Women of all backgrounds were honored at the Talented and Educated Leading Ladies’ (TELL) inaugural banquet and showcase May 10 at the Liberty County Community Complex in Midway.
The purpose of the banquet was to honor women in the community who have made a difference or had exemplary community service, as well as to showcase what the young ladies in TELL had learned all year.
Actress Lisa Arrindell Anderson — known for her performances in “Madea’s Family Reunion,” “A Lesson Before Dying” and “Clockers” — was the guest speaker.
Several women were awarded for their service. Liberty County School System Superintendent Dr. Valya S. Lee received the Name Sake T.E.L.L Award. Terri Liles, a member of Helen’s Haven, received the Community Service Award. Judge Nancy Aspinwall, Mrs. Lavonia LaCounte (Project Reach, GANG), Andrea Boyd (Simply Families, SWAG) and Malinda Graham (Graham & Associates) all received awards for being outstanding women in the community.
More than 250 people attended the event.
The young ladies of T.E.L.L. performed a skit, written by Donald Lovette of Lovette Productions, called “You CAN Be a Star,” which showcased the importance of following your dreams, and a dance to “Happy” by Pharrell Williams.
Two speakers, Juanita Lowery (Inspiration Dance Studio) and Dr. Mary Murray (educator and co-pastor of Fellowship of Love), spoke on talent and education, respectively.
Anderson talked about the importance of speaking life into your future. She said “this will carry you into your endeavors of success.”
Shawn’tell Greene — former president of Grow-A-Girl Network, now founder and program coordinator of T.E.L.L. — said “the purpose of the evening was debut the organization but essentially to inspire all young ladies to ‘dream big’ and know that they can accomplish anything they set their desires to do … and the leading ladies awarded this night were true examples that you can do it.”
Shawn’tell also thanked the mentors and committee members who helped put this event together and program director Chris Stacy.
For more information about the program, email Greene or mentor coordinator Michele Freeney-Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org.