The Young, Gifted & Empowered Awards (YG&E) was started in 2015 to help remedy the negative stories being told about Blacks in the media. Founder, Shameka Reed, wanted to tell the untold stories of young-African Americans from Mississippi and the south who are beating the odds, ignoring the noise and positively effecting change at local, national and global levels. Since then, YG&E has honored more than 30 individuals. YG&E honors young professional who are champions in art, education, innovation, leadership, entrepreneurship, and philanthropy. The honorees are between the ages of 25-45 and have demonstrated a noteworthy commitment to excellence and community service; high levels of character, professionalism and integrity. Past honorees include celebrity photographer Derek Blanks; Sheena Allen, founder of Capway, mobile banking for the underserved; DeMario Davis, who plays for the New Orleans Saints and is a philanthropist; and Nashlie Cephus whose start-up was acquired by Amazon. The first-class production is televised and incorporates multi-media production, musical and theatrical performances. In 2019, YG&E hosted its first Youth Summit with the Michelle Obama Early College Program and obtained its non-profit status (501c3).
"Education means hope. Everyone knows that children can accomplish whatever they make up in their minds to accomplish." ---Dr. Chinelo Evans
Young, Gifted & Empowered is dedicated to telling the stories of young African American professionals who are positively impacting the world.
Young, Gifted & Empowered will be the premiere awards show and community organization for recognizing young African American professionals between the ages of 25-45.