Wednesday, February 23, 2011

PLPT GEMS: Meet Bessie Winn-Afeku

PLPT GEMS presents
Bessie A. Winn-Afeku  aka "The Fabulous Do-Gooder"

Social Entrepreneur. Motivational Speaker. Passionate Giver.

1.  Tell us about your background and how you came to realize your passion for giving?

Honestly, I actually didn't start becoming passionate about giving until I was in college. I was taking as a requirement for one of my classes we had to complete 30 hour of community service that semester. In the process of trying to find an organization to donate my time to, I had over 50 organizations to choose from. I started to do research on the organizations and realized that there was such a great need in our society for us to give back. After college, I won the title of Miss Black Georgia USA and spent my reign traveling across the state speaking to teens about domestic violence That is when my passion for giving back began.

2.  You are the founder of the She Is Me Program™. Tell us all about the program.

The She is ME Program is a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization that aims to empower young women through workshops, seminars, the arts; exposing them to various careers, goal setting, and positive role models while developing college readiness. Young women leave our educational workshops and events educated, inspired, and empowered to reach their personal, educational, and career best.

3.  How does one even go about starting a non-profit organization?? How did you get started?

I started out by volunteering for several organizations whose mission were in line with my passion. Then I began to put together small workshops for teens myself. As time wen on I started reaching out to people who worked at organizations that I'd worked with in the past to give give me some guidance with my organization. Doing this help me tremendously. So I would recommend volunteering with an organization that you love first and also doing plenty of research.

4.  Many people have the desire to volunteer, but think they don't have the time or resources to do so. Do you have any advice or suggestions for how each of us can find our own way to give back?

There are so many different ways that we can give back. When you have found that organization that is close to your hear or, has found you rather.. you can begin by just using your talent to give. You can begin my being a mentor, and even buying fairtrade items. There is always a way that we can implement giving into our lifestyle. Although, giving money is always a major plus for is your time. Many times it is not how much of something that you give as long as it came from your heart. Little things make a huge difference, you'd be surprised. If you think you are to small to make a difference, or what you have to offer is too little..try sleeping in a room with a mosquito.

5.  How would you describe a day in the life of Bessie Winn-Afeku?

Non.Stop. :) My work day is filled with research, reading, and connecting. When I am not conducting webinars or workshops for TSIMP, I am working on workshop material and working securing grants for our organization.

6.  PLPT is all about nurturing the synergy of inner and outer "pretty". As a former beauty queen, do you feel that the pageants you participated in emphasized the importance of this balance?

Honestly, The pageants that I have participated in did not, however I do hope to see the nurturing of inner beauty in the future.

7. How do you stay motivated and overcome doubt, fear and negative thinking?

I try to keep my mind on the "main thing"in my life and the is my purpose and my mission to give. On my worse days I try to visualize myself being where I want to be in my best day..and that is somewhere making a difference. I try to be so purpose driven that any thing that is not in line with my purpose, just falls be the way side.

8.  What advice would you offer to others who are searching for their purpose or are afraid to take the first step towards their dreams?
Step out on nothing and land on something.

9.  Name someone who has inspired you and why.
Malaak Compton-Rock, she is the ultimate humanitarian and the founder director of the Angelrock Project. Her enthusiasm, drive, and her passion to inspire the world to take part in social responsibility and service moves me, and is a constant reminder that I AM where I am supposed to be.

10.  How can people connect with you?
You can connect with me on Twitter @fabdogooder and my blog and you can learn more about my organization at
A former beauty queen turned social entrepreneur, Bessie A. Winn-Afeku is on a purpose driven mission to educate, inspire, and empower. With an extensive background in beauty and pageantry, Bessie was also contestant in the 2003 Miss Georgia USA pageant and a finalist in the Today's Black Women Magazine Beauty Competition. This former Miss Black Georgia USA has truly breathed life into the clichéd beauty pageant phrase, "Make the World a Better Place."A native of Ghana West Africa, Winn-Afeku moved to Georgia at the age of seven years old. Bessie Winn-Afeku is a poised and coveted speaker and Founder and Director of The She is Me Program™ which is a non-profit organization that aims to empower young women and ensure high school graduation through workshops, the arts, and exposing them to various careers,and positive role models while developing college readiness. Winn-Afeku is the Creator and Editor of The Fabulous Do Gooder, site that chronicles fabulous giving and fabulous living. Bessie has been featured in ESSENCE magazine, EBONY magazine, was recognized as Atlanta's 2010 Power 30 Under 30 in the area of Non-Profit work and community service, and is listed in the 2010 edition of Who's Who in Black Atlanta. Bessie A. Winn-Afeku is a graduate of Georgia State University, where she earned her B.A. in Political Science with a minor in Sociology.


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