years), hair, mood, energy, sleep patterns & comfort, defenses against diseases . . . your entire bodily system can either be enhanced or inhibited simply by what you choose to eat.  What tastes good to you, might not be good for you:  there is a difference between real food (meat from animals, fruits & vegetables from plants, whole grains, dairy products), and processed food (most fast foods like McDonald’s, imitation foods tasting like the real foods they are made to look like).  Real foods fortify your body with the proper nutrients to sustain healthy living, while processed foods are filled with empty calories, only made to make you “full.”

junk-food-vs-healthy-food-for-kids-food-wallpaper-lxildrrfAccordingly, processed foods may taste good to you, but they are not good for you, and will negatively affect your entire bodily system.

Now, while we know that processed [junk] foods affect us all the same way–negatively–it is important for us to understand that real [healthy] foods enhance us differently.  Since our bodies are different, our systems will respond to different foods in various ways, not always synonymous to others.

Therefore, there are many different diets. 1406882262

By now, we should all be familiar with the food pyramid, the chart that displays the different food groups (meat & protein, dairy, whole grains, fruit, vegetable), with a very small category for fatty, oily, and sugary foods . . . to be eaten sparingly.

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Some young girls follow diets with whole grains as the largest portion to consume.

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And some young girls follow diets with vegetables as the largest portion to consume.

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Some young girls follow diets that separate food group components to stress a strict eating routine . . .

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. . . while some young girls follow diets that eliminate food groups altogether for an even more strict routine.

pie chart of food pyramidBrilliant young girls, it is imperative to know that in order to fully understand your bodies, you must also understand how your bodies receive and react to certain foods.  Talk with your parents or guardians . . . even your counselors and/or teachers . . . about any health concerns, especially if you would like to learn news ways to follow healthy diets.  For, you need food to live . . . so, let’s vow to live long, healthy lives!

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— Kahlelah, MYGirls

MYEvents: Thursday, October 2, 2014 – Wednesday, October 8, 2014

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Hey there, bright young girls!!

*~ MYEvents will run every Thursday evening at 6:00pm, Pacific Standard Time. ~*

*~MYGirls Blog Series will run every Friday evening at 6:00pm, Pacific Standard Time. ~*

 

MYEvents will list all upcoming events.  They will either be free & open to the community, by RSVP, or by ticket purchase.  If you see an event listed, YOU’RE INVITED!!

 

 

Saturday, October 4, 2014 – 

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Inspirational community leaders will come together with Charlotte’s Korner, Inc., to encourage, empower, and uplift our youth, as various issues concerning our teens will be discussed.  CLICK HERE for more information, or how to become a volunteer, vendor, or guest speaker.  (I will be one of the guest speakers, so please come in support of GU4AP!)

 

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Stylists from various places will come together to battle for 1st Place.  Come to experience the fusion of fashion and fun.  The perfect “Mommy & Me” Day!! Visit HERE for more information.

 

 

Thursday, October 16, 2014 – 

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ATTENTION ALL PARENTS, this one’s for you.  Fashion models and designers from across America will gather together for a night of glitz, glam, and good entertainment!  Bring two canned goods to help with the LA Runway Food Drive!!  Email anerrickmanagement@yahoo.com for more information.

 

 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

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Meet wonderful spiritual women as they gather together to examine & tackle stereotypes, lift the burdens of limitation, and offer a insight into the life challenges that women face on a daily basis.  REGISTER NOW to catch Early Bird registration.

 

 

Friday, November 14th, 2014 – 

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Dynamic leaders will be honored and celebrated on this night of wonder.  SEE INFO Here for sponsorship packages.

 

 

 

ON-GOING EVENTS FOR 2014 – 

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FREE!!  Parenting Classes for Africans, African Americans, and Caribbeans.
Unfortunately NO court- or D.C.F.S.-ordered clientele will be accepted.
Call (323) 777-3120 for more information.

Brought to you by the Coalition of Mental health Professionals, Inc.
9219 S. Broadway Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90003

 

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Showroom G is a creative talent firm geared towards pushing your brand out to the community, in the most elaborate ways.  Come see a weekly showcase of awesome designers who work hard to make you look good!  Click HERE for more information.

 

 

Staying in the know with what’s going on in the community, helps us to stay connected to each other. and keep our youth with an optimistic mindset.  We must work together for the good of our world, our countries, our states, our nations, our cultures, our communities, our neighborhoods, our families . . . and ourselves.  For we are all “family.”  Fellow members of the human race.  We need each other more than we might know.

Share these events with your families.  And if there are any events that you know of and would like to share with MYGirls, please contact me, and I will list them.  Let’s get involved, young girls!!

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-Kahlelah, MYGirls

MYEvents: Thursday, September 25, 2014 – Wednesday, October 1, 2014

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Hello brilliant young girls!!

*~ MYEvents will run every Thursday evening at 6:00pm, Pacific Standard Time. ~*

*~MYGirls Blog Series will run every Friday evening at 6:00pm, Pacific Standard Time. ~*

 

 

MYEvents will list all upcoming events.  They will either be free & open to the community, by RSVP, or by ticket purchase.  If you see an event listed, YOU’RE INVITED!!

 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

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The mission of the South Los Angeles Homeless Transition Age Youth (TAY) and Foster Care Collaborative is to prevent and end youth homelessness in South Los Angeles.  RSVP Here to register for the community event to help end homelessness within our youth.

 

 

Saturday, October 4, 2014 – 

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Inspirational community leaders will come together with Charlotte’s Korner, Inc., to encourage, empower, and uplift our youth, as various issues concerning our teens will be discussed.  CLICK HERE for more information, or how to become a volunteer, vendor, or guest speaker.  (I will be one of the guest speakers, so please come in support of GU4AP!)

 

 

Friday, November 14th, 2014 – 

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Dynamic leaders will be honored and celebrated on this night of wonder.  SEE INFO Here for sponsorship packages.

 

 

ON-GOING EVENTS FOR 2014 – 

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FREE!!  Parenting Classes for Africans, African Americans, and Caribbeans.
Unfortunately NO court- or D.C.F.S.-ordered clientele will be accepted.
Call (323) 777-3120 for more information.

Brought to you by the Coalition of Mental health Professionals, Inc.
9219 S. Broadway Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90003

 

 

Staying in the know with what’s going on in the community, helps us to stay connected to each other. and keep our youth with an optimistic mindset.  We must work together for the good of our world, our countries, our states, our nations, our cultures, our communities, our neighborhoods, our families . . . and ourselves.  For we are all “family.”  Fellow members of the human race.  We need each other more than we might know.

Share these events with your families.  And if there are any events that you know of and would like to share with MYGirls, please contact me, and I will list them.  Let’s get involved, young girls!!

 

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-Kahlelah, MYGirls

MYEvents: Thursday, September 18, 2014 – Wednesday, September 24, 2014

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Hi there, outstanding young girls!!

*~ MYEvents will run every Thursday evening at 6:00pm, Pacific Standard Time. ~*

*~MYGirls Blog Series will run every Friday evening at 6:00pm, Pacific Standard Time. ~*

 

 

MYEvents will list all upcoming events.  They will either be free & open to the community, by RSVP, or by ticket purchase.  If you see an event listed, YOU’RE INVITED!!

 

Sunday, September 21, 2014 – 

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Hair stylists from across America will come together for a chance to be honored as the Bobbi Boss 2014 “America’s Next Top Stylist.”  CLICK HERE for information, stylist registration, and consumer tickets. (I will be one of the models on the runway!)

 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

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The mission of the South Los Angeles Homeless Transition Age Youth (TAY) and Foster Care Collaborative is to prevent and end youth homelessness in South Los Angeles.  RSVP Here to register for the community event to help end homelessness within our youth.

 

Saturday, October 4, 2014 – 

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Inspirational community leaders will come together with Charlotte’s Korner, Inc., to encourage, empower, and uplift our youth, as various issues concerning our teens will be discussed.  CLICK HERE for more information, or how to become a volunteer, vendor, or guest speaker.  (I will be one of the guest speakers . . . updated flyer coming soon.)

 

Friday, November 14th, 2014 – 

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Dynamic leaders will be honored and celebrated on this night of wonder.  SEE INFO Here for sponsorship packages.

 

 

ON-GOING EVENTS FOR 2014 – 

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FREE!!  Parenting Classes for Africans, African Americans, and Caribbeans.
Unfortunately NO court- or D.C.F.S.-ordered clientele will be accepted.
Call (323) 777-3120 for more information.

Brought to you by the Coalition of Mental health Professionals, Inc.
9219 S. Broadway Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90003

 

 

Staying in the know with what’s going on in the community, helps us to stay connected to each other. and keep our youth with an optimistic mindset.  We must work together for the good of our world, our countries, our states, our nations, our cultures, our communities, our neighborhoods, our families . . . and ourselves.  For we are all “family.”  Fellow members of the human race.  We need each other more than we might know.

Share these events with your families.  And if there are any events that you know of and would like to share with MYGirls, please contact me, and I will list them.  Let’s get involved, young girls!!

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-Kahlelah, MYGirls

MYGirls Blog Series Update: Let’s Talk About a New Addition to MYGirls . . . . . . MYEvents!!

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Hi there, radiant young girls!!

 

So after attending last Saturday’s event, the Swearing-In of LAUSD District 1 Board Member, Dr. George J. McKenna, III, I became inspired.  I wanted to not only share my experience at the open community event, but also create an opportunity for all our Girls Unite 4 A Purpose members and MYGirls to share similar experiences.  Community involvement is imperative for the advancement and upliftment of all community members, especially our youth.  Thus, MYEvents.

 

*~ MYEvents will run every Thursday evening at 6:00pm, Pacific Standard Time. ~*

*~MYGirls Blog Series will run every Friday evening at 6:00pm, Pacific Standard Time. ~*

 

MYEvents will list all upcoming events.  They will either be free & open to the community, by RSVP, or by ticket purchase.  If you see an event listed, YOU’RE INVITED!!

 

 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Community-Plan-Launch-September-25-2014-800x500px

The mission of the South Los Angeles Homeless Transition Age Youth (TAY) and Foster Care Collaborative is to prevent and end youth homelessness in South Los Angeles.  RSVP Here to register for the community event to help end homelessness within our youth.

 

Friday, November 14th, 2014 – 

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Dynamic leaders will be honored and celebrated on this night of wonder.  SEE INFO Here for sponsorship packages.

 

 

Staying in the know with what’s going on in the community, helps us to stay connected to each other. and keep our youth with an optimistic mindset.  We must work together for the good of our world, our countries, our states, our nations, our cultures, our communities, our neighborhoods, our families . . . and ourselves.  For we are all “family.”  Fellow members of the human race.  We need each other more than we might know.

Share these events with your families.  And if there are any events that you know of and would like to share with MYGirls, please contact me, and I will list them.  Let’s get involved, young girls!!

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-Kahlelah, MYGirls

Re-cap of the Community Swearing-In Celebration & Administration of the Oath of Office of District 1 Board Member, Dr. George J. McKenna, III

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What a day it was!!

Last Saturday, I attended the open community event, in honor of Dr. George J. McKenna, III.  A man who is a nationally-renowned leader for our youth in inner-city school districts throughout the Greater Los Angeles area.  It was such a beautiful sight to see:  parents, students, teachers, LAUSD board members, community leaders, and other key attendees offering support for the induction of our new LAUSD Board Member, representing District 1.

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It was such an honor meeting a divine gentleman, with a stellar vision for the advancement of our youth.  I also had the extreme pleasure of meeting U.S. Congresswoman, Maxine Waters, Representative of the 43rd congressional district of California.  Thank you for giving the youth a voice, Dr. McKenna!!

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The full press release is below.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 12, 2014

Nationally-Renowned Educator George McKenna Elected to LAUSD Board of Education
Despite being outspent over 3 to 1, McKenna prevailed by building a coalition of community and educators.

Los Angeles, CA – Dr. George McKenna, the internationally-recognized educator whose turnaround of South Central Los Angeles’ Washington Prep High School led to the made-for-TV movie starring Denzel Washington, “The George McKenna Story,” overcame a 3-to-1 funding disadvantage to be elected to the District 1 seat of the school board that oversees America’s second largest school district.

McKenna ran a comparatively lean campaign that heavily relied upon a superior campaign strategy and the support of activist teachers and education, parent, community, and ecumenical leaders/organizations. The campaign built on the grassroots effort to appoint McKenna to the vacancy caused by the unexpected death of long-time board member Marguerite LaMotte on December 5, 2013. In January, the LAUSD school board rejected that call from the community, opting instead for a special election, which has left District 1 unrepresented for over 9 months.

In response to the 53% to 47% electoral result, McKenna said:

“The community won and sent a message that District 1 is not for sale.

“I am honored to succeed my long-time friend and colleague Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte. She was a champion for children and can never be replaced.

“I feel so privileged to have earned the trust and confidence of District 1 voters to be their school board representative.

“Today was an important day for the district, because of our election and because it marked the first day of school. Tonight, at dinner tables across our region children are telling stories about new adventures in learning, and teachers are assessing the day’s successes and challenges. They all should know how proud I am to be their board member, and how committed I am to their success. I am here to help every student reach their God-given potential, and give every teacher the support they need to fulfill their calling to education.

“The coalition we have built of parents, community and educators will not dissipate now that the electoral process is complete. Now begins the hard work of transforming our district, liberating our children, and emancipating our communities. Our task is not easy, but I welcome the challenge. I have never accepted an easy assignment in my career, yet I have always improved the educational outcomes of children. I will draw on the best of my experience, assemble an able team of advisors, and work in partnership with parents, teachers and the community to pursue excellence in our schools.

Let’s get to work.”

 

With five decades of experience, George McKenna has served at all levels of the educational ladder, including classroom mathematics teacher, principal and local district superintendent within LAUSD. Additionally, he served as Superintendent of the Inglewood USD, Deputy Director of the Compton USD and Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Schools in the Pasadena USD. He currently serves as an educational consultant, providing professional development and support to school districts and community organizations throughout the country.

McKenna has been recognized locally, nationally and internationally for his work in transforming schools, improving student performance and increasing community interest and involvement in local schools. With more than 400 citations, he has been profiled in national publications, including Time, People and Ebony magazines; television shows, including “Nightline” and “The Oprah Winfrey Show;” and numerous newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times and The Christian Science Monitor.

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We at Girls Unite 4 A Purpose & MYGirls salute you, Dr. McKenna!!
**Special thank-you to Gwendolyn Cross of California Women 4 Women for the invitation.

-Kahlelah, “MYGirls”

GU4AP’s 1st annual “Park Beautification Day,” 7/12/14

Whew! What a day it was . . .

As we Mentors made our ways from our respective residences to Towngate Memorial Park in Moreno Valley, CA, we hadn’t the slightest idea of what would be the overall outcome of our 1st annual Girls Unite 4 A Purpose “Park Beautification” event.  We locked in the location, secured our spot for a park bench & BBQ pit, divided the logistics between our awesome Founding CEO & Director of Queens Unite Everywhere (QUE), our Director of Public Relations & “MYGirls,” and Breyawna our fabulous Events Coordinator.  We had Lia, our Mentor & resident Beauty Queen (crowned Miss California Plus America 2014) set up the decorations which turned our day into a beautiful luau . . . and of course, we brought the beverages, food & fixings, along with the #BanBossy workshop supplies and gift bags for all attendees.

Lastly, we had Sasha, Omolara, Faith, and Ty’Kea, our eager Volunteers  who soon became new Mentors. 20140712_111042

Yet, we were short the most important element:  Mentees.

Determined to expect the unexpected and not forget about the reason for the day, we at GU4AP decided to take a small detour, redirecting our focus to training the new Mentors, while leaving the invitation open to any young girl interested in what we had going on.  Prepping our new Mentors for their future Mentor/Mentee relationships, we stressed the importance of communication, leadership, self-esteem, and teamwork; well into our morning #BanBossy workshop, our Mentors were able to exercise leadership and initiative by taking gift bags to a mother and grandmother near our setup, for them to take home to any young girls in their families.

 

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Our day was running smoothly.  Until a minor setback made it get much smoother . . .

A malfunction with the luau decorations opened up the door of opportunity:  a cluster of our balloons flew a few yards away from our spot, which caught the attention of a group of 5 young girls, ranging from ages 8 to 16.  Shy at first, the girls found interest in GU4AP, and opted to join us for the entire event duration.  The exchanges of names, issuance of food & beverages, gifting of bags, and meeting of parents & sharing of our organization’s purpose, recharged the motivation within all of us to press forward in our quest to reach out to young girls.  Before our very eyes, we saw how expecting the unexpected made for the enjoyment and ending of an overall perfect day!

 

So, WHY did we do what we did on Saturday morning?  WHY did we reach out to young girls in the communities?

Because there are so many young girls who feel alone, invisible, objectified, scared, silenced, unattractive, unsure of themselves.  There are so many young girls in our communities who don’t have positive role models to look up to.  There are so many young girls who lack goals, aspirations, who have never made any life plans, whether short term or long term.  There are so many young girls with questions, concerns, worries about life, school, the future, and especially what it means to be a Woman. There are so many young girls in our communities who turn to negative entities as outlets.  There are so many young girls who lack confidence, and are yearning for positive ways to express themselves.     20140712_110937

 

 

We at Girls Unite 4 A Purpose (GU4AP), which houses Queens Unite Everywhere (QUE) and “MYGirls,” aim to inspire and uplift the young girls in our respective communities, and around the world when our power and outreach increases.  Through activities, workshops, leadership & team-building exercises, writing projects and more, we believe that our work will greatly impact the lives of our young girls, and influence them to be the best of themselves that they could ever be.

 

Parents, PLEASE get your young girls involved.  If you have daughters, nieces, granddaughters, Goddaughters, etc . . . GU4AP welcomes you!

 

-Kahlelah, “MYGirls”

 

Mentoring Monday With Tyra Dennis (@TyraLucia) Miss CA USA 2013

I had the the pleasure of interviewing a very positive, giving, diverse, outgoing young lady by the name of Tyra Dennis. She is currently running for Miss California 2013 & founder of Saving Innocent Children. The 24 year old is singer, aspiring songwriter, & musician. I have been following Tyra on Twitter from sometime now & knew that she had a lot going for herself. I wanted to dig deep & get to know what her plans were for the rest of 2012. Check out our interview below.

Ashley: When it comes to your nonprofit Saving Innocent Children Inc. what are somethings that you wish to accomplish this year?

Tyra: With SIC, one of my dreams would be to give scholarships to high school seniors in need who are getting ready for college and who get accepted to college. I also would love to see SIC adopt it’s own location for a headquarters. A place where students can come during the week, after school, receive our services, study, and feel great about themselves. I would love to see this all happen before the end of the school year 2012-2013. 



Ashley: What interest you in entering Miss California 2013?

Tyra: Believe it or not, I always had a dream of becoming a Cover Girl. I grew up seeing all of these amazing women as cover girls, such as Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Queen Latifa, and Drew Barrymore (just to name a few). Although they are all absolutely stunning, I thought to myself, all of them are high power celebrities. They are in the top 1% of the world of beauty and with their accomplishments as legendary icons. However, none of those ladies look like me and thats what I longed for as a young girl. I longed for a woman that looked like myself (an average looking, youthful, wide eyed and grinning young girl) to look up to when I opened the teeny bopper magazines and when I saw them in the commercials. As time progressed, I realized that the more celebrity you obtained, the higher your chances were of becoming “that girl”. 


Unfortunately, most girls don’t look like the eclectic Rihanna or glamorous Taylor Swift. Most girls look like the girl next door, which is what I absolutely love about the MISS CA USA Pageant! The team over at MISS CA choose average looking,  everyday young girls and young women to compete in the pageant. They must be 5 fingered women of course (loving, giving, caring, non-judgemental and beautiful) but they are not your normal beauty queens. It is true that when it is time for the pageant each girl will have made a transformation from the grungy caterpillar into the beautiful butterfly, however, during prep time for the pageant, the girls become true role models for other young women everywhere. They learn to love everything that they don’t like about themselves, turning trials into triumphs while remaining positive and optimistic through it all. These are the types of women that I wanted to see on the cover of a magazine growing up, and since I felt I never saw one, I figured I’d become the change that I wanted to see. Ironically enough, longing to become a cover girl and influential positive role model for young girls everywhere, I applied for MISS CA USA 2013. Thanks to Mr. Gunther Shia, I was accepted! 🙂

Ashley: Have you worked with other organizations who mentor youth? If so doing what?

Tyra: Of course! I have worked with multiple youth organizations. Sometimes I taught them how to sing, act, dance or play an instrument. Other times, I directed them in teaching themselves how to overcome obstacles in fun and charismatic ways. Then there were those times where I would tutor them in an academic subject. No matter what I did, I ensured that everyday with Ms. Dennis was an adventure. I wanted my students to feel comfortable exploring the world around them and knowing the possibilities they had to obtain a better life. A life where they could live their dreams! 


Ashley: What’s the latest event Saving Innocent Children, Inc.

Tyra: The latest event for SIC will be in September with our upcoming school tour. We are excited to go to the schools and inspire students to become better individuals, strong leaders, academically successful and advocate for those less fortunate around them. Inspiration makes anything possible, and thats what we aim to do. Inspire the students! Stay tuned for our upcoming school locations!


Ashley: You mentioned being the voice for youth. What are some of the things you’ve noticed our youth are in need of assistance in?

Tyra: There are 2 things that I feel the youth of today need that they may no be getting. The first one is proper  Educational Reform. If you look at old pictures of one room school houses, you will notice familiarity in the photo. It comes from students, sitting at a desk, looking at the front of the room where stands a teacher and a blackboard. Although we still have student in a desk looking towards a teacher with a blackboard behind them, 100 years later, the world has completely changed. We can see the world with either an airplane or the click of a button, but those things are not explored in the classroom as much. Education is not only what you learn in books but it is what you also learn at home, from your family and friends, your personal experiences, what you see, what you hear, how you feel,  etc… Teachers, having to teach according to certain state standards, often times are not given the option to explore those possibilities.  

The second thing is emotional support. I am learning that students feel that they have no one to listen to them, to hear them out. Youth, well people in general, need to feel safe, provided for, taken care of. Call it what you may but many students that I have come across have felt the complete opposite. For some reason or another, they are hurting. If we as mentors, parents, educators, etc… can come up with a successful way to be the academic instructor as well as becoming a true support system for the overall wellness of the student, then we will have succeeded. This is what SIC was created to do. Ultimately, my goal is to elevate them in a way that will prompt them to use their own voices and start to heal themselves.  Until then, I will always provide a listening ear and a voice for them when they feel that they can not speak for themselves. 🙂 

Ashley: What would you say is rewarding about working with youth?

Tyra: There is a certain type of joy that comes with working with youth that you can;t get anywhere else. Small children tend to be fearless. They are ready to explore the world around them. If they fall, they get back up and try again. As the child gets older, they are exposed to certain life experiences that teach them about ideals such as pain, anger, love, kindness, mean spiritedness, etc…and become less likely to take risk to achieve greatness. But then something magical happens. The child is then introduced to the idea of only achieving greatness. Failure is no longer an option and that’s what is most rewarding about working with youth. Knowing that you were there to introduce them to the idea of ONLY ACHIEVING GREATNESS! As they accomplish their goals and perform the impossible right before your eyes, you realize that it is possible for everyones dreams to comes true. That is a very magical and inspirational process.


Ashley: I think it’s great you’re being an example for young girls in different aspects of your life. Such as the Miss CA. What would you like for them to get from your experience from this pageant? 

Tyra: “Every child has a dream. Let us help them make their dreams come true.” (This is what I live by).

Most people don’t know this about me but I was always considered the most unattractive of all of my friends growing up. I had really thick eyebrows, long side burns, funny looking teeth, no butt or boobs in high school, and I was sort of a tomboy at one point. I got along with the boys a lot easier because I knew that the girls were always talking about me behind my back. Saying how ugly I was, or how they didn’t like the way I dressed or something to a similar degree of causing hurt and pain. My hair was not the straightest or the healthiest and I was really skinny. In most cases, I looked like a stick figure. Though I knew other girls teased me, most of them would never do it directly because they liked the way I performed musically and/or academically. “Mean” By Taylor Swift pretty much describes my school days. Needless to say, I did not grow up with many close female friends. However, I do have them now.

During the MISS CA USA 2013 Pageant preparation, my excitement for it almost went out of the window in the blink of an eye. I woke up and to my dismay, found my hair all over my bed. The hair in the back of my head had completely fallen out and all I could do was cry and think to myself, I can’t compete in a beauty pageant without any hair. At the time I was mentoring a few young ladies that I knew looked up to me and I could not let them see me break down. I wanted them to know that I could get through anything. However, these four phenomenal young ladies came to me, told me that they knew I was worried about my hair and have been emotionally supporting me every step of the way. I was forced, yet again, to love everything that I did not like about myself. I have met so many other competitors for MISS CA USA 2013 that have been extremely supportive, reminding me of the very thing I teach my students. If you have a dream, make it a reality, no matter how hard it may seem, impossible things happen everyday by those we least expect! As I’m making a difference in their lives through my participation in the MISS CA USA 2013 pageant, they are certainly making a difference in mine. 

Ashley: What are some ways you try to grasp the attention of the youth in your community when it comes to events that you’ve been apart of or SIC has held?

Tyra: There is an age old saying that children can see things that adults can not. In most cases, I believe this saying. Children can tell if people, places and things are going contribute to their lives in a positive or negative manner based on how their first impression of that person, place or things is. I have found much success in simply being myself. Loud, witty, outgoing, courageous, loving, kind, caring, giving, silly, clumsy, everything that I am, I use it at every second of the day. So speaking to youth about my events or my non-profit or about anything for that matter, I’m just myself. No pressure. No judgement. I leave the decision 100% up to the student. If they decide not to participate, they know that they will still have my support. I’d rather grab their attention by being myself than to disillusion them with a lie. That is detrimental to the development of a child, which is the complete opposite of what I am trying to accomplish!

Head on over to her website & support her on her journey of MISS CA USA 2013 as well as SIC. As mentors & youth advocates we must stick together by uplifting one another with support & encouragement. We at MYGirls support Tyra Dennis. 
Good luck!

SIC websitehttp://savinginnocentchildren.blogspot.com
Tyra’s website:  http://tyradennis.com
Tyra’s Twitter handle: https://twitter.com/Tyralucia
Tyra’s Miss CA Facebook page