BALTIMORE — There’s some new royalty in Baltimore.
EmPowering Queens Baltimore held their award gala for high school teens who spent the last few weeks learning how to be strong and impactful women Friday night at the Mora Crossman Rec Center in East Baltimore.
With a party bus as their carriage, the young women were celebrated for taking the steps to earn their crowns.
“The program is about empowering queens. We talk about confidence, goals, we talk about how to make a first impression,” said graduate Ashley Hill.
Lisa Thomas started the program to support young women in Baltimore and to give them the best path forward.
“For young ladies to understand their value, their worth,” Thomas said. “Just them being able to know how to make proper decisions. Pursuing their goals, understanding how to pursue careers or college or entrepreneurship. Sometimes we know we want it but don’t know how to get it.”
Over the last few weeks, they have been trained on how to become a professional, how to communicate in a workplace and how to build a resume.
“It will change your perspective a lot,” said Alicia Wesley a graduate. “You get to see a lot of perspectives of other people and talk to other people. Get to know other people. By the way you can make connections too.”
The young men who are serving the food are a part of another program and were trained to be gentlemen to these queens.
Rhonda McKinney with the Reach! Partnership School partnered with Thomas to bring the young women into the program.
“Its let them know 'hey, I’m not a statistic,'” said McKinney. “Hey I’m not just another black girl in the street. I am a beautiful queen who is intelligent. Who has goals, who has vision. It also sets the tone for them to go back into their community as young ladies to share with younger girls or even their peers.”
Through hard work and discipline, they can see their lives transforming and it inspires them to pursue their dreams.
“I want to be a writer when I grow up," said Aaliyah Hawthorne, a graduate. “I know that being a writer I have to have confidence in myself, or I won’t go through with it.”
If you want to learn more or sign a young lady up for the program, click here.