Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Omarosa Manigault and Al Roker to Honor Youth of Hampton Roads, Mentors, and Supporters of Teens With a Purpose!

Teens With a Purpose will hold their Masquerade Ball on November 1, 2013 with Omarosa Manigault of NBC’s “The Apprentice” and Al Roker of NBC’s “Today Show.”  The event will be held at the Half Moon Cruise Terminal in Norfolk at 6:00 p.m.  The 16th annual event will be a must attend fundraiser with supporters of the local government and business community to celebrate the youth of Hampton Roads and the work of Teens With A Purpose, a peer-to-peer youth organization that promotes good decision-making and self-esteem. The issues range from gang violence and bullying to HIV/STD awareness, dating abuse, and distracted driving awareness.  This year marks the 16th year of Teens With a Purpose serving the Hampton Roads community with teen programs.
Teens With a Purpose is pleased to announce the guest speaker will be Omarosa from The Apprentice. Omarosa Manigualt is a Professor at Howard University, business powerhouse and nationally recognized speaker. Omarosa's greatest passion is her international missionary work. In addition, Teens With a Purpose Board of Director, Al Roker of the Today Show will also be in attendance to support this impactful youth movement. Mr. Roker is one of America’s most trusted television personalities and an Emmy award-winning host of NBC’s ”Today.“ The Gala will be hosted by Nicole Livas, a co-anchor of WAVY News and Fox43 News. 

At the TWP Gala & Masquerade ball, youth are the VIP guests of the evening.   Business, Government, School leaders, community parents and friends come together to honor youth and their mentors who are positively impacting their communities and to raise the funds necessary to support Teens With a Purpose programs in your community for the coming year.  Some confirmed guests will be Congressman & Mrs. Rigell, Joe Thomas Regional Vice President of GEICO, and Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim. The Gala’s theme this year is a Masquerade Ball as there will be a surprise unveiling during the event.  The Gala will also including a live painting by a local artist, an exciting silent and live auction with priceless items, exquisite cuisine and will end with dancing.

Teens With a Purpose mission is “To create a platform to empower young people to use their voices, energy, abilities and talent to demonstrate their power to effect personal change and positively impact the lives of others through the arts and peer-led programs and events. We create a safe non-judgmental environment for self-expression for all young people as we continue to promote healthy life choices.”

Funds raised will support the Teens With a Purpose free programs that:  Promote healthy lifestyles, Encourage personal development and growth, Reduce risky behaviors, Position youth in leadership roles that positively impact their communities, Offer spring break and summer teen leadership camps, Afford teens the opportunity to travel throughout the country as youth activists participating in pivotal rallies, marches, cultural arts events and festivals.
Please contact Michelle Sims at or phone (757) 747-2679 for information regarding sponsorships, program advertisement and tickets.

To purchase your tickets to the event, visit  For event sponsorship, please call the TWP office at 757.747.2679.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Teens created a 70’s inspired event focusing on Peace, Unity & Edutainment

Teens created a 70’s inspired event focusing on Peace, Unity & Edutainment

F.U.S.E Teen Fest empowered young people to make healthy choices

The non-profit organization TWP (Teens With a Purpose) -The Youth Movement had their 16th annual teen event on September 14th in downtown Norfolk at the Vivian C Mason Teen Center with over 150 guests in attendance. This annual teen event was created by teens and for teens, as is the tradition, each year TWP tackles the most important issues or challenges youth face and address them head on. In previous years there were retreats, forums and theatrical productions. This year’s event marks their first ever, teen festival F.U.S.E., focusing on peace, unity, spirit and edutainment. The F.U.S.E. Teen Fest is a 70’s inspired community festival that will included workshops like STAND UP! a interactive youth-led workshop that provides practical steps young people can take to help effect positive change in their communities, led by campers from TWP’s Teen peer-led camp - Camp Inspired; WEB BRUISING a cyber bullying and web spying workshop hosted by City of Norfolk Youth Council, POWER OF POETRY facilitated by Hampton Roads Youth Poets and Baltimore Citywide Youth Poets and COME TOGETHER a workshop for parents designed to improve communication between adults and teens facilitated by Life Coach volunteer LaShandra Walker and Sabrina Watson of YouthMax.

Guest who participated in workshops, were treated to healthy local food by Five Points Farmers Market and salad using vegetables and herbs from TWP's garden on-site. The second half of the event focused on entertainment and was hosted by the new Face of Fox 43 Andria Lea and TWP member Paige Robinson. Teens experienced amazing, original music and positive music by TWP's music division Music Made Simple (MMS) and soul piercing spoken word poetry written and performed by this generation’s bravest new voices Hampton Roads Youth Poets (HRYP). The night also included a very groovy fashion show with 70’s inspired fashions. No Fine Print Clothing Collection sponsored the fashion show and also created a custom t-shirt line for Teens With a Purpose.

Special guests included Baltimore City Youth Poets who also took the stage by storm with thought provoking poetry pieces. SolStice Reb’L is a local band which features Richard Andre Love, Program Coordinator of Teens With a Purpose. They have recently participated in American Battle a national competition for bands. Local celebrity, music artist, model and fashion designer K’Bana Blaq also performed on the Main Stage at F.U.S.E.

The members of Teens With a Purpose are known for their unique approach to empowering young people to use their voice, talent and power for personal and social change. There were fun stations to compliment the workshops and edutainment. There was a face painting station, Graffiti Art & B-Boy station where a live mural of PEACE was created and youth learned how to spin turntables. Live art was also produced by local visual artist Jade Andwele captured the energy of the festival which will be available at the 2013 TWP Gala silent auction on November 1st. There was also a physical games and activity station, TWP Olympics, where youth were able to shoot hoops, hula-hoop and dance.

COLLABORATIVE PARTNERS: City of Norfolk Recreation, Parks & Open Space, GEICO, Garden of Hope, NSU, She’Matters, Boys & Girls Club, Buttarcup Paints, No Fine Printing Clothing, City of Norfolk Youth Council, Leggwork Photography, Leadership & Sales Academy

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Justice for Trayvon Martin Peace Rally

Photo by Em Allison Photography
On July 20th more than 100 cities across the nation through the National Action Network, people rallied outside federal courthouses in hopes of provoking the Department of Justice to file civil rights charges against George Zimmerman one week after he was found not guilty in the death of Trayvon Martin.


United Council For Equality, a non-partisan social empowerment group, partnered with Teens with a Purpose to host a rally at the Walter E. Hoffman Federal Courthouse at 600 Granby Street in Norfolk, VA on Saturday, July 20th from noon to 1:30 p.m.  The event was be attended by various clergy, elected officials, and concerned citizens of the Hampton Roads community. More than 450 people attended from every race and color, clergy from various religions were represented, legislators from both sides of the aisle attended including Senator Kenneth Alexander, Senator Louise Lucas, Mayor Kenneth Wright of Portsmouth, Councilwoman Angela Williams of Norfolk, both the republican and Democratic Chairs, and more, and various television stations covered the story. Teens With a Purpose represented the youth voice and performed several spoken word  pieces and an acoustic original song.

Following the verdict of the George Zimmerman trial, the purpose of the Justice for Trayvon Martin Peace rally was to educate the public on their civil rights, voter education and civic engagement, and to empower youth to let their voices be heard. 


The Justice for Trayvon Martin Peace rally event was one of 100 rallies at federal buildings across the nation through the National Action Network, leading up to the March on Washington on August, 24, 2013 in Washington, D.C.  The march will continue the dream as we recognize the 50th Anniversary of the historic March on Washington where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his “I Have A Dream” speech.
The mission of United Council For Equality is to unite and empower the community to stand up for equality of all people.
The mission of Teens With a Purpose – The Youth Movement is to empower young people to use their voices, their energy, and their talent to affect positive change.  The Executive Director of Teens With a Purpose addressed the crowd,

Photo by Em Allison Photography

"Good Afternoon, It is wonderful to stand with all of you today. I am the Director of Teens With a Purpose. Everyday of my life is dedicated to supporting youth, helping them to find their voice and encourageing them to use their power of that voice to effect positive change. On some levels, I am not a leader but a follower. I strive to follow young peoples visions and voices, helping them arrive safely and productively at their intended destination. And so along with youth members of our organization, I am here today to encourage youth to participate in rallies, vote, march, write songs and poems - do what you can to positively impact this community, country and globe. Today the world is listening, speak peace, speak justice, speak your truth."

Teens With a Purpose are teens creatively cultivating the next generation of leaders. Support the movement, make a donation or volunteer.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

15 Poets Battle, 3 Move on to the Grand Slam

Saturday, May 11th was the last opportunity for youth poets to become a part of the 2013 Hampton Roads Youth Poets Slam Team and qualify to represent all of Hampton Roads during Brave New Voices 2013!  The Southside Qualifying Slam was hosted in collaboration Tidewater Community College, Roper Performing Arts Center on Granby Street in Downtown Norfolk.  The event started with a special message from Al Roker, board of Director Member of Teens With a Purpose. The Southside Qualifying Slam took the audience on a lyrical journey with 15 young poets all fighting to get heard. The competition was fierce and a tough job for the judges. The event was hosted by local artist Seven Pierces and TWP member DaVine Chavez. The event was also recorded by Cox Communications.

The Slam had three tough rounds with music by DJ Precise in between the bouts, as well as special performances by Caitlin Messer of the Governor's School of the Arts, group poetry piece by the Teens With a Purpose and Testimony and Maria from SoulStice Reb'L.

Deirdre A. Love, Executive Director said "This was a taste of heaven....the most powerful slam since we started having these events four years ago." Sylvantria "Boobie" Hawkins attended to scope out her competition and said "The Finals will be like Hunger Games."  Per Wikipedia, The Hunger Games is a 2008 science fiction novel by American writer Suzanne Collins. It is written in the voice of a 16-year-old , who lives in the post-apocalyptic, where the countries of North America once existed. The Capitol,a highly advanced metropolis, exercises political control over the rest of the nation. The Hunger Games are an annual event in which one boy and one girl aged 12-18 from each of the twelve districts surrounding the Capitol are selected by lottery to compete in a televised battle to the death. Of course, Hawkins was not referring to a physical death but the poets will bring their best to the stage and give the audience everything they have as if their lives depended upon it!
Pictures from the Slam can be viewed on the Teens With a Purpose Facebook page.

Ladies and gentlemen, please meet our finalists:
Emily "Em" Allison, Chesapeake
Matthew St. Clair, Hampton
Ayanna Florence, Chesapeake
Raevaughn "Rae of Hope" Johnson, Norfolk
Emeka "S.O.U.L" Onyirimba, Norfolk
Khayla "Cuyjet" Walker, Virginia Beach
ShaJhea Wilson, Norfolk
Alternates/4th placers will battle to determine which of them will be competing for the Alternate spot on the 2013 HRYP Slam Team will determine who will compete at the Grand Slam Finals.
Get your free tickets 
Don't miss the Grand Slam Finals on June 1st 5-7pm
Norfolk State University, 700 Parks Ave, Norfolk, VA
There will be a free college tour 4-5pm

Brave New Voices is presented by Youth Speaks and is the largest international Youth Poetry Festival in the world.

Trailer to Brave New Voices
Find out More about Brave New Voices