Darlene in Training
Hailing from small-town Bridgeton, NJ, Darla always felt a calling on her spirit to inspire youth and help others. Growing up in a city with a median family income of $30,000, and where poverty, teenage pregnancy, and violence serve as cripples to progress to this day, she became aware early on that in America where a child is born has great influence on his/her life outcomes. These life experiences led Darla to commit her life to helping people growing up in poor and under-resourced communities. She aims to level the playing field and empower youth to find and attain their wildest dreams by using education, coupled with building sustainable living communities, as the great equalizer. This sense of humanity was instilled in Darla by her parents at an early age-that’s why she’s Darlene in training. As a youngster, she would travel with her mother, Evangelist Darlene Bunting, to places like nursing homes and churches as she ministered. Darla’s mother is currently the Loan and Grant Advisor for the City of Bridgeton who assists low-income applicants with housing rehabilitation. Darla admires her mother’s compassion and aims to be like her. Darla is a graduate of the University of Maryland. She is a former elementary school teacher and currently co-chairs the First Book-DC Advisory Board and is Capital Director of Capital Cause.
Amina Lillie Gilyard
Queen in Training
Amina holds a B.S. in BioBehavioral Health and a M.Ed. in Health Education, both from the Pennsylvania State University. Since moving to Washington DC, she has worked full-time while returning to school at The George Washington University to complete a graduate certificate in Grief, Loss and Life Transitions Counseling.
Amina has achieved many milestones in her career, but is most passionate about improving the health status of her community. Amina is the reigning Miss Exquisite International a former Miss Black District of Columbia USA and uses her pageant platform to offer her services as a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) to communities in need. As a testament to her dedication to community service, in 2012 Amina was honored by the Washington Wizards as an Outstanding Community Leader in the area of Health & Fitness and also received the Heart & Soul Magazine Community Service Award on behalf of the Miss Black USA organization.
Janice Susan Wallace
Evelyn in Training
Janice is the Editor-in-Chief of Façon Magazine, an online fashion magazine devoted to emerging fashion and discovering new fashion talent. She is a Howard University alumnus with a B.A. in Journalism. A former Capitol Hill staffer, Janice is the Creative Director at A Fashion Parade, a style, creative services, publishing and brand management firm.