By Naomi K. Bonman
The Tea Rose Garden in Pasadena, California was filled with such positive energy of women, young and seasoned, uplifting one another and supporting each other on their journey to greatness at the 3rd Annual Phenomenal Women Tea presented by LyLuLs Mentoring.
LyLuLs Mentoring, which stands for ‘Love Yourself Like You Love Shoes,’ was founded by Charmel Sanders has a mentoring group dedicated to the empowerment of young women ages 14 to 18. LyLuLs was launched two years ago as an event to provide young women with a safe shopping environment at Sanders’ shoe boutique called, “The Shoe Lounge.”
“As the event grew, I added guest speakers and partnered with the Art Institute of Riverside Fashion Club to provide the girls with life skills and self-esteem tools for success,” Sanders stated. “My Motto is, ‘Stepping up to help others Step out into Success.”
Saturday’s tea was MC’ed by Matumaini “Matu” Taylor who did an excellent job of keeping the afternoon flowing as she introduced each guest speaker and activity of the day. The guest speaker of this year’s event was Danielle Holloway. Holloway poured motivation and knowledge to the graduating seniors on how to succeed on the next step in their journey.
Spelman graduate, Sabra Marie, also gave the girls inspiring words through a spoken word piece that she wrote about the journey that we go through in life as girls coming up to womanhood. In keeping the creative energy flowing, the Epifani Dancers gave a dance tribute to the tunes of “I Rise Up” and Jimmy Soul Smooth serenaded to the young ladies with a neo-soul piece to show them how they are appreciated and to always know their worth. That wasn’t the only singing though, Jackie Coco-Ford did an inspiring acapella piece for the girls.
The afternoon ended with a raffle and an award ceremony for the mentors and mentees who have assisted in making LyLuLs Mentoring a success, and those who have shown great community service. Mentors of LyLuLs presented Sanders with flowers for her dedicated work to the community and said a prayer over her vision for the organization as it continues to move forward.
Again, congratulations to the graduates, Destinie Wortham, Taylor Evans and Christine Jackson.