The Awesome Awards - Nominations

Tameeka Heyward Jackson

Nominated by Seleena Heyward
September 14, 2017
I am writing on behalf of my older sister, someone I consider like a second mother to me. As a little girl, I always looked up to her and admired our similarities. Our love of art, makeup, but especially our desire to help change the world even if it means giving up our own possessions. As we have aged I have watched her story unfold. My sister is the mother of five children, one who is special needs who is superseding what doctors told him he wouldn’t do, two who love to create and use their imagination and creativity, another in which she took into her home adopted and loved her as her own, and one who has blended into the family and has gone on to serve our country. She is a grandmother of two and a sister, friend, mother to many! While she loves being a mother, she faced a big challenge when she lost the career that she wanted all of her life to become the mother that she didn't know that she could be. When Micah, her eldest son, (was in NICU until he was about six months) was born he had so many medical issues that when the USCG gave her the choice of being a mother to him or placing him in a facility she chose to be his mom first. That was a hard choice for her because soon after she got out of the hospital she was homeless and she chose to place Micah back into a rehab facility for a year until she was able to find a place to live. She then adopted Whitney, her eldest daughter, legally that year. Whitney became her inspiration for the organization she is now building today, ButterFLY Chics. ButterFLYC Chics-- My sister started ButterFLY Chics about two and a half years ago. She saw the way that media and society put women against one another with the unattainable desire to be perfect in order to be better than the next girl. She wanted to create a safe space for young ladies to grow and learn together. To understand that we are stronger together and can make a greater impact that way. She also wanted them to see the fact that if we make a positive impact in the world around us that we would be able to be seen for who we are ‘FLY’ chics who are able to make moves together. She was tired of seeing the girl on girl violence, girls trying to be women and the overall illusion that there is a measure of perfection that can be obtained. When in reality all of the flaws we have create the people we are and make us beautiful and unique in our own right. Her goal is to create a strong level of respect amongst young ladies while empowering them to make changes in the world around them starting in their own communities. My sister and the group of young ladies do monthly meetups to have the hard conversations that sometimes as young women they do not feel comfortable having at home. Some of the things that they have done in the community are: Sponsor groceries for families who cannot afford food Work at the homeless shelter Volunteer with the youth at England Run Library Working on a ButterFLY Chics Junior chapter to start a new group of little ladies Fundraisers Pop-Up Boutiques (clothing for young ladies who cannot afford clothes through a storefront like an event) Baby shower for mothers who cannot afford stuff for their new babies Take food to the homeless Clothes drives Christmas Drives (choose two families that are in need of donations for their family) Support one another in their endeavors within school events or outside events Arts and Crafts for the kids at the shelter Sent water to Flint, MI Starting a drive for Harvey and Irma Donate Thanksgiving baskets Collect books for kids Library at Heritage Park Travel together (in August all the girls have to amass a certain amount of hours to be eligible for a summer trip with their friends) Summer 2016--NYC Summer2017--Weekend at a Resort Summer 2018--???? Hopes to host a gala and a walk-a-thon to further efforts. CFAP (Called For Anointed Purpose) This is a resource Center developed to help parents who are seeking assistance finding information in the community to help with their special needs child or foster child. She is also starting a support group at the library Jan 2018. She believes that if parents are involved in their child's care that as a community new opportunities can be created in the area for the families. So as you can see I am so proud of my sister. I am proud of her heart to serve a community larger than herself and to get the youth involved as well. As I watch her create these projects, events, and ideas I see the stress. I see how she is tired in her body and the difficulty of not having volunteers or as many people to help the effort as she would like. I see how she runs herself crazy trying to find the resources to make each event a success. I am nominating her not only because she is my sister, but because she is an incredible woman with an incredible heart. I am hoping that if she can be recognized on a broader spectrum that it will help someone, that it will spark the interest of someone to do something great for their community based on their own story and personal journey! Thank you for your time in just reading this! Signed Little Sister