A Word From Our Executive Director, Dr. Jacquelyn Wilson

Nothing tops being entrusted with a facility housing 380 residents to do a surprise holiday dinner for the less fortunate. Thank you, for allowing us to do what we do. It takes a village and we are the VILLAGE. Thank you to all of our sponsors, donors, chiefs; it’s because of you, that we were able to make a difference. We meet the people where they are…PERIOD!

With every ounce of sincerity, thank you all from the bottom of my heart for making this year’s Gift Giving Extravaganza, the most amazing day in the history of #SurpriseTheStruggling™ (A Hashtag Movement for Homeless Women.) From my key Chief Ambassadors,  Thamicha Isaac, Ebony C Johnson, and Charlene Stewart for breathing into me when I was second-guessing. My event planner, Vanessa E-El, The Event Strategist—who delivers every year faithfully! My cake supplier CAKES BY COLEY. I adore you, Coco! To my DJ, Ron Cee of Exodus Entertainment. I love you! To my CLO, Ruthe McDonald who makes it all happen.  My photo lady, Delilah Peach Williams, love you, babe!

To the Ladies and Gentlemen who cooked/served/delivered from SPBC, POYED by Velvette,  Robin Devonish, Aja Webster Barton, Paulette Bailey, Cynthia Juhans, and my brother & the Doc, Bryant Pearson; thank you! To the director of Starbright Family Residence, Ms. R, for entrusting us with your residents! Also, to my sister Wanda Edwards, to my love, Essence Bembry, and her boys, APWorld & Fear the Fro, Atlanta Hawks, for donating the bags and shirts. To my Accountability partner, Eloquent Essentials for sponsoring gifts. To Dr. Natacha Chloe and my day one ambassador, Keisha Christie, for sponsoring always! Althea Webber Bates, Shawn Headley, Iesha Sekou, and EVERYONE who sent a monetary donation…I LOVE YOU! 

Tanisha Smith Franks, Luck Da Barber💜, my children, my family, and my GOD—we did it!!!! ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE WITH A TEAM! Looking forward to an even greater 2018!!!! LET’S DO THIS!!!

Warmest Regards,

 Dr. Wilson 

We meet the people where they are…PERIOD.

December’s Women Awakening Women Tea Huddle to Feature Dr. Natacha Aurelien

First Wednesdays Women Awakening Women Tea Huddle


NEW YORK CITY, it’s going down!  Women Awakening Women Tea Huddle, sponsored by the Dr. Wilson Leadership Academy and The Tea Room in Brooklyn, is returning on December 6, 2017,  starting at 4 PM.  Our special guest speaker will be Doctor, CEO, and Author Chloe Natacha Aurelien.

The Tea Huddle is a safe space for sacred conversations over tea and a light meal for less fortunate and homeless women in our communities. If you would like to be a blessing and donate, no amount is too small, please visit our Giving Back page for the donate button. Or you may email surprisethestruggling@gmail.com We meet the people where they are…PERIOD!

Celebrating Women’s History Month…Vanessa E-El!




Bonus! We have a few more women we want to acknowledge this March! #SurpriseTheStruggling’s thirty-third highlight this month is the invaluable and dedicated Vanessa E-El—#SurpriseTheStruggling’s friend, supporter and event strategist for our yearly Gift-Giving Extravaganza. We are no stranger to Vanessa and her dedication to the support of local organizations and businesses. We were fortunate to team up with this beautiful soul on many different occasions, including our sister organization, The Stop Bullying Project®.

Vanessa has long had the reputation for stellar and unparalleled business acumen. Her work ethics and sincerity while working with clients have set her apart, raising the bar for many others in Project Management and Events. We are grateful that we have had the opportunity to work with Vanessa and to also have her represent who we are as an organization.

Vanessa E-El, The Event Strategist

It is important to #STSGlobal to meet the needs of the people where they are…period. Often times, success will blind us and make us forget about the struggles that others may be experiencing. So it is paramount that those who work with us, volunteer and represent us as Ambassadors, are of the same mind when it comes to our goals, vision, and mission. Vanessa not only understands who we are and what we want as an organization and a brand. She embodies the mission and spirit of #STSGlobal wholeheartedly.

We are profoundly grateful to all that Vanessa has shared with us over the years. Her organization skills, her people skills, her dedication and commitment to seeing a job through and to her clients, and whom she represents, have forever endeared Vanessa to our hearts.

Vanessa E-El—Friend, Consummate Professional, Event Strategist, Project Manager—is a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) known as The Event Strategist. She is an expert in event and project management, with over 20 years of experience. She has managed hundreds of corporate, nonprofit, and social events both in the U.S. and abroad. Vanessa excels as an independent onsite event planner for meetings, trade shows, and conferences for major corporations such as S&P Global, Oracle, Bloomberg, and JP Morgan. After years of honing her skills, she received her CMP designation in 2010. Vanessa brings her flair for cultivating strategic alliances, brainstorming, creative resourcing, and expert event logistics to every client in order to make dreams happen. Connect with Vanessa  https://www.facebook.com/VanessaTheEventStrategist

We salute you, Vanessa E-El! Thank you for being a dedicated friend and supporter throughout the years! We stand with a grateful heart, having you as part of the #SurpriseTheStruggling Family!

Celebrating Women’s History Month…Nichole Bailey!




Bonus! We have a few more ladies we want to acknowledge this March, as we are celebrating Women’s History Month. #SurpriseTheStruggling’s thirty-second highlight this month is the encouraging and inspirational Nichole Bailey—#SurpriseTheStruggling’s benevolent and kindhearted supporter and Ambassador with a heart of gold. Nichole has lent of voice and given her support to our organization in so many ways. The love in her heart for what we are doing is just a testament to her faith, who she is, and what she believes.

When you are beginning a business, organization, or a job, you have a burning in your heart and spirit to do something in a way that no one else has. It is imperative to have a level of faith and a circle of support and encouragement that are not afraid to lift you up and pray for you and your success from a clear and pure heart—no strings attached.

Nichole Bailey, Change Agent, Bits of Faith

Nichole has given this to us. Her words and support have encouraged us and enabled us to push through any negativity and doubtful times. To know, that someone we had just met would go so far to be of help and assistance to us, means more to us and our organization than she will ever know.

#STSGlobal is not just an organization but also a family. We are a family that cares about our staff, volunteers, and Ambassadors, and our consumers. It is important to us always to represent our faith and to convey that hope to those we meet. When we think of Nichole, she embodies this same principles and beliefs. She is a reflection of our mission and is not afraid to meet the people where they are at, and not only meet their physical needs but also their spiritual needs.

We are profoundly grateful to Nichole for choosing to be a part of the #STSGlobal family. To assist, encourage, and support in so many different ways. Her spirit shines brightly and her legacy that she is creating is phenomenal. She is blessed, and we are profoundly blessed for knowing her.

Nichole Bailey—Wife, Mother, Change Agent, Motivator, Writer, Server—is the founder and creator of Bits of Faith, a place where positive affirmations serve as a catalyst for your growth and healing. Bits of Faith provide its visitors and readers with a regimen of inspiration, motivation, and encouragement. Visit the website to learn more,  http://bitsoffaith.net/ Follow on FB and IG,  https://www.facebook.com/Bits-Of-Faith-778903188893879/  https://www.instagram.com/bitsoffaith1/

We salute you, Nichole Bailey! Thank you for being a constant source of encouragement and a reminder to have faith! We stand with a heart full of love and gratitude, having you as part of the #SurpriseTheStruggling Family!

Celebrating Women’s History Month…Nicole DeRosa!




Continuing our celebration of  Women’s History Month, #SurpriseTheStruggling’s thirty-first highlight this month is the courageous and inspiring Nicole DeRosa aka Cakes by Coley—#SurpriseTheStruggling’s day one supporter, and friend, and our very own Cake Genius! Nicole has been a supporter beginning with our sister organization, The Stop Bullying Project®. Even through difficult times, Nicole has been a constant support to our organization. Her dedication and courage to continue to push past every obstacle in her path have inspired us.

We believe that you are a reflection of those you surround yourself. It is an honor to know and be friends with Nicole. Her strength is an encouragement never to give up on your dreams and your passion. Her courage in the face of adversity reminds us that not every day will be the greatest but if you are willing to push ahead, you will get to where you want and need to be.

Nicole DeRosa, Cakes by Coley, Cake Artist

Nicole embodies the essence and heart of the #STSGlobal mission. Her support and friendship have been invaluable to both of our organizations. We honor her today as a woman making history because she is creating a legacy that goes beyond beautiful and delicious cakes. (Believe us, her cakes are divine and her decorating skills above par!) A legacy comprised of her determination, strength, and courage. Nicole could have given up after two devastating losses and setbacks but she moved forward, even though it seemed impossible. Her determination is infectious and her heart and compassion are awe—inspiring.

We are so grateful to have met this beautiful woman and have the opportunity to be inspired by her story. Nicole’s character speaks for itself. Her workmanship, artistry, and work ethic are evident in every cake she creates, and every interaction she has with a longtime customer or someone new. You will always receive the best.

Experience the passion and love that Nicole pours into her work. Become acquainted with Cakes by Coley, and you will understand the woman and heart behind the brand and taste the love in every bite.

Nicole “Coley” DeRosa—Survivor, Fighter, Entrepreneur, Businesswoman, Cake Artist, Baker Extraordinaire, Champion—is the proud owner and creator of Cakes by Coley LLC, a custom cake company located in Brooklyn, NY, specializing in amazing, delicious and one-of-a-kind creations for any and every occasion. Their mission is to provide beautiful works of edible art that are just as tasty as they are breathtaking. They pride themselves on providing outstanding service, focusing on superb attention to detail, and practicing expert artisanship with every one of their creations, no matter the size or price. They work hard continuously to exceed the expectations of all of their customers.

To experience the awesomeness that we have for the past few years, visit Cakes by Coley http://www.cakesbycoley.com/ Visit the FB and IG pages also. Be certain to check out the galleries on all three sites. https://www.facebook.com/CakesByColey/   https://www.instagram.com/cakesbycoley/

We salute you, Nicole “Coley” DeRosa! Thank you for being an example of strength, courage, and example of how to overcome obstacles with grace! You inspire us every single day! We stand with a heart full of love and happiness, proud to have you as part of the #SurpriseTheStruggling and The Stop Bullying Project® Family!

Celebrating Women’s History Month…Tonikwa “Precious” Johnson!



We continue our celebration of Women’s History Month! #SurpriseTheStruggling’s thirtieth highlight this month is the most caring and dedicated Tonikwa “Precious” Johnson—#SurpriseTheStruggling’s day one supporter, friend, family and number one Staten Island Ambassador. Tonikwa has been a long supporter of ours beginning with The Stop Bullying Project®. She has shown dedication, love, and a willingness to go above and beyond to support #STSGlobal mission to meet people where they’re at, surprising them in the midst of their struggles, letting them know that there are people who care about them and are not seeking to take from them, but only to give.

From the very onset of birthing #Surprisethestruggling, Tonikwa has been right there. She has been a major part of the success and reason for one of our most wonderful programs, #Surprisethestruggling Baby Shower. With Tonikwa’s dedication and foresight, we were able to implement a successful program that allows us to go into a woman’s shelter for mother and children—some who may have been the victim of domestic violence—and surprise them with a Baby Shower. Thanks to Tonikwa’s efforts and commitment, we are able not only to bestow the essentials upon these mothers for their newborn but also for the mothers themselves.

Tonikwa Precious Johnson, Staten Island Chief Ambassador, Teacher

Many people begin with you and are excited to be a part of the beginning stages of what seems like a good idea. They may even stay through the first couple of hurdles, but soon their involvement and dedication wane and you find yourself standing alone. Tonikwa has shown that she embodies the spirit and mission of #STSGlobal wholeheartedly and is with us for the long haul.

As our number one Staten Island Chief Ambassador, Tonikwa has made herself an invaluable part of the #STSGlobal family. She is an example of the kind of woman who is building a legacy of greatness, selflessness, and kindness. Truly, there really are no words that can aptly convey, what we feel in our hearts for this beautiful young woman who is making a difference in so many lives. We are excited to see what other great things come from our “Precious” Ambassador.

We not only honor Tonikwa today, we also celebrate her Birthday! It is with profound gratitude that we thank God for Tonikwa. For allowing us to share the gift that she is to so many. We are humbled by her dedication and commitment and ask that God will bless her in every endeavor that He has ordained for her life. Tonikwa deserves the moon and the stars, and we are believing that she will receive a hundred times over the love and generosity she has given to us.

Tonikwa “Precious” Johnson—Daughter, Sister, Friend, Teacher, Volunteer, Chief Ambassador—is a woman of dedication who gives selflessly to her family and friends. Tonikwa is a teacher’s assistant at United Cerebral Palsy and is currently studying for her degree in Early Childhood Education. Be certain to connect with her on FB:  https://www.facebook.com/tonikwa.p.johnson

We salute you, Tonikwa Johnson! Your light shines brightly and inspires us each day to give and be our best. We stand with a heart full of love and gratitude, proud and grateful to have you as part of the #SurpriseTheStruggling Family!

Celebrating Women’s History Month…Charlene Stewart!




Continuing our celebration of Women’s History Month, #SurpriseTheStruggling’s twenty-sixth highlight this month is the inspirational and loyal-to-a-fault Charlene Stewart—#SurpriseTheStruggling’s example of loyalty and dedication; our tried and true New York Ambassador. That one that will show up no matter what is going on; no matter how tired she may be; no matter what obstacles appear to be in the way—Charlene is faithful to her word and her commitments. #STSGlobal is BLESSED to have this woman be a part of our family. To be able to call her Ambassador, friend, sister, is an honor.

Rarely do you meet people these days that jump in first and ask questions later. They see a need and ask what they can do to help make that need dissipate. This is who Charlene is. When she learned of #STSGlobal, she did not hesitate to ask, How do I become an Ambassador? Moreover, What can I do to help and spread the word?

Charlene Stewart, MPA, Actress, Community Organizer, Change Agent

Do you not understand how valuable those characteristics are in a person? How, it sets them apart and endears them, making them that much more special to you? Charlene is a very special woman who lays it all on the line every day for her family and close friends. She is the kind of woman that you desire to be on your team, in your corner, to have as a sister and a friend. She embodies the mission and spirit of #STSGlobal wholeheartedly, making her an irreplaceable part of the #Surprisethestruggling tribe, and our success.

We have watched day after day, month after month since becoming an Ambassador how supportive and interactive Charlene is. She is not a woman who just speaks something and does something different. No. She is a woman of her word; putting her actions behind what she says. Charlene is creating a legacy of greatness that her family for generations to come, can be proud of and follow in her footsteps. She is a trailblazer going after what God has promised her, and we honor her today.

Charlene Stewart—Wife, Mother, Administrator, Scholar, Advocate, Coach, Mentor, MPA Public,  Actress, Community Organizer, Change Agent—is more than meets the eye. Alongside her list of accomplishments and accolades, Charlene currently works at the Community Coalition of East New York. She is the Community Visiting Coach and Community Representative at Bushwick Community Partnership Program. We encourage you to connect with Charlene on social media page:  https://www.facebook.com/pinkAMETHYST35

We salute you, Charlene Stewart! You Rock! Your loyalty, commitment, heart, and spirit inspire us each day. We are humbled and grateful to have you be a part of the #SurpriseTheStruggling Family!

Celebrating Women’s History Month…Hayley Gripp!



This March, celebrating Women’s History Month, #SurpriseTheStruggling will be highlighting the brilliant and beautiful women that help this organization to be what it is. Without their support, love, kindness, and dedication of each of these women, the #STSGLOBAL #hashtag campaign would have never made the strides it has this past year of service. These women bring their “A” game to all that they do! Be sure to follow their pages and get to know these powerful, brilliant, and beautiful women.

Our twenty-second highlight this month is the enterprising humanitarian Actress Hayley Gripp—#SurpriseTheStruggling’s day one supporter, and champion Ambassador. Hayley has also been a supporter and Ambassador for our sister organization, The Stop Bullying Project®. From the moment we met this darling of a soul, there were no false pretenses or conjectures about who she is or how huge a heart she has.

The #STSGlobal relationship with Hayley began with The Stop Bullying Project®. She showed an interest in who we were and what we were doing. Believing in our mission and the work that we are doing, she determined to support us without looking for anything in return. Her selfless support and act of love garnered her our gratefulness and undying gratitude.

American Actress Hayley Gripp, Humanitarian, Writer, Holistic Chef

When we launched #SurpriseTheStruggling, Hayley was there, also, lending her support and voice to our global mission and cause. Her heart and compassion for others are evident in all that Hayley does. Some people say what they will do and make promises but never follow through. Hayley is a woman of her word and her character above reproach. She has shown nothing but dedication, love, and respect for the work that we are doing in both organizations.

This past February, we were honored to have Hayley as a guest speaker at our inaugural Anniversary celebration. She traveled all the way from California to be with our guests and us. Hayley was warm, gracious, and uplifting, her words touching our hearts and the hearts of our guests.

There are no words to convey accurately what we horde in our hearts for Hayley. She has been one of our greatest champions. Her authentic spirit and humanitarian heart have endeared this beautiful actor to our hearts always.

Hayley Gripp—American Actress, Humanitarian, Businessperson, Holistic Chef, Published Writer—are just a few of her accomplishments and accolades. In 2013, Hayley made her debut in the entertainment industry as a print model; landing national ads for brands such as Verizon WirelessMurad SkincareTOF Cosmetics and As Seen On TV.

As an actress, Hayley has shot multiple commercials, has been a celebrity taste tester on Cupcake Wars, landed prominent roles on: CSI: Las Vegas, a reoccurring role on the Lifetime original series Killer Kids, a co-starring role in the Ginger Girls series and a role in the Lionsgate feature film The Vatican Tapes.

As someone who loves to give back, Hayley uses her influence to help others through her humanitarian work and many charitable endeavors. She played a prominent role in getting the anti-bullying law The IDEA Act and The CARE Bill passed and has spoken to 90k on the bullying epidemic. In 2017 Gripp will be launching her holistic lifestyle blog, publishing her first children’s book and is set to film two feature films. Currently, Hayley splits her time between Los Angeles, CA and New York City, NY.

Be certain to follow Hayley to stay abreast of all the phenomenal things she is up to and involved with, Instagram: @hayleygripp_official  twitter: @hayleygripp
facebook:@hayleygripp  IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm5872047/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1

We salute you, Hayley Gripp! Your compassion, selflessness, and dedication inspire us to greatness. Thank you, for your continued support. We are grateful to have you be a part of the #SurpriseTheStruggling Family!

Celebrating Women’s History Month…Theresa Vivian Moila!



We’re continuing our celebration of Women’s History Month! #SurpriseTheStruggling’s twenty-first highlight this month is the inspirational and selfless Advocate Theresa Vivian Moila—#SurpriseTheStruggling’s day one supporter, promoter, and our South African Chief Ambassador. Theresa has jumped in wholly to support and promote the work of not only #STSGlobal but also as an Ambassador for our sister organization, The Stop Bullying Project®. Theresa embodies the spirit of the mission of both organizations and continues to promote and share our mission and work with many others, near and far.

Theresa Vivian Moila, Chief Ambassador, Advocate, Champion

It is at times difficult to convey accurately with words what you hold in your heart for someone. The words do not always justify the depths of love and gratitude that you feel in your heart towards someone who means so much to you. That is how #STSGlobal feels towards Theresa. There are not enough words to justly describe how profoundly grateful we are to have Theresa as part of the #SurpriseTheStruggling family.

From the beginning, Theresa has been an invaluable part of #STSGlobal. She has gone out of her way to represent our mission in such a way that it has brought together like-minded people to share in our mission and to help aid us in reaching our goals of helping others. Because of her selflessness and continued support, we are able to do what we do and help not only surprise many homeless women and teen girls, but also those who may be struggling, and to bring awareness, as well to those who have suffered from bullying in any shape or form.

Theresa is an asset to our organization, and we are forever grateful that she chose us to lend her support, love, and dedication. We are and are able to do what we do because of beautiful souls like Theresa.

Theresa Vivian Moila—Chief Ambassador, Motivator, Educator, Activist, Humanitarian—is the Champion for many causes. She lends her voice and support to various organizations that have an impact on the way we live our lives, see the world, and treat one another in this world.

Theresa puts forth efforts to encourage others in the fight to bring awareness to the severity of violence against children. She is also an advocate for quality and accessible education. She fights to change the world one person; one life at a time. Please follow our dear Queen on her IG and FB pages to learn more about her and the awesome work she does and the organizations she supports. https://www.instagram.com/theresamoila/  https://www.facebook.com/Viv.moila 

We salute you, Theresa Vivian Moila! Your compassionate heart and dedication inspire us to be the best version of who we can be. Because of you, we are! We are grateful to have you be a part of the #SurpriseTheStruggling Family!

Celebrating Women’s History Month…Lucinda Cross-Otiti!




We’re continuing our celebration of  Women’s History Month! #SurpriseTheStruggling’s nineteenth highlight this month is the visionary and our forever Queen Boss Lucinda Cross-Otiti—#SurpriseTheStruggling’s number one Chief Activating Officer holds a very special place in the hearts of the #STSGlobal family. After some intimate time with Lucinda and some other very special women, the vision for #SurpriseTheStruggling was activated.

There are times in your life when you have a dream and a vision but you may not know what to do next. What steps you should take to make the visions of your heart manifest. When you are ready, God will send in someone(s) to get you to the next level and introduce you to a completely new way of thinking and seeing things. Some are switch activators. You have the dream and vision in you but you need someone to switch the power on, allowing your light to come forth. Our dear Lucinda was that switch activator. That person that God used to help get the power going for #STSGlobal.

Lucinda Cross-Otiti, Chief Activating Officer, Activate World Wide Inc.

We show much gratitude towards Lucinda today, and honor her for her love, continued support, encouragement, and words of wisdom for our organization. Lucinda most certainly embodies the spirit and mission of #STSGlobal. It is an honor to celebrate and acknowledge this phenomenal woman on her Birthday! To recognize her as a woman who is not only making history but is creating a trailblazing legacy of greatness for so many other women to follow!

Lucinda Cross-Otiti—Chief Activating Officer, Celebrity Life Coach, Author, TEDx Speaker—is the Founder of Activate World Wide Inc. Lucinda teaches entrepreneurial women and at-risk youth the foundations of living an extraordinary life against all odds. Her company is a boutique leadership services firm that specializes in the delivery of personal and professional development enrichment programs, such as: Adversity, Communication, Creativity, Goal-Setting, Productivity, Time Management, and Leadership.

Lucinda creates and delivers products and services such as seminars, workshops, and training that’s designed for entrepreneurial women, millennials and at-risk youth. Her programs are also captured to enriching the lives of professional women and re-entry citizens seeking personal growth. http://lucindacross.com

Get to know the Queen Boss who is changing lives by teaching people to activate the visions that are already in them. We salute you, Lucinda Cross-Otiti! You encourage us to walk in our visions! May this year of life be filled with answered prayers and continued manifestations of blessings! We are humbled to have you be a part of the #SurpriseTheStruggling Family!