Three women - each recognized for her "transforming" social and civil effect on the community - were honored during the 31st Annual Black Leadership and Scholarship Awards Luncheon sponsored by 101 Women Plus, Inc.

Pastor Robbin Bell-Hargrove, Indra Owens and Cookie Till each exemplify this year's theme, "transformation."

"Romans 12:2: Be transformed by the renewing of your mind," Sharone E. Jackson, president of the organization, told those gathered for the event at the Atlantic City Country Club in Northfield.

Bell-Hargrove transforms the lives of new mothers through her ministry, A-HEART, which provides baby supplies for new mothers; Owens transforms the lives of young ladies through Princess, Inc., a mentoring organization for teenage girls; and Till transforms the land and peoples' lives through the A Work in Progress Foundation, Jackson explained.

For their commitment to the community, Owens and Bell-Hargrove each received the Black Image Award, while Till received the Community Service Award.

Bell-Hargrove is founder/CEO of the Atlantic City-based A-HEART organization, a mentoring and support network for teen mothers that partners with community members and organizations to advocate for the lives of infants and their families.

Owens is founder of the Atlantic City-based Princess, Inc. organization, a mentoring program for teenage girls of color to help them make good choices in life.

"To be honored with the black image award is indeed a compliment," Owens said in an interview. "The God in me is shining through, and I'm forever grateful to God for such a vision and task as Princess Inc., and especially for the team he sent me who work to make Princess Inc. the best program for our youth."

Till, the owner of Steve and Cookie's By the Bay restaurant in Margate, is the president and founder of A Work in Progress Foundation. A lifelong resident of the area with a passion for giving back to the community, Till has partnered with schools, churches, youth organizations and community volunteers to develop gardens and educational programs to teach the nutritional benefits of adding fresh, homegrown produce to the diets of the members of the community.

Her latest project is Hamilton Park Project at the Hamilton United Methodist Church in Atlantic City.

Also honored during the luncheon was Minister Landis Archer, who received the Black Rose Award for her dedication to the organization, Jackson said. Archer currently serves the as treasurer of 101 Women Plus, Inc.

The guest speaker for the event was Atlantic City native Brenda McCullough, a woman "who understands the impact of transformation," said Jackson.

McCullough went from serving as a general manager for a cable television system in Bucks County, Pa., to a career as a commercial, industrial and voiceover actress. Her credits include television commercials, independent films and radio spots.

A 1971 graduate of Atlantic City High School, McCullough serves as a role model for residents of her hometown, Jackson said.

Also during the luncheon, two graduating seniors from Atlantic City High School were awarded scholarships to continue their higher education.

Receiving the 23rd Dorothie W. Dorrington Scholarship in the amount of $1,000 was Ty'Desha N. Barley. The 6th Joseph Jacobs, Esq. Scholarship for $750 was awarded to Siarra Y. Palmer-Reynolds.

Entertainment was provided by Judah Dorrington and Paradise.

Contact Lucia C. Drake:


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