Founder of Runway 4 Peace
DeNika Turner-Stephens, born and raised in Compton, Ca. She is a wife to her high school sweetheart, a mother to their awesome son, a mail lady for USPS and the founder of a non-profit organization, Runway 4 Peace, Inc. Her overall goal in life is to work hard to provide a great living for herself and an extravagant life for her family. The way her faith is setup in God, she knows He already has it written out for her to achieve it.
What called you to start Runway 4 Peace and how did it all come together?
I was called to start Runway 4 Peace based on my passion to model and the lack of activities within my community while growing up. Modeling was something I've always dreamed of doing; however, the city of Compton did not provide a program such as that. When I got old enough to travel around, I started living out my dream of modeling throughout different locations. It was definitely frustrating because often times, I did not meet the industry's standards. Due to the fact that I was not 5'9, super slim, and/or have strong facial features, I was not selected for the show.
That is when I made a promise to myself, I wanted to create a program where young women who had interest in modeling could have a starting point. Unfortunately, there was a minor setback. My niece, Erica Miranda was shot 3 times at the age of 10 (March 2010), while playing outside of her home. It was fortunate that God blessed her to live and she is now walking again. After tragic struck, I was eager to raise awareness towards the STOP THE VIOLENCE cause. I've known many people who have been killed due to violence. As for my major comeback, I finally came up with the name Runway 4 Peace for my organization to create and showcase positivity in our community.
I produced my first successful fashion show in June 2012. After 2 years past, I better prepared myself to produce the most anticipated fashion show in city of Compton. With over 150 attendees, the Runway 4 Peace Fashion Show made it on LA Times website and blew people minds' due to the purpose behind this unconventional event.
I also have a program called W.E.R.K for ages 4 and up, which is a Women's Empowerment Runway Klass to create a dynamic influence on young girls by presenting the fundamentals of uplifting, self-love, and great confidence through a fierce catwalk.
How do you balance Full-Time Work, Family and Runway 4 Peace?
Honestly it can be a struggle when I am preparing for an event. Working as a full-time mail lady is draining within itself but when I am delivering mail, I am also on my phone, researching, networking, and planning. It's like I have 2 jobs in one. I need my job to meet my financial needs but Runway 4 Peace is where my heart is. Eventually I will become stable enough to make it full-time organization.
In the meantime I use my off days to do as much as possible; give back to my community, host my W.E.R.K program, and spend quality time with my family.
Family time is very important but can be difficult as well, being that our schedules are everywhere. However, Sunday is our family day, while other days we make time to go places, relax, watch tv, and/or have GAME DAY!!!
The key to our relationship is SUPPORT. My husband and I have some-what high expectations of ourselves, so we are always talking about our dreams and goals. We know there may be sacrifices but we understand that. When it comes to our son, the goal is to give him what we didn't have while growing up but also teaching him to be appreciative for everything that he does have.
Advice you would give to someone who feels they don’t have the time to give back because they work Full-Time, or are too busy:
There is always time! It just depends on what you are willing to sacrifice, even if that means skipping a nap, lunch break or social media time. No one can ever be too busy for something God has called you to do. It must be something that you are passionate about and not forced to do.
How can we contact you and/or learn more about Runway 4 Peace?
To learn more about Runway 4 Peace, Inc visit our website at www.Runway4Peace.com
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If you would like to contact me directly email me at firstname.lastname@example.org