Breast Cancer Survivor of the Year
Shirley Washington resides in Florham Park, NJ. She is a 3 year breast cancer survivor.
Shirley grew up in a small town in Franklin, Virginia, population of 1,000. She graduated from Windsor High School in 1958. The day after graduation, Shirley left the small town of Franklin and settled in New Jersey.
Shirley is the mother of 3 children, 10 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. She has been married to the great Reverend Joseph Washington Jr. for the past 41 years.
Throughout Shirley’s life, she has worked in many different professions. She was a nurse’s aide at Beth Israel Hospital, Newark, New Jersey, a receptionist/bookkeeper for the American Baptist Churches of New Jersey and secretary for Bethany Baptist Church, Newark, New Jersey. After years in the medical/clerical field, Shirley retired in December 2000.
Shirley is enjoying her retirement years by volunteering at the Barnabas Ambulatory Care Center in Livingston, New Jersey.
“To God be the Glory”
Mrs. Leana Walcott, Founder
Celebrate Women Celebrate You
Leana Walcott was born in Port -of -Spain Trinidad & Tobago. She migrated with her parents and six siblings to the United States in December of 1972. She grew up in what she calls a great melting pot Brooklyn, New York, where she also met and married her husband Steven A. Walcott of thirty-one years.
Following marriage Leana and Steven moved to New Jersey residing in Edison NJ for a year and a half then moved to Plainfield NJ, where they have resided for the past twenty-nine and a half years.
Leana has degrees in Business and Accounting and has worked in finance for the past thirty-five years.
Leana love sports and continues to play competitive adult tennis which she has played for
twenty - years and has become very fond of the game of golf, playing for the past five years during the spring and summer months.
Leana and her husband are members of Shiloh Baptist Church in Plainfield, she serves on the Finance team, Cordial ministry and the travel ministry. She loves to travel and is on a plane as often as time allows.
Leana’s passion for people and networking gave her a hidden treasure ten years ago. Ten years ago, she decided to have a small gathering at the home and celebrated the accomplishments of three women. This event was supposed to be a one-time event. With many questions of “when is the next gathering”, ten years later a small gathering has turned into an annual gathering of over eighty women.
She has also including supporting various projects, which to date has included the following; two cancer organizations in New Jersey, mammogram for underserviced women in Mississippi, donating school supplies to an orphanage in South America and sending a young lady to school in Uganda, allowing her to learn a beading trade to support her family.
Leana with the help of some close friends went one step further by creating The Chrysalis
Project, Inc. (TCP). The mission of TCP is to foster high school girls in underserved communities, giving them opportunities to broaden their horizon through life lessons and experiences, preparing them for college and beyond. The young ladies participate in the following projects;
“Health and wellness”,” Financial health”, “Dressing the part”,
“Exposure to the arts”, just to name a few. To date she has awarded 16k in scholarships to
deserving college bound young ladies.
Leana continue to work on growing The Chrysalis Project, Inc while celebrating the work of
amazing women through Celebrate Women Celebrate You (CWCY). God has given her the
ability to connect people as well as help young women and she continues to live by the
principle “to whom much is given, much is required.” Luke 12:48.
Why Support AAngels:
I heard about the great work AAngels Founder and CEO was doing from Patrice Simms, a
member of my organization. I was very excited and wanted to do something to support this
organization. The work Angelina and her team continues to do is a labor of and love. Breast Cancer has touched so many women I have met, I am a strong believer awareness continues to save lives.
I shared with my organization the desire to support AAngels NJ efforts, with no hesitation they wanted to be a part of the process. I do not believe we must wait until something affects us to begin to lend support. Celebrate women Celebrate you, celebrates the women from our communities and lending support to AAngels allows us to celebrate every life that is saved through awareness.
Mrs. Jacqueline L. Jones
Jacqueline L. Jones is the loving wife of LeRoy J. Jones Jr. whom currently serves as the
Democratic Chairman for Essex County & East Orange Committee.
She is the proud mother of Rakiyah, Taneisha and Trevon. Through her unity of marriage, she was blessed with three loving sons, Nadir, Amir Sr., Tahir and five adorable grandchildren Amir Jr., Nyisha, Tahirah, Chloe & Cali. And special love for her precious dog, Sydney.
She was raised and resides in East Orange, New Jersey. She attended and graduated from the East Orange Public School System, Franklin Elementary, Sojourner Truth Middle School and Clifford J. Scott High. In 2001 she became a Certified Medical Assistant, Phlebotomist, Echocardiograph Technician graduated of McEllis Training Institute of New Jersey. In 2007 received credits from Essex County College for Phlebotomy Technician. Medical Assistant for a Pediatric Doctor and Lab Corp1999-2002
She is employed by the County of Essex. Her work experience and ethics has led her to several promotions within the County. She has worked as a certified Assist Program Analyst (2003- 2005) and certified Program Analyst (2005-2009) for the Department of Training and Employment. Certified Coordinator of Volunteers (2009-2016) for the Division of Community Health Services. She is currently part of the County Administration as the Deputy Director of Human Resources (2016-present).
As a longtime resident of the city of East Orange she became a community activist. This has led her to do several things within her own community. In 2003 she began a life in the world of politics in East Orange. Her very voice full and energetic personality led to a victorious election in officially being elected as the First Ward District Leader for the Municipal Democratic Committee. In 2005 she was voted a Chairwoman of the First Ward which is still granted to this current day. Since being elected she has worked for several candidates for Presidential, Congressional, State, County and Municipal office.
She was appointed (2003-2008) by Mayor, Robert L Bowser and City Council as Commissioner to the East Orange Parking Authority. Recently appointed (2014-present) by Mayor Lester E Taylor, III and City Council as Trustee to the East Orange Senior Citizen Housing Association.
Since 2002 she has been a member of The Order of The Eastern Star, former Matron and
Associate Matron. As a member of the Order of the Eastern Star she is dedicated and
sincerely reflects the spirit of fraternal love and the desire to work together for good. She is a strong supporter for the Pop Warner East Orange Junior Jaguar Organization. She’s also sideline cheerleader for the East Orange Campus Jaguar football team. With the strong believe “Our Children Are Our Future”
Her passion for community work is untouchable and continues to grow as an avid supporter, just to name a few, she’s currently the lead person for the County of Essex Employees to organizing fundraising events for the Valerie Fund Children Walk, American Heart Association, Making Strides Breast Cancer Walk, plus others and personally is a true supporter to Angelina Killane-Sims and AAngelsNJ Breast Cancer Organization. Her belief is to so live through today and help someone along the way because, tomorrow is not promised. She believes in advocating and supporting others in any way she can and for doing GOD’s work.
She has received awards and acknowledgements by the St. Paul AME Church, Women Day Committee in 2014, Presented a Joint Legislative Resolution by the State of New Jersey legislators Assemblywoman Oliver, Senator Gill and Assemblyman Giblin in 2014. SAVE OUR NATION of 2017 Dream Maker Award recipient and Honored by Essex County Executive Joseph N. Di Vincenzo as the 2018, Coretta Scott-King Leadership Award recipient.
Dr. Ross Cooperman
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon
Dr. Ross Cooperman is a double, Board Certified Plastic and Reconstructive surgeon. After attending medical school at George Washington University, he completed a General Surgery residency at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, NJ. His surgical training continued with a residency in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the University of Louisville where he worked with renowned specialists in all disciplines of plastic surgery.
Today, after almost a decade of private practice he has developed an expertise for breast reconstruction amongst other areas within the specialty. He focuses on delivering the most modern techniques while developing positive doctor-patient relationships. Moreover, he is dedicated to serving all breast cancer patients who come through his doors. Perhaps equally as important, he is a proud husband and father of three beautiful little boys.
THE HONORABLE DR. RENEE E. BASKERVILLE, MD
Dr. Baskerville has served as the Ward 4 City Counselor for the Township of Montclair since 2008. She previously served as a member of the Montclair School Board for 3 years. She is a pediatric and adolescent primary care physician, a school physician, health educator, a healer of the body, mind and spirit; mender of lost and fallen youth, who has served the residents of Essex County, New Jersey for more than three decades.
She is the proud mother of a positive young man, and is “mom” to an extended circle of boys and girls, young men and young women whom she nurtures and mentors.
Dr. Baskerville is a fourth generation Essex County, New Jersey resident; a product of the Montclair Public School System, the St Paul’s Baptist Church, Grass Roots and YWCA families. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree from Oberlin College in Ohio and her Medical Degree from the New Jersey College of Medicine and Dentistry (Rutgers University School of Medicine).
Dr. Baskerville has provided pro bono and reduced-fee medical services to indigent and homeless families and HIV/AIDs babies in Montclair, East Orange, Irvington, Newark, and Orange, New Jersey. Her medical service began as a Pediatric Resident at UMDNJ- United Presbyterian Children’s Hospital. She expanded her service to the East Orange area in 1993 when the company for which she worked for 8 years, Newark Community Health Centers, opened a satellite to serve the Oranges. Following her tenure in the East Orange satellite office, she served as Director of Pediatrics at the Newark Multi- Medical Plaza Comprehensive Care health facility, the Newark Mini-Surgi Site, and later as a private practitioner.
While providing treatment, preventive measures, and education to residents of Newark, East Orange, Orange and Montclair, New Jersey, Dr. Baskerville also engaged in other forms of intervention. She established a community-based center for “at risk” teens in Newark and participated in the development and health care provision for several school-based health facilities to expand access to quality, affordable health care.
Dr. Baskerville also served as the pediatrician for The Leaguers Head Start facility, on the Board of Directors as the Health Advisor for the Newark Head Star, on the board of directors of the Montclair and Orange Head Start programs, the Newark Babyland Nurseries, and as the school physician for East Orange Campus High. She is currently employed by the East Orange Public Schools Early Childhood Division.
Dr. Baskerville began her professional career, prior to pursuing medicine, upon graduation from Oberlin College, teaching in Montclair Public Schools. She made healthy children, healthy families and healthy communities a centerpiece of her service on the Montclair School Board and a cornerstone of her successful campaign for the elective Municipal Council for the Township of Montclair, New Jersey.
Dr. Baskerville currently serves on the Township of Montclair Board of School Estimate, Board of Adjustment, and the Montclair Housing Commission. She is the Council Liaison to the Civil Rights Committee, and the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Advisory Committee.
Dr. Baskerville is a frequent speaker on issues pertaining to health, wellness, healing, community enhancement. She is the recipient of many prestigious and humbling awards and citations. In 2018, she was recognized by the New Jersey Federation of Democratic Women as the Elected Official of the Year.
In 1998 The Washington Post Newspaper acknowledged Dr. Baskerville’s unstinting service in a special series that it did on the national health care access crisis. She was recognized by the Black Students Union at Montclair High School, as the Outstanding School Volunteer of the year, for health and mentoring services. The Health and Wellness Consortium in the Montclair Public Schools recognized her for the Outstanding Volunteers-Mentors Award. Dr. Baskerville received the Health/Nutrition Award from The Leaguers in 2001 in recognition for her volunteerism. In 1999 and 1998, she received a citation
for Exemplary Volunteerism at the Essex County Juvenile Detention Center for her pro bono services at ECJDC. She was recognized by the African American Women’s Association of Essex County for her unstinting efforts to promote healthy families and healthy communities in Essex County.
Renee Baskerville, M.D. lives and Walks by faith grounded in the South African ethic of “ubuntu” the concept that people are interconnected, interdependent, and empowered by other people; that people become their best by giving to others; a precept that speaks to the universal bond of sharing that connects all of humanity.
Betty Neal Mantion, Founder
Love You Girl Foundation
Betty Neal Mantion is the Founder and Executive Officer of The Love You Girl Foundation. The foundation was born of tragedy after Betty’s best friend, Alice Jenkins lost her life to the crime of domestic violence in 2011. Since that time Betty has become an advocate in the fight against the crime of domestic violence.
Betty with the support of her family, friends and her Allstate family founded the Love You Girl Foundation. The foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that is dedicated to Alice’s memory and legacy. The mission and ministry of the foundation is to empower victims, at risk youths and advocates via awareness and education regarding the devastating impacts of domestic violence.
Betty is a long-time employee of Allstate New Jersey Insurance Company. She was nominated and was the recipient of the Allstate 2012 volunteer of the year award in her local claim service area in NJ for her volunteer efforts in the war against the crime of domestic violence. She was subsequently chosen as Allstate's 2012 volunteer of the year for the country from the company’s 13 Claim Service Areas. In addition to volunteer of the year Betty also received the prestigious Jefferson Award for Public Service and represented Allstate at the Jefferson Award Ceremonies in Washington, DC in 2013.
Betty has been recognized for her dedication and commitment to the LYG Foundation and her community, by the Vashti School of Future Leaders, SOFIA, St Matthew 2017 Women’s Day Committee. The Order of Eastern Stars Penta Club No. 26 and the Northern N.J. Black Nurses Association. The LYG Foundation has received community service awards from, The N.J. National Coalition to End Domestic Violence and Harambe Social Services. Betty is a former member of the Board of Stewards at St. Matthew AME Church in Orange, NJ and currently serves as a Class Leader at St Matthew. Betty is married and is the proud mother of three Children and three Grand Children.
The foundation has sponsored numerous backpack and toiletry drives that were donated to local domestic violence and homeless shelters. Betty has delivered several keynote speeches and workshops on domestic violence. The foundation has been involved in community domestic violence awareness events on college campuses, in grammar and high schools and houses of worship. In 2017 the foundation awarded the first annual Alice M. Jenkins Memorial Scholarship Award. There are currently four students who benefit from the annual scholarship.
1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence in in her lifetime. Domestic violence impacts those of all ages, gender, ethnic and economic backgrounds. Betty believes that violence and abuse should never be tolerated or accepted no matter where it comes from. It is her hope and her prayer that through education and awareness others will join the foundation in advocacy against the crime of domestic violence, that someone would be encouraged to seek assistance that would lead to breaking free of domestic violence and through education and awareness the crime of domestic violence might one day be eradicated.
The foundation has also suported breast cancer awareness as it like domestic violence has touched us all. Betty believes that awareness leads to early detection which in turn saves lives.
Akbar Cook, Principal
West Side High School Newark, NJ
Mr. Akbar Cook, or simply “Cook” as his colleagues, students, and players have so affectionately nicknamed him, can be described in two simple words; Newark’s Pride. Born February 18, 1976 and raised in Newark’s West Ward, Cook is the son of Patricia Cook, grandson of Almeta Cook, devoted husband to Sheridan Cook, and loving father to Yasin, Akbar Jr., and Ahmad.
Cook attended Essex Catholic High School, where he was a superb student and a stellar basketball player. Because of his intellectual prowess and dynamic skills on the court, he was awarded a basketball scholarship to St. Catharine’s, a Division I junior college in Kentucky. Upon graduating from St. Catharine’s, Cook, yet again had the great fortune of receiving another basketball scholarship, this time to Florida Atlantic University; a Division I University in Boca Raton, Florida. It goes without saying, that there, too, he was a scholar in the classroom and a beast on the court! In 1999, Cook graduated from Florida Atlantic, receiving his Bachelor’s degree in Education. Always seeking higher education, he went on to receive his Master’ Degree in Administration from St. Peters University in Jersey City in 2006.
Cook’s love for children and basketball led him to Newark Vocational in 2008, where he became head coach of the Boys’ basketball team, and in 2012, took on the position of Vice Principal. After the merger, Cook still held those titles at West Side High School. At a time when educating our future leaders is paramount, Cook brilliantly and effectively
masters the art of being a stern, yet caring presence in the lives of many of Newark’s youths. His insatiable desire to uplift and educate is always at the fore and permeates through every school and gym he steps in to. Moreover, Mr. Cook has created a Food Pantry at West Side with help from local Ministries. Mr. Cook partnered with the Community Food Bank of NJ to provide weekend meals (Family Packs) for families that are in need. Along with MCJ Amelior Foundation, Mr. Cook help facilitate a Live Christmas tree giveaway that featured lights, ornaments and bases for all 300 trees that were given out to Newark Residents. When Cook is not maneuvering through the many perils and arduous tasks that come along with being a Vice Principal and Head basketball coach during the school year, he serves as co-director of Greater Newark’s Life Camp, a summer camp for inner city youths. Four summers ago, Mr. Cook approached The West Side Alumni Association, and The MCJ Amelior Foundation to help him organize a summer program called Lights On. The “Lights On”Program is recreational in nature but provides a safe place for participants to be during those hours where crime is most high. The “Lights On” Program is from 6pm to 11pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays during the summer.
The “Lights On” Program had a tremendous impact on the city, especially for the West Ward, where it was evident that crime was down in that area.
The “Lights On” Program picked back up in November of that second year because the students and families still needed a safe outlet on Fridays during the school year. The “Lights On” program averaged close to 300 participants every Friday with a high of 501 participants on one of the busiest Fridays on record.
Mr. Akbar Cook was named the Principal of West Side High School for the 2018-2019 school year! With only one month in on his new journey, this individual with such pure and wholesome heart installed a Laundromat inside of West Side High School. He saw a need for washers and dryers in the building because students were being bullied and attendance rates were dropping. The Star ledger got a hold of this news and eventually it made its way all the way to the producers of The Ellen DeGeneres Show. After his second visit to the show Mr. Cook received a total of $100,000.00 to support this initiative to stop bullying. The initiative has been named “Wash Bullying Away”.