Masquerade Ball
Celebrating Digital Girl, Inc.’s Fourth Anniversary

 

This past Thursday, Hellotittie had the pleasure to attend the Annual Gala, Masquerade Ball hosted by Digital Girl Incorporated. Digital Girl Inc.’s mission is to encourage inner city youth, especially young girls, to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. 

They are based in Bedford Stuyvesant, where over half the population are female and 20% of the youth are disconnected (16-­24) from work and/or school. Studies show women who work in the STEM fields make 33% more than women in non-STEM positions. Hellotittie had the pleasure of attending this women empowerment event, where we had the opportunity to meet a few of the honorees, a lovely performer by the name of Lynda, and a celebrity make-up artist. 

 

 Photos taken by Michael Ivory

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Oma Holloway - Honoree

Is the Director of Community Engagement for the Bridge Street Development Corporation in Bedford Stuyvesant Brooklyn. Her focus is working mainly with 14-24 years old that drop out of school, she targets these young adults because they get the least amount of attention. In 2000, Oma was the Director of Family Dynamics under the auspices of SCO Family of Services, managing over 28 programs. We were lucky enough to chat with her about her accomplishments and what her highlight of her career so far, her answers will blow you away!

Hellotittie: Why is education so important to you?

Oma Holloway: Education is a foundation, if you don’t have a formal education or path your options will be limited. I’m not a big advocate that says everyone has to go to college. For example, some of the riches people in American and innovative people in America don’t have master degrees or college degrees. However, there are college students that need the same support that people who dropped out need. The key is finding the right educational path.

HT: You’ve accomplished much! What has been the highlight of your career thus far?

OH: The highlight of my career has always been when I see the young people that I’ve worked with the past years, if they started off with me in an after school program or they worked with me while being in a homeless shelter and came to me for an internship, become successful. If they receive their GED or have there certificate or have a full time job with benefits!

HT: Yes! 401K (laughs)

OH: (laughs) yes! a job WITH BENEFITS! and they understand what that means. I enjoy when the students come back and share their story and show the current students I was once in your shoes, I have struggled but look where I am now, you can do it too. That is the highlight for me, that is my success. I’m not in this just for honor students I appreciate them. But I’m doing this to be able to give young people a chance, when other write them off.

HT: In your 20 years, what would you say is a challenge or barriers you’ve face?

OH: The challenges and barriers you face is not having enough funding. When you are faced with lack of funding and everyone competing for it what tends to happen is, the big organizations get the most resources and sometimes that doesn’t mean quality. So at times if feels like you are fighting this uphill battle.

HT: Out of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, which subject would you pass with flying colors?

OH: (laughs) I would say not math (laugh) I would have to say Engineering because it comes in many different forms. In all honestly, since my partnership and relationship with Digital Girl I’ve learned so much about technology and I have so much respect for it, I am currently developing my skills and making sure my daughter and the people I work with also learn more. I hope to more them into being successful into technology.


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Lynda Starr - Performer at the Gala

Hellotittie: When did you know music was your passion?

Lynda Starr: I started singing when I was 3 years old, funny story my mom took me to the park as a child and I started singing a Mariah Carey song (laughs) at that moment I knew I could sing. I was also raised in the church and my mom would encourage me to do solos. At the age of 5 I started singing on the stage.

HT: What advice do you have for a young girl that aspires to become a performer?

LS: Girl, keep going (laughs). It’s not an easy road and don’t let anyone limit you to one thing, have many talents.

HT: How Important do you think STEM is for young girls?

LS: STEM is incredibly powerful! Especially now that we live in an age of technology, so we need it. I think what STEM and Digital Gil Inc are doing is important developing programs to enrich that passion. It’s amazing to see the growth!

HT: Out of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, which subject would you pass with flying colors? which stands for STEM.

LS: I would have to say math, in high school I was in Math B which was an advance math program.

HT: Ooouu you smart! (laughs)

LS: (laughs) math comes in handy especially when you are counting money (laughs).

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Trenelle Gabay - Honoree

Trenelle Gabay is an innovative icon in the fashion, hair and makeup industry. She currently manages two salons in Manhattan, New York. We got a chance to speak with her and she touched based on a few personal things in her life, such as the passing of her husband Carey Gabay, who lost his life to gun violence during the Jouvert celebration in Brooklyn, New York. Trenelle founded the Carey Gabay foundation there after, using the principles her husband lived by compassion, community, and integrity.  

Hellotittie: How do you spread awareness and speak to the youth on gun violence?

Trenelle Gabay: We are a new organization that actually just made our second year in August. We were honored to sponsor the concert across America last year September, to stand in solidarity with 43 states. We were able to raise a significant amount of money and with that money we would like to attend different elementary schools and have panel discussions about gun violence and where people should turn to for grief.

HT: Do you have any events coming up?

TG: The amazing thing is the Bedford Union Armory, [is]located in Crown Heights Brooklyn [and] we are honored to have space there as our headquarters. We plan on partnering with different organizations for upcoming events, [but] it’s still in the works.

HT: Out of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, which subject would you pass with flying colors?

TG: I would say Science, I love Biology.

HT: Where can people find out more about your foundation?

TG: Our website is the www.careygabayfoundation.org we are always adding events. We are also on twitter.

HT: Can you leave us with some encouraging words for the youth?

TG: Always follow your heart, we all have egos everyone thinks with their mind. Stand and be that leader. If you see something say something. Be a sister or a brother to each other, smile at your neighbor. Even when mornings are rough, get up and say ‘Thank You Lord, I’m living another day’. Be a bright light to the world, add to society instead of subtract.


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Nydia Figeroa - Make-up artist

Hellotittie: How long have you been doing make-up?

Nydia Figeroa: I’ve been doing makeup over 15 years.

HT: Can you tell us a few of the celebrities you had the pleasure of doing their make-up?

NF: I’ve worked with Bruno Mars, Nicki Minaj, [and] I’ve done make-up for the Victoria Secret Fashion show as well as the Grammys. Film, television, Vogue, Yahoo News and other publications.

HT: Which event would you say was the most memorable?

NF: The Grammys! it was a life changing experience. I also enjoyed the Victoria Secret Fashion Show, I actually did that for 6 years while in New York.

HT: Lip gloss or lipstick?

NF: Matte lipstick, lip-stains are hard to take off. Matte lips just looks better, it hardly goes out of style very classic!

HT: I see you have on a matte red lip, which one are you wearing?

NF: I’m wearing Faces by America cosmetics, it’s a new indie brand. I love their products!

HT: Do you feel make-up defines someone? In this day and age beauty is so important to a lot of young girls.

NF: I always tell people, make-up doesn’t define a person, but during the Great Depression and recession makeup and hair was the one thing kept consistent. Even women who had no money in their pockets, makeup made them feel better, made them feel beautiful.