Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Young Professionals Celebrate Community and Business Leaders at Annual Gala

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Northern Virginia Urban League Young Professionals host 5th Annual Black Opal Awards Gala

FT. MYER, VA – Young professionals from Northern Virginia and the greater Washington, DC area gathered for the 5th Annual Black Opal Awards Gala and Fundraiser on Saturday, April 26th, an exquisite black-tie affair hosted by the Northern Virginia Urban League Young Professionals Network (YPN). More than 150 guests dined and danced at the Fort Myer Officers Club to celebrate community and business leaders that are at the forefront of serving the country.

The event theme, “Honoring Our Nation's Heroes,” paid homage to police officers, firefighters, and active and veteran members of the armed services.  The Honorees included: Major La’Ketha Prioleau (United States Army, Active Duty), Sergeant First Class Tamara Anderson (United States Army, Active Duty), Mr. Maurice Kinsey (Veteran, United States Army), Mr. Brandon Woods (Veteran, United States Army), Mr. Howard Foard (Veteran, United States Army), Officer Cynthia Hurley (City of Alexandria, VA) and Firefighter Patrick Evans (City of Alexandria).  Each honoree received a hero award for outstanding dedication to their community, as well as a one night stay at an area hotel and a golf outing.

“We were thrilled to honor these seven individuals who have served and continue to serve in our community,” stated Latriece Prince-Wheeler, Director of Social Programs for YPN.  Cynthia Dinkins, President and CEO of the Northern Virginia Urban League (NVUL) stated, “We have a dynamic young professional’s team here at NVUL.  I am so proud that our younger generations are empowering others through service.”

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Dr. Teneille D. Walker, YPN President; Latriece Prince-Wheeler, YPN Director of Social Programs and Tyra Beamon, 
YPN Vice-President with Major La’Ketha Prioleau (2nd from right), 
United States Army, honored with the People’s Choice Award

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Event hosts Mike Connen, ABC7/WJLA-TV and News Channel 8 reporter and Alicia Street, 
Off Campus Military Program Advisor and Coordinator at Northern Virginia Community College - Alexandria Campus with Teneille D. Walker

The red-carpet evening included a cocktail and awards reception, heavy hors d’oeuvres, a photo booth and open bar.  The event capped off with DJ Stay Thirsty for an evening of dancing.

Funds raised from Black Opal support various programs including College Survival 101, which prepares high school students for college readiness; Opportunity to Thrive, a five-point program of wellness for youth that includes areas such as financial literacy and leadership development; Political Forum, an annual event that engages young professionals in pertinent community issues; and an annual $5,000 merit-based scholarship to a student in Northern Virginia.  YPN President Dr. Teneille D. Walker spoke about giving back to the communities where they live and work: “YPN is an organization built on excellence; everything we do, we do from the heart to help create strong communities.”

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Photo credit: G. James/Capitol Media USA

Top photo caption: Standing: Dr. Richard Ezike, YPN Secretary; Latriece Prince-Wheeler, YPN Director of Social Programs;, Keisha D. Robinson, YPN Dir. of Membership; Jenѐe Padmore, YPN Policies and Procedures Chair; Gerald S. Padmore, YPN Executive Advisor; Renette Noel, YPN Dir. of Community Service; Front sitting: Marcel Lewis, YPN Treasurer; Sabrina Pinnix, YPN Dir. of Fund Development; Dr. Teneille D. Walker, YPN President; Tyra Beamon, YPN Vice-President; Traci DeShazor, YPN Dir. of Political Engagement; and Jenale Scarlett, YPN Historian

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