We want to recognize and celebrate Black History Month, which was created to commemorate the contributions to our nation made by people of African descent. As part of the celebration, we want to highlight former Magnolia Project participant Renisha Stewart, who is history in the making! Renisha has been an advocate and a volunteer, and is pursuing a career as a respiratory technician. She is currently heading a Magnolia Project Community Council to engage teens and women like her in services!
I joined the Magnolia Project at the age of 13. After completing high school and beginning college, I was able to still receive clinic services and participate in weekly meetings due to the assistance from my case manager.
I graduated from the 16-week Leadership Academy training class, nominated by my case manager who also helped me to accomplish my goals. I had the honor to advocate for funding in Washington D.C. and in Tallahassee, FL. with board member Rev. Tommy Rogers, then Magnolia Project Director Faye Johnson (now CEO) and then Executive Director Jennifer Gornto. The experience was priceless.
During that time, I volunteered for many years for the March of Dimes, participated in the several of the fund raising walks, and National Women’s Health week, sharing my story with state representatives Corrine Brown and Mia Jones.
Growing up in a high teen pregnancy zip code, the women of the Magnolia Project TRIED THEIR BEST to keep me active in positive activities and because of this, I’m currently employed at UF Health Jacksonville as a Respiratory Technician for 3 years. I am also excited to give back and help the Magnolia Project by leading their community council!