Giving truth to Memphis youth
By Khari Bowman (Overton High School)
Several Memphis-area teen girls were given a special night for making a difference at an awards show in early October.
These teens were recognized and awarded at the inaugural Memphis LOVE Awards held at the STAX Museum on Oct. 12. The LOVE Awards was hosted by the first Memphis cover girl, Deidra Shores, with performances by RusHour and New Ballet Ensemble.
The celebrity speaker for the event was Imani Hakim, known as Tonya from the hit television show, “Everybody Hates Chris.” LOVE Girls Magazine was founded in Rock Island, Illinois by Jasmine Babers who was then a sophomore in high school. Babers wanted to help a close friend combat bullying and uplift other girls as well. The magazine has expanded from Illinois and Iowa Quad Cities, to Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi and Washington, D.C., reaching more than 5,000 girls.
The ceremony opened with a performance by New Ballet Ensemble, followed by a welcome from Juan Valtierra and Curtis Bell of the dance group RusHour. The first award of the night went to Marium Shene’ Abidi, who was recognized for her leadership skills in the community. Jasmine McCaskill of Desoto Central High School (in Southaven, Mississippi) received the Community Service Award for her work with her own organization, the Hello Fear Movement.
On receiving the award McCaskill said “Without God, none of this would be possible. I’m glad that he has chosen me to help others overcome their low self-esteem.”
Other awards went to Katelyn Cheyenne Bryant, for Volunteer of The Year, Jarianna Bates, for Academic Achievement and Chyniece Matthews received the Performing Arts Award, as well as the Girl On Fire Award.
Anna and Ester Brown performed and left the crowd speechless. RusHour, LOVE Girls Magazine cover girl Mikhayla Hughes-Shaw and former cover girl Victoria Viren performed “Rather Be by Clean Bandit” featuring Jess Glynne.
The ceremony ended with a congratulatory speech from Imani Hakim.
“When you’re going out to conquer the world, don’t forget to L.O.V.E.: Lead Overcome Value Empower,” Hakim said.