Diva Spotlight

Diva Spotlight: Katie Washington

Our society feeds off of negative stories about the Black community, so it’s important that we highlight those who are making history, especially in higher education!  The 21-year old Katie Washington from Gary, IN is the first African American Valedictorian at Notre Dame. She has a 4.0 GPA.

Here’s what she told BET

“I am humbled,” said Washington, a biology major, to the Northwest Indiana Times. “I am in a mode of gratitude and thanksgiving right now.”

She has been accepted into medical school at Johns Hopkins University.

Congratulations Katie for becoming the first African American Valedictorian at Notre Dame.  Hopefully your achievement will encourage others in the Black community to stay focused on academic success and create their own history.

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Diva Spotlight: Natalie Robinson, The Second Lady of Football

On March 12, 2010, Natalie Robinson became the first female coach at Calvin Coolidge Senior High School in Washington, DC.  She is the second female to coach High School Football behind Debbie Vance, the coach at Lehman High School in New York.

Robinson is a 29 year old biology and environmental sciences teacher.  She was a wide receiver for a five years and played on special teams for DC Divas, a professional women’s team, so she has a true understanding of football.   Her new players are excited and anxious for their new female coach.

As a fan of football, I’m glad to see women are making their way into coaching. It’s about time we made an impact in the male dominated sport.   I know we have a long way to go before we see a female coach on the college or football level, but we have to start somewhere. 

To learn more about Natalie Robinson, visit The Early Show.

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Diva Spotlight: Elma Diggs

I have known Elma since middle school and she has always been the type of person who is active in her community and truly serves to make a difference.  After completing her undergrad studies at Liberty College and working a while at home in MD, she returned to school and is currently studying to receive her Masters of Public Health at Mercer University in Georgia.

While studying hard, she is also working hard.  She is the research assistant for the Center for Rural Health and Health Disparities, embarking on a mission to encourage businesses to adopt a smoke free worksite policy in Houston County, Georgia.  Through her research, she is hoping to implement an intervention for a tobacco cessation program.

Elma is definitely using her work as a research assistant to help her reach her long term goal to improve the health of disparate populations.  Elma is originally from Liberia and plans to move back and work on improving the quality of life through health initiatives.  She believes in becoming an advocate for the community and helping them realize the power they possess.

I have known Elma for a long time and when she sets her mind on something, she does everything she can to achieve it.  I have no doubt that she will not only make a significant impact in Georgia, but she’ll make one around the world as well. You Go Girl!!!

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Diva Spotlight: April Holloway

April has been a dancer all of your life.  I first met her at the Davis Dance Center when we were in elementary school and we’ve been friends ever since. Her passion for dance hasn’t changed since the first time I met her either.  As an undergraduate student, she attended Elon and majored in Exercise Science, but her passion for dance never changed.

After college, she danced on a Norwegian cruise and then headed off to NYC to audition on Broadway.  She wasn’t offered any major roles, so she headed back to dancing on cruises.  She was a member of the Oprah’s European cruise last year and recently returned from her Norwegian Tour that docked out of Miami.  Her plans: head back to NYC and continue to audition for Broadway.  She has seen the world through her passion and I have no doubt her love for dance will take her to the Broadway stage and all over the world again in the future!

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Diva Spotlight: Jamie and Ali McMutrie

I know everyone has been watching the news non-stop to hear about the latest developments in the rescue missions taking place in Haiti.  Recently, 53 orphans were airlifted to Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital from Haiti; Jamie and Ali McMutri are responsible for making that possible.  Jamie and Ali McMutrie founded the BRESMA orphanage in Haiti and have been working non-stop to provide love, medical care and nutrition for Haitian babies and children in Port-au-Prince.   Each year, BRESMA hosts a fundraiser event in the US to raise $$ to provide basic necessities to the children of BRESMA.

Through their calls and Twitter messages, Governor Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania heard about these two young ladies and their orphanage and made arrangements for them to fly all 53 orphans to Pittsburgh.  Julie and  Ali were originally met with resistance to take all 53 children out of Haiti because some had not been matched with adoptive parents.  But after facing much pressure, the Haitian officials allowed Julie and Ali to fly to Pittsburgh with all 53 of their children.  46 children from BRESMA have been matched with adoptive parents.  As hard as these ladies have been working, I have no doubt that they will find a home for the other 7 children. You ladies are truly an inspiration to all of us!!

BRESMA doesn’t currently have a website, so for more information please visit:

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Diva Spotlight: Alicia Holliday

Talk about making moves, this diva has been doing so since high school! Alicia always knew she wanted to be a hair stylist and own her own business, so she took cosmetology classes in high school and was doing hair shortly thereafter.  Her hard work has definitely paid off.  She is the manager at Bubbles Hair Salon in Wheaton. She’s responsible for my fierce new haircut!! So if you ever need to have your hair done, just stop by Bubbles or call and ask to schedule an appointment with Alicia!

BUT not only is she the manager at Bubbles, she also started her own company with two of her co-workers; L.A.S. Hair & Makeup Design Team.  If you ever need your hair and make-up done for a special event or you just want to pamper yourself, please contact these ladies.  They are some of the most talented people in the DMV!!

Alicia is working at hard at Bubbles, starting a new business and raising an adorable 19 month old little girl! She is the true essence of a diva.  2010 is definitely going to be a great year for her!

For more information on L.A.S. please visit las-hmd.com or send an email to [email protected]

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Diva Spotlight: Lyndsay Pascoe

This DIVA is the epitome of SWAG.  She moved down to the DMV about 3 weeks ago and has already got the city going crazy! This new socialite hasn’t wasted anytime expanding her networking in the city; going out to clubs, going on dates, becoming the center of the her friends’ social scene!   She also landed her first job as a research analyst in Northern Virginia, where she’ll be working for a government agency.  She exudes swag, self-confidence, a positive attitude, intelligence and a passion to be successful. Lyndsay will have no problem calling the DMV her new home icon smile Diva Spotlight: Lyndsay Pascoe

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Diva Spotlight: Stephanie Allen

Stephanie has known for a while that after college she wanted to be a teacher. She received her Masters degree in Education at John Hopkins University and now works at an Elementary School in Howard County. She teaches 4th grade and has made a significant impact over the last year, taking on the challenge of teaching 2 autistic children along with her other 19 students. Along with teaching, she is also involved in coaching the school’s pep-squad, working as a math tutor and leading an enrichment program after school.

Stephanie is an up and coming educator in Howard County, praised by parents, teachers and students.  She’s a fun, no-non sense teacher who takes her job very seriously. She truly cares for the well-being of her students.  We all need teachers like Stephanie in the world today! While she’s focusing on teaching now, she is planning on returning to school in the next year or so for her Ph.D. so she can move along to own her own child psychology practice in the future.

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Diva Spotlight: Lourdes Laguna

I started hanging out with Lourdes this summer when I came back to the DC area after graduation.  We had met a few times in the past through our mutual friend.  We had no idea we were both in Pittsburgh at the same time during our graduate school programs!! I recently went to happy hour and learned my girl Lourdes has picked up another job…that puts her at 3! Yes 3!! Can we say grindin’!! I am not mad at you at all.  The Public Policy and Management graduate from Tufts is interning with Alliance for Excellent Education, an Achievement Coach with Higher Achievement and working at a gym.  YOU GO GIRL!!  She is definitely doing big things in DC and trying to make a change. I wanna be just like you when I grow up!

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Diva Spotlight: Erikka Watkins

Ms. Erikka has trained intensively for the last 6 months to run in her first marathon; The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society 26 mile marathon run to raise money to help stop leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin lymphoma and melanoma from taking more lives.  Not only is this diva training for leukemia and lymphoma, she is a graduate from Pitt, majored in Health Information Management, and has been working for a doctor’s office every since. She hopes to move back to the DMV and in the future work on the business side of the medical field.  She has even started to look for MBA programs (join the club!) While working hard, she doesn’t fail to play hard either looking fabulous every time she steps out the front door! Erikka is smart, driven, fashionable, and knows EVERYONE making her my Diva of the Week! Love you girl!!

Please show your support for the The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society by supporting Erikka in her mission to run 26 miles!!! http://pages.teamintraining.org/wpa/corps09/ewatkinneu

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