DENISE BLAKE, C'88

Spelman Woman To Watch -- Kwajelyn Jackson
Spelman Woman To Watch -- Kwajelyn Jackson
Spelman Woman To Watch -- Kwajelyn Jackson

My focus is on developing and mentoring young professionals to identify their true passions.

DENISE Making It Do What It Do: Denise has "the honor of serving as executive director at WINGS for kids - Atlanta; a nonprofit focused on critical development and social skills for children. At WINGS, we teach social-emotional skills to underserved elementary school kids during the afterschool hours. It's a research-driven approach to student success that empowers young scholars to make good decisions, develop an emotional vocabulary, develop strong relationships, and do better in school."

Playa Hatin'? Miss Me With That. Please And Thank You: At this point in my life, I'm no longer "career-pathing." My focus is on developing and mentoring young professionals to identify their career interests, particularly as they relate to entrepreneurship."

My News Source In An Apocalypse Is: "I choose Jet Magazine from a nostalgia perspective. I remember Jet growing up and seeing all the glamorous photos of Black celebrities. It was one of the few publications at the time that unapologetically featured positive Black images." Bottomless Brunch or Happy Hour Tapas?: "Ooh, hard choice. I'm a foodie, so I'm drawn to both. But I'll go with Happy Hour Tapas cause I get to graze :)."

Meet The Urban Gardener: "I've become an avid urban gardener and proponent of organic foods. Each spring and summer, most of the produce that I eat is grown in my own backyard. I think many medical conditions, especially those that disproportionately affect our communities, can be managed through healthier eating. I love to teach others to grow what they eat." 

DENISE Is The Daredevil Adventurer: "I tend to thrive on the unexpected. At the age of 30 I relocated nearly 650 miles to a new city for a job opportunity. At age 40 I learned to play guitar. I may not be shredding but I can play some mean 70s Classic Rock. On my 50th birthday I went zip-lining over the St. Lawrence River in Montreal. I find it's most fun when I'm challenged and slightly terrified." 

DENISE'S Plan For World Domination: “Empowerment is the foundation of my career. I want to empower people so that they uplift themselves beyond their current situation, often a generational poverty cycle. At some point in the future I hope to establish a nonprofit that empowers women to become entrepreneurs. But for now my focus is on expanding WINGS Atlanta and working with kids. It is extremely satisfying because I have a direct hand in preparing elementary school age-youth to be productive and successful. Together with my team, we impart guidance, training, and mentoring in a safe place that is sure to positively manifest. This mentored after school time is so important to helping kids, many of whom come from vulnerable backgrounds. In fact, I’m hoping to recruit several dynamic college students to come to WINGS Atlanta and become mentors, also known as WINGSLeaders. We’ve got some awesome mentors and need a few more.”

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