WASHINGTON, Jan. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Extra-Ordinary Life (XOL), a new charitable initiative founded by entrepreneur Stacie Turner, kicks off the year with a life-changing program that benefits DC area teen girls living in foster care. The luncheon held last Friday, themed, "Journey to South Africa: 165 Days to The World Cup", is the first of several upcoming events intended to raise money to take 15 DC area teen girls currently living in foster care, on a life-altering trip to South Africa during the World Cup. "My goal is to show teenage girls that the world is their oyster by providing extraordinary experiences," said Stacie Turner, the visionary behind Extra-Ordinary Life, who was adopted out of the DC foster care system.
There was hardly a dry eye in the room after XOL founder Stacie Turner delivered heart-tugging remarks describing the importance of providing homes and life-altering experiences for children in foster care. "Kids in foster care just want an 'ordinary' life. If we can give them that and more, then they will have a chance at an extraordinary life," said Stacie Turner. After her remarks, Debra Lee, representing BET Networks, and Vince Hudson, with P&G's COVERGIRL, stepped up to the plate agreeing to sponsor several girls on their journey.
Johnny Moloto, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of South Africa, reinforced their first lady MaNtuli Zuma's commitment to Extra-Ordinary Life. The Spousal Office of the President of South Africa and first lady Zuma, will host the group once they arrive in South Africa. Zuma leads South Africa's orphan outreach effort that provides homes for orphan children in the rural provinces of South Africa. This collaboration will bring local, national and international visibility to the foster care/orphan issue; connect teens living in similar situations in the respective countries, and importantly, forge sustainable relationships that extend beyond the inaugural trip to the World Cup.
Debra Lee, Chairman and CEO of BET and Victoria Rowell, actress and founder of Rowell's Foster Children Positive Plan (RFCPP), served as event co-chairs. "I spent my entire childhood in foster care, and am thrilled to get involved with this positive and uplifting campaign," said Victoria Rowell, author of the book, The Women Who Raised Me. "Children need role models, particularly strong women. I look forward to being a part of this Extra-Ordinary Life initiative and to helping to further the importance of finding permanent homes for children living in foster care."
Over 200 guests attended at the W Hotel, including DC City Council members Marion Barry, David Catania, Muriel Bowser, Yvette Alexander, and Council Chairman, Vince Gray; and former first mother Virginia Williams, herself a foster child and foster parent. Other special guests included South African rapper Hip Hop Pantsula, former DC Councilmember Charlene Drew Jarvis, Joigie and Ken Tolson representing the Melvin B. Tolson Foundation. Gospel artist Kelly Chapman sang and comedienne Kiana Dancie served as the mistress of ceremonies.
Guests were blown away as jazz harmonicist Frederic Yonnet kicked off the program with an extraordinary performance that stretched the harmonica beyond most people's imagination. "I've never let the number of holes in my harmonica limit the music I make," said Yonnet, who also performs with music icon Prince. His perspective reinforces XOL's mission to encourage kids in foster care to look beyond their current situation to realize their unlimited potential.
About Stacie Turner: Stacie Turner, the visionary and leader of Extra-Ordinary Life, is a product of the DC foster care system. Adopted at an early age, Turner was raised to believe that she could do anything. A graduate of Howard University and Harvard Business School, Turner worked at Procter & Gamble and BET Networks prior to becoming a successful businesswoman and real estate entrepreneur. "It's important for these young girls to experience events that exemplify the ideals of hard work, determination, discipline and belief in self – key qualities that I believe are necessary to succeed in life. I want the girls to feel the energy of limitless potential; to inspire them to believe that they, too, have limitless potential."
Extra-Ordinary Life is a Washington DC-based program that operates within the Pursuit of Dreams Foundation (PDF), tax ID#20-4286392, an established 501(c)(3) that provides intervention resources, motivation and guidance to youth. The PDF is founded/led by legendary University of Texas Track & Cross Country Coach Beverly Kearney.
High-resolution images and captions are available at http://www.extra-ordinarylife.org/presspage.html
Contact: Carla Sims (202) 360-9959; firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE Extra-Ordinary Life