HOLLYWOOD — Members of the Embrace Girls Foundation recently were hosted for a Spring Tea Party at the Hollywood Offices of the Cox Media Group.
The event in recognition of Women’s History Month matched youths ages 9-19 from Embrace — a not-for-profit organization that provides mentorship opportunities and after-school programs for girls — with female executives, on-air personalities and support staff from the home organization of radio stations WEDR-99 Jamz, WHQT-Hot 105, WFLC 97.3 The Coast and WFEZ Easy 93.1.
Following a tour of each station the girls sat down for conversation over tea to discuss career choices, advice for today’s young girls and the media and entertainment industries’ impact on their lives and choices, with Cox staffers such as Julie Guy of the Coast Morning Show; Shelby Rushin of 99 Jamz; Susan Wise of Easy 93, Connie Winston, payroll/AP manager; Clover Williams, business manager; Miss Kimmy of 99 Jamz; and Traci Cloyd of Hot-105.
“I was blown away to have my questions directed to me in perfect Italian” said Guy, who speaks fluent Italian. “These little girls really did their research.”
Angelina Rosario, media consultant for WEDR and WHQT, said the March 19 event was “an awesome and equally moving experience for me. I truly wish I had a program like this when I was a little girl for me and my sisters,” said Rosario, “a place like this where girls can learn to be all that they can be, to overcome their insecurities and be exposed to positive influences.”
The Embrace organization has hosted hundreds of tea’s designed to showcase each member’s social, communication and etiquette skill set as well as bring awareness and needed resources for the nonprofit established in 2001 that serves more than 100 girls Monday through Saturday at several schools and centers throughout Miami-Dade County and Broward Counties.
“I think it’s an amazing opportunity for the Embrace Girls Foundation to visit Cox Media Group. It gives the girls a chance to see the various positions that are held in this major company by many women of different ethnicities” said WEDR’s Rushin. “I was more than impressed with the entire setup, from the beautiful room they created to the adorable girls that joined us – five star.” The girls learned of advances women have made in the industry from many who have been in the business several decades. “It’s important to understand that not long ago women were only hired for three jobs — teachers, nurses or secretaries,” said Connie Winston, in charge of payroll for Cox Media Group, adding, “That is why it is so important for girls to have these kinds of experiences.”“This was the best Tea Party I’ve ever participated in,” said
Camelia Miles, 11 years old and an Embrace member. “It was more like a sister to sister rap session — everyone was open, honest and really wanted us to know how important is making good choices about the people we associate with, and our education our priority – not boys or friends is what we should focus on right now.”
Embrace has hosted seasonal Tea Parties with an array of dignitaries andcelebrities includingformer Florida first lady Columba Bush, University of Miami President Donna Shalala, actress/comedian and The View co-host Sherri Shepherd, the Rev.Al Sharpton, actressesKeke Palmer and Kim Wayans, celebrity TV court show judges Lynn Toler, Glenda Hatchett and Marilyn Milian, and most recently Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
The organization currently is looking for real-life Addys and Kirstens to model in its Dec. 7 American Girl Fashion Show,inspired by the American Girl dolls and benefiting the Embrace Girl Power after-school programs and camps.
Auditions will be held Saturday, April 6 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Kabooms Amusement Center, 9130 SR 84, Davie, and Saturday, May 18 from noon – 3 p.m. at the American Girl Store, in The Falls Mall, 8888 S.W. 136th St., Miami.
Officials say a limited number of girls who exhibit poise, confidence and a great smile will be selected to participate in the event for South Florida girls.
Potential models should be 4-13 years of age and enjoy walking down a runway or onstage in front of an estimated audience of 200 guests attending the show at the Aventura Cultural Arts Center, Aventura.
Potential models need to bring a current photo to the audition. There is a $25 participation fee (if chosen). All models will receive model and runway tips from Miss Florida USA Queens. Models must be able to attend scheduled orientation and rehearsal meetings and fittings, as well as fundraise by selling tickets and American Girl Magazine souvenir book ads. Models may be required to supply footwear and accessories depending on their costume.
Given the American Girl Dolls’ diversity, girls of all races and cultures are encouraged to apply to participate in a colorful presentation of girls’ fashions with lively commentary, music and a touch of audience participation.
For more information about The Embrace Girls Foundation call 305-779-3780 or visitembracegirlpower.org