If you had the opportunity to meet Karen Prescod today, the CEO and Founder of Bow Tie Kids, you wouldn’t guess that she had any struggles in life. But if you got to know her, or attended any of her public speaking engagements, you would learn about the struggles she had with chronic pain in her younger years.
This vibrant, outgoing advocate was once bound to a wheelchair and was unable to fully take care of herself due to severe pain that took years to work through. It was because of this pain and learning that she decided to make a difference by creating Bow Tie Kids.
Dealing with Pain
If you have ever suffered from pain, whether it be from an accident, a disease, or a pinched nerve, you know that if affects your life not just physically, but mentally and emotionally too. Now imagine that pain is every day, day in and day out, and then trying to deal with that complexity of feelings at the age of eight, ten, twelve, fourteen, just as you are going through your formative years and, of all things, puberty.
As if having a physical or emotional struggle isn’t hard enough, imagine trying to navigate the pain while going to school all day, trying to make friends and fit in, dealing with peer pressure, and worst yet, no one understanding your struggle.
Chronic (ongoing) pain is something that affects millions of people, and the plight of kids dealing with it is quite often left out of the discussion. That’s where Bow Tie Kids comes in, because it’s all about the kids.
Mission, Vision, Purpose
To support, nurture, and empower children and their families impacted by chronic pain, through education and support programming so that they can secure a better quality of life.
To create a network of support for all children impacted by the effects of chronic pain through personal development and empowerment, so they feel supported to establish a fully expressed, sustainable quality of life.
To increase the social and emotional learning capacity of children and families impacted by chronic pain to reduce the levels of anxiety, depression, isolation, poor self-concept, poor self-expression, opioid addiction and rates of suicide through interactive and experiential learning.
Although the organization is relatively new, their experience, determination and volunteers are making an impact. They are partnering with entities that bring a lot of clout to the table and are reaching into communities like never before.
To celebrate this, and acknowledge some of the amazing people among us, they created the “Courage and Confidence” awards program which will recognize unsung heroes of our community that make our community better every day.
Courage & Confidence Awards
The Courage & Confidence Awards highlight those who are willing to be courageous and confident in taking on their own lives as they advocate for the lives of others.
Awardees are being recognized in several different categories, and their efforts have made a huge impact in the communities they serve. Some of this years awardees are:
- Greg Young, aka “The Back Pack Barber”, who created a foundation that helps the homeless.
- Nichole Anderson, the BSO undersheriff, trail blazer and role model in the community.
- Mayor Justin Flippen (in memoriam), who was truly himself in the spotlight of public service and created a legacy in doing so.
- Manuel Oliver, the “Change the Ref” artist who had the courage to turn the pain from losing his son in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting into activism that reaches millions.
Each one of the awardees had the courage and/or confidence to stand up and make a difference in the community and the lives of millions.
Challenging Social Norms
This award program will not be like any other you have attended, because Bow Tie Kids works with the premise that we are all attractive and worthy in our own unique ways. So they have added a Fashion Show to the awards program, where the models will take the stage and challenge the social norms of beauty and fashion. Because beauty comes in all sizes, shapes, colors and diversities.
This fun-filled event with music, fashion, awards and great people and vibes will take place at The Venue in Wilton Manors, on Thursday, May 13th . If you would like to attend this inaugural event, please go to http://www.BowTieKids.org or call 888-884-9195. I think this is going to be one event that will make an impact on everyone in attendance!