Honoring Folks In All Walks Of Life On The Rise and Making a Difference

August 21, 2011 -
Sonya Walker The greatest gift you can give yourself is LOVE.

Sonya Walker, is the founder and CEO of Essance, Inc. a dynamic company that beautifies women and teenage girls from the inside and out. She is a sought after speaker, a life coach, an author, and a woman full of purpose. She currently writes for online forums and magazines. Her unique writing abilities leaves her readers with a beautiful sense of awareness about themselves and the importance of loving yourself.

Prior to reinventing herself, Sonya was a hairstylist and makeup artist for 22 years. Her years of experience has taught her that no matter how beautiful of an image you create, if you don't believe in yourself, then you will have beauty without substance. Sonya has worked with some of the top radio personalities, entertainers, and photographers.

Sonya created a baby doll cap sleeve t-shirt line called Beautifully Speaking, to teach women and teens the importance of positive confession. To learn how to speak well of themselves.

Her passion for beauty and love has created an organization that will leave you feeling beautiful from the inside and out. Sonya's desire is to transform women from all walks of life to give themselves the greatest gift, LOVE


August 26, 2011 -
Rob Tillman When you cannot see past the obstacles the world presents, there is no real need for bars - You're already imprisoned.
Rob Tillman . Almost one year to the day after graduating 5th in his high school class and receiving a full academic scholarship to a major university, Rob sat in a jail cell.

He had not committed a crime; but being associated with someone that had, put him facing the same fate of a felony record and closed doors of opportunity in his future. At the time he thought, Wrong place, wrong time, and wrong person. Later he would find that it was exactly the Right Place, Right Time, and Right Person [him].

Though this event would later be expunged from his criminal record, the experience never faded in his mind and would later contribute insight to his interactions with incarcerated adults and at-risk youth. Distanced from that cold jail cell and experiencing escalating corporate success in becoming the head of a multi-million dollar organization by thirty, he never forgot how easy it would have been to become another victim of The Cycle without God s provision of direction, opportunity, and drive. These experiences culminated in the development of Xtrepreneur.

Xtrepreneur provides an alternative to the barriers placed upon those returning from incarceration or trying to avoid it altogether. In a very conversational and down-to-earth way, it offers encouragement, direction, and inspiration for many that see no viable alternatives to crime.

He has traveled around the globe (literally) gaining a diverse, international background in training, mentoring, and business that enable him to portray the topics in ways that are easy enough for those with limited education, but not uninteresting to those even with a post graduate degree. His insights, personal success in business, and extensive research into the subject matter provide a great backdrop to add strong credibility to the fundamentals presented in Xtrepreneur. His approach is brilliant, pioneering, and would be beneficial in future prisoner recidivism initiatives 


September 4, 2011 -
Constance L. Jackson
Constance L. Jackson is President/CEO of Permanent Productions, Inc., a film and book publishing company established in 2002. The most recent films recognized by the Pan African Film Festival and the National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum that Jackson wrote, directed, produced, and co-funded is Over the River…Life of Lydia Maria Child, Abolitionist for Freedom (OTR).


September 9, 2011 -
Alex Askew You Must Thrive, Not Just Survive.

At 14, Alex received his first employment opportunity to train as a personal chef through a career advancement high school program. In 1987, after six years of working in a variety of NY-area restaurants he attended the Culinary Institute of America and graduated in 1989.
With a focus on eating lifestyles and trends in new menu alternatives, Alex began food research, development and consulting for large companies. Clients included General Mills, Hilton Hotels, Aramark Corporation and Specialty Restaurants, among corporate employers.
In 1993, while working in restaurants that broadened his experience – Cajun, Creole, holistic, Latin and Southern cuisine – Alex co-founded the Black Culinarian Alliance which today is branded BCA. The BCA is a nationwide non-profit, educational and networking organization of hospitality and food service professionals – which stresses Education, Awareness and Exposure for people of color within the hospitality industry.

The BCA also provides quality educational and employment resources, job coaching, mentoring, assistance with placement and networking support. It also exposes inner-city high school students to the culinary arts through a series of workshops introducing it as a viable career option.
Alex has enjoyed guest appearances on Good Morning America, CBS’ The Early Show, and the Food

Network. In 2002, he was the featured chef for the newly launched food television initiative on TV One. In 2001, he was awarded a Doctorate of Foodservice from the North American Foodservice Equipment Manufacturers. He has been a visiting guest chef and lecturer at Princeton University, the Culinary Institute of Charleston, Baltimore International College, Sullivan University of Kentucky, The Sante Food and Wine Symposium and the 2009 Regional conference of the American Culinary Federation.

With over 20 years of experience in the restaurant and hospitality field, Alex continues to consult on projects nationwide and in Europe – using his great wealth of acquired knowledge and experience to not only further his career but mentor the next generation of food service professionals.


September 15, 2011 -

Michanna Talley The purpose of life is a life of purpose

Michanna Talley is currently a law student at Stetson University College of Law in Tampa Bay, Florida. She will graduate in May of 2011 and has plans to concentrate in environmental law, health law, intellectual property, and racial discrimination cases. This is due to her varied academic and work background as well as her business experience.

Michanna has a vast educational background. She received a BS in Biology from Howard University. In addition to this degree, she also received a MS in Biology from Howard (specifically Freshwater Ecology). Michanna's thesis was entitled The Effect of Land Use on Biodiversity in Stormwater Ponds. She researched the affect that humans have on the environment when areas are divided into residential, commercial, and open space (areas with little to no human interference). In addition to these degrees, Michanna also holds Graduate Certification in Epidemiology & Biostatistics (Public Health) from Drexel University. This Certification focused on the effects of the environment in which we live on health of people and whether the numbers provided (statistics) are actually significant.

In addition to a varied scholastic background, Michanna also has somewhat varied employment experience. While pursing her MS degree, Michanna taught laboratory courses at Howard in General Biology 101, Genetics, and Comparative Anatomy. After graduating with her MS, Michanna switched gears from her environmental degree and worked as a Molecular Microbiologist in the Biodefense field. She worked with bacteria that had been categorized by the US government as potential biological weapons. Her duties included growing the bacteria and extracting their DNA. In addition, Michanna had the responsibility of interviewing potential new biologists and training them as well. Following a move back to her home state of South Carolina, Michanna returned to the classroom teaching General Biology 101 and 102 on the college level. Currently, Michanna is once again set to return to the college classroom to teach Geology for University of Phoenix.

Michanna's business experience centers around her business, Jazi Gifts by Michanna, LLC. The primary focuses of this business are four books authored and published by Michanna (all available on Her first book, 7 Steps to Healthy Natural Hair appeared in the September/October edition of Sophisticate's Black Hair Magazine. Her second book, Views of Falls Park, portrays Michanna's hobby of photography and provides photos of the lovely Falls Park in Greenville, SC. The third book, The Effect of Land Use on Biodiversity in Stormwater Ponds, is essentially Michanna s graduate thesis made more readable for the everyday person to understand. Michanna's fourth book is entitled Pregnancy Associated Exposures and the Outcome of ADHD. This book was born through research required for her Certification in Public Health. In addition to publishing these works herself from beginning to end (writing, editing, formatting, ISBN registration, and graphic design of covers), Michanna has also published the works of others. This is in addition to several other services offered (copyright registration, graphic design, newsletters, business cards, apparel, etc.)

Due to Michanna's varied experience she is considered an expert on many topics/issues

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