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Miss Black New York Inspires Local Youth to Dream Big

By Staff


missbnyArea women’s organizations encouraged local youth to dream big by inviting the current Miss Black New York to speak at two inspirational events in Rochester last month.

The National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs Inc., the Greater Rochester Area Branch of the American Association of University Women, and Miss Sweet Potato Pie Inc. invited Rochester native, and Miss Black New York, Kade Henderson to speak to girls at The Young Women’s College Prep Charter School, and to host a reception following a discussion regarding the importance of voting at the Perkins Mansion, the weekend of Oct. 17.

“We seek to promote and protect the interests of African-American businesses, and professional women; to serve as a bridge to young people seeking to enter business and the professions; to improve the quality of our local and global communities; and to foster good fellowship,” Martha Hope, president of NANBPWC Inc., and a Young Women’s College Prep Foundation board member, stated. “The reason for inviting Miss Black New York to speak was to introduce, and to encourage our young ladies to dream, and dream big. No matter what our beginnings may be, with faith in yourself, and hard work, dreams can, and will, come true.”

Hope said the NANBPWC, and Rochester AAUW’s Women Helping Girls program, partnered with Miss Sweet Potato Pie Inc.’s Diane Snowden-Johnson to organize the events, after Snowden-Johnson’s daughter, owner of Sweet Dancerz-Porschia Monet dance studio, came up with the idea.

“Miss Kade Henderson is a product of the Rochester Community, and a graduate of Wilson Magnet High School,” Hope stated. “So, she is an excellent example of what one can achieve, in spite of life’s obstacles. And, of course, we thought she should be showcased for her accomplishments. She’s a success at 21 years of age; not only is she Miss Black New York, she is an entrepreneur, and owner of three businesses.”

In addition, Snowden-Johnson said her daughter, Porschia Monet, also wanted to help inspire young women in the community.

“She owns a dance school, and she always brings famous dance choreographers to town,” Snowden-Johnson stated. “She wanted to bring someone just to inspire girls. Instead of bringing choreographers, this time she wanted to bring someone from Rochester, so the kids would be able to relate better. It gives the kids a sense of identity when the person comes from Rochester.”

Henderson presented a platform surrounding the protection of the arts, education, and the importance of voice articulation during the events, Hope said, which the groups held over the course of two days.

“On Friday, she spoke to an assembly of about 300 girls at the Young Women’s College Prep Charter School, which is the only girls’ charter school in Rochester,” she stated. “She spoke to girls in seventh through tenth grade, went on a tour of the school, classrooms, and held a photo session. On Saturday, the Rochester Genesee Valley Club, along with our partners Miss Sweet Potato Pie, Sweet Dancerz-Porschia Monet, and the AAUW Women Helping Girls program, hosted a reception, creating the opportunity for a one-on-one fellowship with Miss Black New York, and our girls. It was an awesome experience. The excitement in the house, at the Perkins Mansion, could not be measured.”

“It was excellent, excellent,” Snowden-Johnson stated. “All the girls were so inspired, and so happy to hear about Kade’s struggle, and how she became Miss Black New York. So, it encouraged them.”

Over 100 girls attended Saturday’s event ranging from the ages of seven to 20 years old.

“The responses were nothing but positive from the girls, as well as parents,” Hope stated. “The inspiration to succeed was ever present. We feel this event helped to build a bridge of believing in yourself, no matter what your circumstances happen to be.”

Visit for additional information regarding Kade Henderson, Miss Black New York.