Take Wings Foundation Hosts 15th Annual Angel Awards


Award winning actress Terri Vaughn. Photo by Lee Hubbard

Growing up in San Francisco’s Bay View Hunters Point in the 1980s and early 1990s, Terri Vaughn said she was faced with a lot of life choices. Choices from the streets, friends and circumstances that could have dramatically changed her life.

“Depending on the choice you made, those choices determined your path,” said Vaughn, an award winning actress. “I was fortunate enough to make good choices that led me to prosper.”

A graduate of Lowell High School in San Francisco and Cal State East Bay. Vaughn was in college, when she was selected to act in the stage play “Tellin it like Tiz” a 20-city tour play that kicked off her acting career. From there she appeared in the hit Ice Cube directed movie “Friday” and then “The Steve Harvey Show.”

Since then, she has been on numerous television series and films, and her career has taken off—but she has never forgotten where she came from. She wanted to help girls in her old neighborhood of Hunters Point and other similar communities in other parts of the San Francisco Bay Area, so she set up the “Take Wings” foundation

The Take Wings Foundation helps to mentor, inspire and provide opportunities for young girls 12-18, throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. This past weekend, it was Take Wings’ 15th year gala, in Downtown Oakland at the Overlook Lounge.

The organization selected this year’s “Angel” honorees—Charleston Pierce, a life coach and model, and Dr. Nyeisha DeWitt, the co-founder of “Oakland Natives Give Back.”

“Every year we recognize the people that are doing the daily work helping girls around the Bay Area,” Vaughn said.

Dr Nyeisha DeWitt (left) , Executive Director of Oakland Natives Give Back, poses with Shari Lynn Chadwick, a ‘Take Wings’ volunteer and supporter after receiving an Angel award.

Pierce, also a native of San Francisco Bay View’s Hunters Point, and also an actor, was acknowledged for his work in holding workshops and teaching acting classes to young ladies in San Francisco and Menlo Park. DeWitt, an Oakland native, helps to organize an annual backpack give-away and she fights high school delinquency in a partnership with the Oakland Unified School District.

The Take Wings Foundation began with Vaughn reaching out to young teenage girls in Hunter’s Point, going to dinners and talks.

Now in its fifteenth year, it has become a Bay Area organization that deals with the multitude of issues young girls go through in inner city communities.

“The aim of our foundation is to help build the self esteem of young girls,” said Tracy Vaughn, Terri’s younger sister and the President of the Take Wings Foundation. “We partner with other organizations to help provide opportunities to the girls in our program. Our girls are dealing with a lot of real life stuff and we connect them with schools, therapy and things that will help them prosper and achieve.”

“Take Wings” has serviced hundreds of girls over the years, The foundation also holds various workshops, youth summits, retreats, community service projects and an annual holiday awards dinner.

“The goal is to inspire young girls to make good choices and open up opportunities for them,” Vaughn said.



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