Biographies: BOARD OF DIRECTORS
CRYSTAL D. LIFE, Founder & President of It’s A Girl Thing
Crystal D. Life was born in Washington, DC, and raised in Gainesville, Florida. She is married to Lamont Life, a retired US Navy Chief and they are the proud parents of three children: Kayla (24) who graduated from Spelman College and now resides in Brooklyn and is a college advisor at a local charter school in Harlem; Jazmyne (14) who is a sophomore at Atlantic Coast and Jerry “JJ” (10) who attends Impact Academy and is in the 5th grade. She has always felt that her ministry was to encourage and empower women and young girls. She became a Youth Leader at her current church, Impact in Jacksonville, Florida and it was then after spending two years with the youth that she knew she needed to do more for young girls aged 11 to 18. Hence, the birth of It’s A Girl Thing came to pass. Through this girl empowerment group, her hope is to help young girls dream and dream big and to show them anything is possible if they believe in themselves. Our focus is to help them discover and walk in their purpose this will be accomplished through workshops, conferences, etc. centered around self-development, leadership skills, community service, entrepreneurial skills just to name a few. It is her sincere prayer that each girl that leaves this group feels better about herself and empowered to change the world, by recognizing that she indeed is a QUEEN.
Crystal loves people and winning souls for Christ. Currently, she is employed with the Federal Law Enforcement Center in Brunswick, Georgia.
TAMI BELLAMY, Vice President of Operations
Tami Bellamy; an Office Manager with UF Health Jacksonville, Center for Healthy Minds and Practice. Working in Mental Health helps to engage and prepare Tami to help others outside of her organization on a much wider scale. She helps to solidify the change in the working force, not just for Women but working people as a whole. Thankful that her balance at home as a mother of 3, D’Marco, D’Mario, and D’Aujha has played a role in how she divides her time-consuming work issues and personal with the help of her husband, Mendell, for over 16years. Tami dominates in changing the way women have a healthy work-life balance with forming unique Peer Support groups within the organization, along with other diverse peers among her. Past operations support was when she worked in Primary Care as a Practice Manager. Tami created and implemented a change in shaping how employees think and how it may affect judgment and decisions, by having monthly dialogue and one on one sessions guiding with different tools to advance how they see and view life situations, as well as making a plan and executing the outcomes. Also, has worked with upper management in creating special reports that are used to measure how to increase Quality Measures within the practice as well as the organization. Mrs. Bellamy embellishes herself in keeping her mind and spirit occupied. Impact College is another major accomplishment she is taking under her belt. In May 2020, she will graduate, with a major in Christian Leadership. Tami has dedicated her time, enriching the vision of It’s a Girl Thing, and that is essentially equipping the Young Queens with “Self-Worth” and “Self-Love”. So in turn, once they have entered the world of “Adulthood”, it will be embedded in them to reach back and empower other Young Queens of like minds.
Peer Support Advocate(Center for Healthy Minds and Practice at UF Health)
Organized and planned blueprints for creating an APP for Mental Health
JENNIFER GRIMES, Secretary
With over fifteen years of teaching experience, mentoring, and educating future leaders of the next generation serves as Jennifer’s passion. Observing the increased influx of students with disabilities in the general education classroom compelled Jennifer to pursue a master’s degree in special education. As a special education teacher, she is dedicated and committed to providing a positive learning environment in which every child’s learning style and abilities are addressed and learning activities are designed to fulfill their emotional, intellectual, and social growth. Through her teaching, students are instilled with the love of lifelong learning which prepares them to be successful, productive citizens beyond graduation.
Jennifer’s willingness to mentor future leaders expands beyond the classroom. She is dedicated to her community serving as a proud board member of “It’s A Girl Thing” organization, mentoring, encouraging, and motivating young girls to discover their purpose, walk-in excellence, and live a life as strong, confident, successful leaders.
KHALISHA MITCHELL, Director of Volunteer Services
Khalisha Mitchell, is a healthcare Administrator, where she manages the operations for Ascension St. Vincent’s Lung Institute, the largest Pulmonology group in Florida. With over 20 years’ experience in healthcare and leadership, she has earned a reputation for developing people and producing results. Aside from her day job, she and her husband own a Mobile Automotive Repair business that serves over 300 customers throughout central Florida.
Her strong faith and belief that “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care,” is what she contributes to her success. Khalisha enjoys letting her hair down by spending time with her husband, two daughters, traveling, shopping, and trying new restaurants. Her favorite scripture is Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
TAMIKA SMITH, Director of Community Events
Passionate about people, Tamika has always loved giving back to others. Her drive to help people of all ages and abilities find their voice, build self-confidence, and motivate them to strive and achieve what may have been told or perceived as impossible and make it possible. Tamika has held many leadership positions in corporate and non-profit charitable groups, helping to mentor and train others to be future leaders. Tamika's greatest love and care are working with young people and people with disabilities. A passion that is close to home, she is a voice for them when they feel they have none. Sharing and empowering others is her continued purpose.
TANGIE TAYLOR, Asst. Director of Community Events
Tangie Taylor currently serves as an Internal Audit Manager for Information Technology and Operations at Corporate One Federal Credit Union. Tangie has worked within the financial industry for more than 25 years and more than 15 years in the field of internal audit. Tangie holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Florida A&M University and a Master of Business (MBA) degree in Accounting from Saint Leo University. She is also a Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), and a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE). Through various organizations, Tangie continues to demonstrate her passion and commitment to positively impact the lives of children and youth. She and her husband are the proud parents of two beautiful girls.
In order to Succeed, your Desire for Success has to be Greater than your Fear of Failure.
CARLEEKA BASNIGHT-MENENDEZ, Asst. Director of Fundraising
Carleeka Basnight-Menendez is an Award-winning Life Coach and your Accountability Partner. She helps single women to eliminate fear and gain clarity so that they can start their entrepreneurial journey. She knows that overcoming the barriers of self-doubt, rejection, fear, and perfectionism will help women to be committed to fulfilling their purpose. She loves serving and impacting her community.
While raising her family and working a full-time job, Carleeka obtained degrees in Biology Pre-Med and Histological Technology. She has facilitated numerous workshops, spoke at conferences, retreats, and more. In her free time, she loves to travel with her family, sing, and act. Today Carleeka offers coaching programs and services - from individual and group coaching, to seminars and keynote speeches. She knows that when you change your perspective, you will change your life!
LAKECIA WALKER, Board Member
A woman defined by her faith, femininity, allure, and style, LaKecia is passionate about all matters of empowerment. As the creative and visionary leader of Simply Ke’Say Boutique, she specializes in providing a space where fashion and inspiration go hand and hand. Launching online in 2015, she worked her way into a physical location in 2016, introducing her unique fashion approach to a community of savvy, chic-minded women in Jacksonville, FL.
With a heart for young people and the community,
LaKecia expands her message of empowerment by mentoring and inspiring girls to be strong, smart and bold.
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