MEDIA & PRESS
The City of Atlanta is greatly enhanced by the countless contributions and immeasurable potential of our teen-agers. By educating and entertaining our youth, HeadZ Up! will open the doors of possibility to your readers at critical time in their lives. Through your efforts, middle and high school students will learn to keep their heads up as they aspire to achieve their dreams.
On behalf of the citizens of Atlanta, I wish you much success.
Former Mayor of Atlanta
On behalf of the City of Atlanta, I would like to thank you for your hard work and dedication to the youth, particularly, the teen girls in our community. The workshops that you created through your organization, HeadZ Up!, have served to empower, inspire, and motivate young women throughout our city to embrace their uniqueness and take responsibility for their own actions.
With the rise of teen pregnancy today, and among other issues teens now face, you have worked with our youth to provide realistic solutions to their problems. Through it all, you have taught them the value of hard work, self-respect and self-worth in order to ensure they have a promising future.
Once again, I want to thank you for what you have provided over the years to this city. Your level of commitment is a true inspiration to young women everywhere.
Former Mayor of Atlanta
Marlin L. Young
Career Specialist, More Than Conquerors, Inc.
I would like to thank you for photographing/filming My Black is Beautiful!
B.E.W.A.R.E (Benjamin Elijah Women Articulating Real Empowerment) was able to showcase multiples shades of our culture by capturing the natural beauty of multifaceted young ladies that attend Benjamin E. Mays High School.
We were able to include My Black is Beautiful during our Black History Celebrations!
Dr. Tonya A. Walker
Atlanta Public Schools
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Dear Ms. Woodard:
I am writing on behalf of the Clayton County Adolescent Health and Youth Development Program to thank you for your continued support and willingness to work with our youth. Your workshops and presentations have helped in our
attempts to curve teen pregnancy and drug usage by providing the youth with alternatives to self-destructive behavior.
We work hard to teach the teenagers in our community about the value of self-appreciation and self-worth. And thanks to your inspirational presentations, workshops and magazine, our teens are discovering the value of being self empowered through independent thinking.
We look forward to working with you again and we thank you for your commitment to our program.
Words have the ability to inspire or destroy the development of youth during the fragile years of puberty as youth engage in self-exploration. Your motivational speeches, classes, and personal sincerity add to the effective strategies used by the SIMBA program to promote wellness, healthy life style choices and lifelong success in the lives of youth.
Your presentation style is age appropriate, clear and comprehensive, which commands the attention and increases the motivation of the youth. Therefore, I would like to thank you for your ongoing class facilitation and presentations to the high-risk youth that participate in SIMBA programming.
It is SIMBA’ s goal to increase coping skills of high risk youth and juvenile delinquents by offering classes in the areas of health, violence prevention, African American history, vocational skills and aesthetic arts. Therefore, classes are evaluated to determine programming effectiveness. A class survey was administered at the end of each series of the classes you facilitated since you began working with the SIMBA program xx years ago. The students’ and staff’s results indicated that the majority of the students rated the overall class, materials, their ability to understand the instructor, and the instructor’s responses to questions as “excellent”. On several occasions, staff have suggested that we work your classes into their core curriculum programming. In addition, when students were asked what they liked most about the classes, they overwhelming reported the open discussions, ability to be creative in classes, and the opportunity to express themselves. Lastly, when students were asked what they would change about the classes, students stated to include more students in the classes and to hold the program all year, every year. Unfortunately, funding does not allow for this.
However, the SIMBA Program as well as site staff and students would like to provide you with this written letter of appreciation for your timely programming, dedication, and continued support. As we seek funding for continued programming, your classes and · presentations will be held as priority in accomplishing our goals and objectives. It has been a dynamic and valued relationship that we hope to continue.
For the children,Tarita Triplett, MSW
The Student Activities Committee of Benjamin E. Mays High School agrees to participate as a school site for Wholistic Stress Control Institute, Inc (WSCI) and Green Gelo (a subsidiary of Vision for Youth) for the year 2011-2012. Programming is scheduled to be held after school during the 2011-2012 school year. It appears that your proposal and the schools current mission complement each other. Our contribution to this partnership will include referring 50 students with an emphasis on varied ethnicities and students with special needs.
WSCI has provided the Atlanta community with over 20 years of prevention and intervention services in the areas of abstinence education, mental health, substance abuse, violence, juvenile delinquency and HIV/ AIDS prevention services for youth. Your collaboration with Green Gelo to offer an artistic outlet for youth to express themselves through poetry and videography will empower them to deal with difficult issues and discover new methods in problem solving.
We view this project as very necessary and we congratulate you for moving forward in addressing youth health issues through art programming. We additionally support the fact that your project encompasses all ethnicities and students with special needs. Please feel free to contact me if additional information is needed.
Sincerely,John D, Chandler
In regard to the upcoming events for teen poets, I am submitting this letter to not only support the efforts of Wholistic Stress Control and Green Gelo but to also restate my interest in allowing all teen poetic events to be held at my facility at no cost to Wholistic or Vision for Youth.
I believe that the teens in our community will benefit from this project and I support it 100%! I am willing to provide anything else that might be needed inside the facility to ensure a successful event each Saturday. I will allow the use of Salon 724 for as long as needed. All equipment will be removed prior to each event to ensure safety and to provide the space needed for teenagers to sit down and share their poetry.
Please let me know what else will be needed to ensure a successful event. Thanks.
Thank you for sharing the Headz Up Project with the Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness Adolescent Health Program.
The Headz Up Project has proven to be a very exciting and enriching skills-based experience for our youth. The connection that you and your staff made with our students (especially the girls) helped to facilitate an environment in which they could express themselves and be empowered to step out of their comfort zones. Tackling the issues of drugs, peer
pressure and stress is a crucial component of our program and your fresh and innovative approach have left lasting impressions. Many of our youth have expressed interest in participating in other facets of the program.
Thank you again for all of your hard work and I look forward to working with you in the near future. If I can be of any assistance, please contact me.
Sincerely,Kimberly L. Mallard, MPA, CHES
Ms. Audra Luke, formally Audra Woodard, has been my employee, mentee, associate, and friend for four years. I met her over the phone when she called to introduce herself and her skills to the University l was offering my services to at the time as an administrator and instructor. What I remember most was that she had great confidence in her skills and her abilities, so much so, that I felt compelled to invite her to come and meet with me in my office. The rest is history.
Ms. Luke’s positive attitude, confidence and her creative ideas were enough to have me hire her right on the spot as one of our English Composition educators at Morris Brown College. From then on, I have had the joy of participating in her marketing campaigns for her book, which is excellent by the way, and all of her other endeavors. She knows how to use the power of the English language to motivate, inspire and drive others to feel empowered. I have had the pleasure of watching her take a simple thought and turn it into a creative brand that receives media and social attention. She adds creative flare to all that she does and she Ignites whatever energy she wants from her clients through her ability to turn ingenious concepts into models everyone can understand and follow.
I must say that I both respect and admire her ability to turn creative marketing into a venture that somehow joins communities, businesses and schools together, She has the where-with-all to turn all of her projects into mega endeavors that are worthy of attention and admiration. She has an unusual ability to persuade, and incorporate that talent into her writing and presentations. She is an all-around creative soul and I love watching her go. I truly wish her well!
Sincerely,Alix Pierre, Ph.D.
Dear Mrs. Woodard:
We would like to thank you for all your suppmt and interest in helping us meet our goals in serving young women. Your continued support has enabled us to meet our goals this year of serving young women from all walks of life. You, along with the HeadZ Up! staff, enabled AWESOME Incorporated to expand to new dimensions in our service to young women. Your participation in the recent weekend retreat at Calloway Gardens, for young women in the foster care system, was a rousing success.
The feedback from Dekalb County Department of Family and Children Services on the workshops that HeadZ Up! presented on Health and Wellness was very impressive. Of the sixty girls in attendance 80% rated your workshops as very good or above. Many of the young women noted that they received information that they could implement in their daily lives.
It was evident that you and your staff at HeadZ Up! recognized the importance of helping girls reflect about themselves by identifying creative ways to express their feelings. Your use of poetry, journal writing, drama, role-playing, dance and speak -out sessions and other creative techniques has encouraged the development of a positive sense of self for the many girls we
serve. Your ability to serve girls from varied socioeconomic backgrounds has been most instrumental to us in the work we do with young women.
We look forward to working with both you and your organization again in the very near future. Thank you again for your continued support and dedication to our young women.
It is with great pride that I write this letter for Audra! She has served as our Creative Director and Trainer since 1999 and her dedication and commitment to the students she worked with has been absolutely outstanding. Audra utilized her ability to share concepts, vision, creativity and her skills to broaden the scope of our creative division and ultimately, enhanced the way the community views the work that we do as an organization.
WSCI has provided the Atlanta community with over 20 years of prevention and intervention services in the areas of abstinence education, mental health, substance abuse, violence, juvenile delinquency and HIV/AIDS prevention services for youth. With Audra bringing forth the creative teachings, marketing campaigns and creative programs to our curriculum, we have been able to open the door to a multitude of additional funding, well exceeding our yearly fund intake prior to her joining our team.
She introduced Green Gelo, an on line video program for teenagers, and opened our market to more schools and corporate funders who were interested in working with organizations which used ART to teach teenagers all of the skills our intervention services provided. Audra’s ability to analyze current trends and follow market growth truly benefited our organization I She understood our market and she found creative ways to cater to that market, while creating press releases and marketing campaigns that promoted our work to the public. Additionally, her publishing ability opened the door to her establishing a creative essay/poetry newsletter (written by our teens participating in the program) that we use when applying for grants. Lastly, she even enhanced our image when she would partner our organization with celebrities and other corporations to ensure Wholistic received further funding, attention and press.
I can’t say enough about Audra’s creative vision and how it seems to continue to expand and grow. She has an
understanding of current trends, but she also knows how to incorporate that knowledge into a creative package
that can serve to benefit all involved. We will TRULY miss her. We will miss her loyalty, dedication, commitment,
and most of all, her passion for what she does. I personally have no doubt that she will benefit any organization
she chooses to work for. Please do not hesitate to call me if you need further information or if you have questions.
Sincerely,Tarita Johnson, MSW