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The Youth EmpowHERment Sleepover is the result of Brianna's journey to her own self-actualization and her desire to encourage her peers to love themselves and to improve the world around them. Brianna is a 17-year-old actor and mental health advocate who loves reading, writing, crafting, and spending time with her friends. Read Brianna's letter to the attendees here.


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VANESSA REED Project Director

Vanessa is Brianna’s mom and biggest fan! Prior to relocating to Los Angeles in 2016, Vanessa was the director of a nonprofit private school in Charlotte, NC. She has also worked as an executive assistant, business manager and was the co-founder and president of a national children’s franchise.  Vanessa is passionate about giving back to the community and plans to use her experience to assist Brianna in making the Youth EmpowHERment Sleepover a success. She and her husband Jehri also have a 20-year-old son, Christopher. Read Vanessa's letter to the parents here.




Antoinette Corley-Newman, PhD has extensive clinical training and experience in a variety of areas, which include, but not limited to, reproductive health, loss and grief, domestic violence, sexual abuse, substance abuse, and mood and eating disorders. She is a certified grief recovery specialist and had the opportunity to study with Harvey-Benson at Harvard’s Mind and Body Medical Institute, and enjoys working with individuals, couples and leading support groups. Her theoretical approach is integrative with a cognitive-behavioral emphasis, and her doctoral dissertation addressed the cause and effect of prolonged infertility treatment and PTSD, which she will present at the annual national ASRM conference.

Antoinette enjoys working with all individuals and assisting them in their difficult times as well as improving the person’s life through innovative research. She is compassionate and has the ability to explain the psychology behind attachment, and grief and loss. She knows how to analyze the client’s history, evaluate the current situation and develop strategies to assist the client in discovering their inner core truth while gaining safe and healthy coping skills to address lives challenges. She also has a profound ability to help people adjust to the inevitable changes of life span development.  




Having recently served as VP, Global Events for Tribal Planet/Tribal Brands for over a decade, working for several major record companies, artists, and touring the world, Elisia is a San Francisco Bay Area native and is proud to still call it home. She holds a BA in Business Management and Communications, is a Certified Life Coach, Certified Domestic Violence Counselor by the state of California, APSATS trained, and a volunteer for One Mom’s Battle.  Elisia is the co-founder of The Bushido Bunch, a collection of short stories that teach children about diversity, virtues, and self-empowerment via martial arts.  Being a single mom to an 8-year old son, there isn't much time for herself, but when there is, she enjoys volunteering, concerts, surfing, and jiu-jitsu.




Jarrika is the Head of School at Marvin Academy, a North Carolina private school. She holds an MS in Curriculum and Instruction, a BS in Earth Science and minors in Geology and Secondary Education. She has worked in education for 10 years and truly enjoys working with children of all ages and learning styles. As a Principal, Jarrika witnesses the struggles young girls face on a regular basis. She works tirelessly every day to encourage her students to love themselves as they are and to inspire them to become the next generation of amazing women. Jarrika has a two-year-old son and twelve-year-old step-daughter with her husband, Mike. In her free time, she enjoys coaching and playing coed softball, singing in the praise team at church with her father, and spending time with her very large family.




Michelle is an ICU nurse for Maricopa Integrated Health Systems in Phoenix, Arizona. She holds a BSN, is certified in Trauma Nursing, CRRT, PALS, ACLS, ABLS and is currently studying for her MSN. Before becoming a nurse, Michelle owned and operated a licensed in-home child care facility and a wedding planning business. Since moving to Phoenix, she created a high school/competition cheer program, where she worked with young girls from the ages of 14 to 18, helping to build strong minds, self-esteem and life skills. She currently serves as the vice president of the football booster club for her sons' high school. Michelle is a natural born caregiver and believes that being a nurse affords her the opportunity to care for and advocate for her fellow human being every day. She is very passionate about the protection, guidance, and direction of all young people. A San Francisco Bay Area native, Michelle and her husband, David moved to Phoenix in 2005. They have three sons, ages 29, 18 and 16. When Michelle is not working or studying she enjoys reading, spending time with family and friends, and traveling.