AssistHER Panel + Performance + Party

On Saturday, July 30, 7 women assembled in a room with one focus; empowerment. Thanks to a partnership with Heir PR, The Star Boutique was able to provide a forum of experts to share their knowledge and real-life experiences with a group of young girls who have suffered from homelessness, domestic violence and bullying.


(L-R: Alechia Reese, Ashley Fox, Tori Elizabeth, Victory Jones,Tyanna Jones, Danielle Skeen & Malyia McNaughton)

The occasion began with a keynote introduction from Alechia Reese; Speaker, Strategist & Founder of The Girl Rethought Project, who shared her personal passion to help those who have dealt with domestic violence, being a survivor of domestic violence herself.  Following her introduction and overview, attendees were able to ask questions to panelists before Alechia dived into one of the most impactful conversations that day. Reese asked, “With connections being so instrumental in today’s society, what is the most meaningful relationships you have made to date?” With a face all aglow, Danielle Skeen, Founder & Executive Director of The Star Boutique, touched on something that had the women and girls alike, in profound thought. Skeen answered, “the board of directors of my life.” Referring to the two women she partnered with to start The Star Boutique; non-profit charity driven pop-up shop that provides clothing, shoes, accessories, makeovers and mentorship to girls 13 to 20 who are affected by homelessness in New York City. She went on to say how women must form sisterhoods, ones that push you personally and professionally, sisters who check you when you are wrong, praise you when you deserve and comfort you in times of need.

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Other panelists included: Ashley Fox, Financial Architect, Coach & Founder of Empify; Malyia McNaughton, Model & Designer of Made by Malyia Jewelry; Tori Elizabeth & Victory Jones, Co-Founders of The Colored Girl, Inc. and Tyanna Jones, Recording Artist & American Idol Season 14 Top 5 Finalist. Each of these ladies have individual stories to share as they have confronted the same issues these young girls do on a day to day. When the panel was over, Idol’s Tyanna Jones took to the couch to perform her rendition of Beyonce’s God Made You Beautiful(actual performance). Jones delivered a very soulful and vulnerable performance, leaving everyone in the room with wet eyes and warm hearts. Accompanied by former Idol contestant, Qaasim Middleton, the acoustic strings he played made her performance all the more emotional.


Reese finished up the occasion with a quotable proclamation, “The best way to eat an elephant…is by eating one piece at a time.” Speaking straightforwardly to the dreams and goals the young girls shared, however had not been seeing improvement, so Reese let them know to take it a day at a time and accomplish minute dreams that lead to the larger picture in life. Each young girl left the occasion with their head somewhat a little higher than when they strolled in, knowing that they now had these sisters they could look at as examples. Proclaiming that when they now confront tough times, they will recall this day, these women and look for assistance from their sisters to turn it around.

Written by Sherrod Lewis


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