YOVE teens celebrate back-to-school season in a star-studded fashion at Macy’s

Empire's Serayah McNeill celebrates the new school year with Y.O.V.E. teens at Macy’s Aventura.
Star of “Empire” Serayah McNeill (center) celebrates the new school year with Y.O.V.E. teens and program CEO and Founder Lady Alourdes Pierre (r) at Macy’s Aventura.

Getting ready for a new school year was never so good for a group of teens in North Dade – as members of the Youth of Valor Empowerment movement met with “Empire” actress/singer Serayah McNeill during an exclusive event at Macy’s Aventura, Aug. 12.

Best known for her role as Tiana Brown on the hit FOX TV show, “Empire,” McNeill also was welcomed by City of Aventura Mayor Enid Weisman – a self-avowed “huge fan” of the show.

Y.O.V.E. is a community-based movement focused on assisting underprivileged teenage girls in the City of North Miami – by equipping, coaching, and developing this next generation of women leaders.

By partnering with Y.O.V.E., Macy’s also treated the group of 21 girls to a private in-store shopping experience with “My Stylists” personal shoppers who aided in selecting their new post-grad attire, courtesy of Macy’s.

Mayor Weisman (l) welcomes “Empire” TV star Serayah McNeill Aventura.

“This is truly a success story for our youth program,” says Lady Alourdes Pierre, CEO and Founder of Ladies of Valor Empowerment, of which Y.O.V.E. is a sister program.

Following the invitation-only shopping experience for the Y.O.V.E. teens, McNeill jumped on stage for a public performance in the store’s Junior’s Department, before about hundred adoring fans and shoppers. McNeill is the new face of Material Girl, the fierce and fashionable junior’s clothing brand.

“It was so exciting to partner with Macy’s in this back-to-school program because it literally equips the Y.O.V.E. girls with greater confidence so that they may achieve self-sufficiency through employment, continuing education, and leadership in our community,” says Lady Alourdes Pierre.

“We were also very honored that Mayor Weisman came by to only to enjoy the afternoon with us, but to address the girls and give them a glimpse into possibilities that exist for women in political leadership,” Pierre added.

This year alone, 15 young women graduated from the two-year program, several of whom are preparing to either head off to college, enlist with the military, and/or enter training as first responders.

Youth of Valor Empowerment (Y.O.V.E.), Step It Up, is a Leadership Development/After School Program of the Ladies of Valor Empowerment (L.O.V.E.), a 501 c3, non-profit organization, in Miami’s Haitian American community. The mission is to mentor, develop, and equip underprivileged high-school girls to lead themselves with confidence and integrity to become college bound, career focused, and to develop they’re potential to join the next generation of women leaders. Y.O.V.E. is located at 1175 NE 125th Street, Suite 413, North Miami FL 33161. For information, call 786-615-2234, email lourdes830@comcast.net, or visit www.yove.org.

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