NORFOLK, VA. (WAVY) — “We’re celebrating hopeful young people who dare to dream!”
Teens With a Purpose (TWP) is celebrating its 15th annual gala with youth scholarships, awards, and performances at the Chrysler Museum of Art. The gala will celebrate 40 ‘move makers’ in our area.
This year, the theme is ‘Hope Chasers.’
“You start with hope and then you dream. Hope eliminates fear. You can’t have them both at the same time,” said Deirdre Love, Teens with a Purpose founder.
Love created Teens With a Purpose in1996. This year, the gala is a sneaker ball, which is the ideal shoe for those running after their goals.
“How are you going to chase your hope if you don’t have the proper footwear,” asked Love. “That’s what we do… every day we run right beside them with all the resources, all the encouragement, the mentorship, the creativity and the love. So, that young people can really dare to dream and stand firmly on their hopes that they never let go of.”
TODAY show co-host and longtime weather anchor Al Roker serves on the board.
“In the Hampton Roads area, it is proving that if you give teens the wherewithal and the tools to help themselves, they will thrive,” said Roker. “For years now, these teens have chased their hopes and dreams, and have been able to attain them because of Teens With a Purpose.”
Chinyere Onyirimba is considered a Teens With a Purpose alum. She is a success story from the free activities and self-expression opportunities.
“It was always so important to me! It inspired me to be who I am today and work in the field that I’m working in today,” said Onyirimba. “A lot of my experience. A lot of the things that I talk about in my interviews for pharmacy school, applying to residency and acquiring the position that I have now, came from being a part of teens with a purpose!”
Onyirimba is now a clinical pharmacist specialist in Dallas Texas. The 30-year-old also serves on the TWP board.
“I’m thankful to have been able to go to the program, be a camp counselor, be an alum, be on the board of directors. I think that trajectory shows that anybody can do it! I’m not any more special than the next person. If I can be an inspiration to those that are looking for higher achievement, being themselves and allowing themselves to see to who they could be in the future, teens with a purpose did that for me. I love giving back in that same [way].”
“I’m excited to see all of our amazing move makers get their awards and scholarships. Being recognized for being able to move through adversity and be teenagers,” said Onyirimba.
In person and virtual tickets are still on sale at isitavillage.org.
“Whatever you can do to support these young people in this organization, it is money well spent,” said Roker.
10 On Your Side is a proud sponsor of the gala.