The Inspiring Women of 2023 award is a prestigious recognition of the women who have demonstrated excellence, innovation, leadership, and social responsibility in various domains. The award aims to celebrate and empower women who are role models for the next generation of leaders and changemakers. We hope that you will enjoy learning more about these amazing women who have inspired us all.
PASSIONAIRE Magazine is proud to present the Inspiring Women of 2023, a special edition, that features the stories and achievements of women who are leading the way in various fields and sectors. These women have a vision for the future that is bold, innovative and inclusive. They share their insights, challenges and lessons learned from their journeys of success and impact. Whether they are entrepreneurs, activists, scientists, artists or educators, they are all passionaires who are making a difference in the world.
Laureen Alexa Trujillo has a background in acting, modeling, and fitness and has been in various commercials, campaign ads, and tv shows. She has a heart for Jesus, and a passion for helping people live their best lives physically, mentally, and spiritually. As a sought-out writer, she has been a content contributor for Iridescentwomen.com, MOBOT, and other nationally known organizations where she wrote articles about faith, life, relationships, and health.
She recently had a book signing at Barnes & Noble The Grove, launched an online faith-based fitness community called StrengthxGlory, hosts virtual faith and fitness conferences that will evolve into live events, and has stepped into public speaking sharing her testimony at churches and nonprofit organizations.
When she is not working, writing, creating, studying, working out, or being a social butterfly, people will find her cuddled up with her dog and a cup of coffee (or two). “Festival in the Desert” is her first publication.
You are such a positive person, Laureen, what two words best describe you and why?
Resilient and genuine - of all the words that most have used to describe me, these two are the most common. Resilient because the Lord always helps me bounce back stronger from setbacks and genuine because what you see is what you get. I desire to always be a woman who continues to rise and look for opportunities to grow from adversity. I also value true connection with others and will always aim to be the same person in all circumstances.
Lorraine McFadden Bell, Soprano is a retired Assistant Professor of Voice at Hampton University. She served on the faculty for twenty -four years teaching Opera, Music Business and Vocal Performance. Her teaching experience covers over forty years.
She performed Opera, Broadway, and Jazz and lectured on the contributions of African American composers to spirituals and Art Songs. She has the distinction of having twelve vocal compositions written specifically for her voice by the Internationally recognized composer, Dr. Adolphus Hailstork.
Mrs. Bell continues to perform and teach private voice. She has also become the Director of the Music Ministry at Carver Memorial Presbyterian Church which presented her with the challenge of sustaining a music program during the Pandemic. Being the warrior that she is, she implemented “The Choir Experiment”. Each choir member was given voice lessons and prepared for solos and duets. This gave them purpose and a reason to keep singing through that dark moment. It worked! Today we are a stronger ministry and she has found a new opportunity to inspire and grow.
Mrs. Bell is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Lambda Omega Chapter; Tidewater Area Musicians' Inc. and Sigma Alpha Iota International Women’s Music Fraternity to name just a few of her affiliations.
Mrs. Bell resides in Hampton, Virginia with her husband, daughter, three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
What two words best describe you and why?
The best two words to describe me are “Warrior” and “Blessed”. I am a warrior because I am willing to meet the challenges and obstacles that could prevent me from having an abundant and successful life. “Blessed” because I recognize the myriad of blessings that have manifested to demonstrate the power and presence of God that brings the good and the perfect. It simply brings me to tears of perpetual joy.
Amber Patrice Garrett is an honors graduate of both Hampton University and The Boston Conservatory.
Being reviewed as having a “robust connected voice with intense conviction”, Ms. Garrett’s accomplishments are diverse and noteworthy, including performing for dignitaries around the world and collaborating with organizations such as the TODAY Television Show, Virginia Opera, Chautauqua Opera in as a Studio Artist for two seasons, Des Moines Metro Opera as a Apprentice Artist, Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Got Black Listed, River City Opera, and Chrysler Museum just to name a few. She also made her European Debut in Naples, Italy and along the Amalfi Coast. Seeking diversity in her artistry, Amber arranged, produced, and released her Debut Album “Project
Journey: Inspirational Songs and Hymns”. Most recently, Ms. Garrett debuted two roles on the 2023 GRAMMY Nominated Best Opera Recording Album X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X with Odyssey Opera. On this recording, Amber is the first to ever record the music for the role Queen Mother.
This “thrilling artist” has made it her mission to seek inclusion in classical music and provide genuine, transparent, heartfelt performances that every viewer and listener deserves.
Tell us a little about yourself. What two words best describe you and why?
This is hard. LOL. I’m sure the answer may change depending on who you talk to or the day you ask. But the words I would choose are Genuine because I approach everything with a pure heart to be a safe space not only for myself but for others. When you do that, everything else flows as it should. And, Diligent because once the idea has formed in my mind, I have to see it through with the respect it deserves. That’s with work, relationships, personally. I always fully show up.
H.A., it's a pleasure to have you in this special edition of PASSIONAIRE Magazine's Inspiring Women of 2023. Before we get started tell us about yourself; who are you?
I am H.A. Mitchell and I am from Hutchinson, Kansas. I am a lifelong trauma survivor and I wrote a book with the intention of helping children come to terms with their traumas.
I've found that 'survivors' have a determined mindset. What two words best describe you and why?
Probably stubborn and funny. I am a Taurus so I am inherently stubborn by nature, but if I want something I won’t stop until I achieve it. I also have the innate ability to come up with things off the top of my head that always make people laugh. It’s such a great thing because I love making people laugh.
I love that you decided to write a book geared for children. Unfortunately, years later, people forget about the mental health of kids after trauma; they've moved on. What is the name of your book?
My book is called I Promise It’s Not Your Fault
Your book is available on Amazon. Tell us about the main character.
The main character is Ben. Ben is a little boy who has experienced a lot of trauma in his short life. Like others who have suffered he felt dirty disgusting and damaged due to all of the different traumas. His best friend Alex steps into superhero mode to help his best friend see that not only are the traumas, not his fault, but that he deserves to be loved and wanted just like everyone else.
Dr. Maye received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Virginia State University and The University of Michigan, respectively, and her doctoral degree from Nova Southeastern University.
She is the mother of an awesome adult son and daughter-in-law; sister of an older and younger brother, a classically trained performer of vocal music; a university pageant director, a Deacon, and Elder in the Presbyterian church where she serves in the choir and as a member of the Session.
After 49 years, a recently retired Hampton University Administrator and Professor of Music.
Dr. Maye, what two words would you say best describe you and why?
Dependable and compassionate are two words among others that may best describe me. These words are important because of how they matter during human interaction. I dislike letting people down, so I do not carelessly commit to something I cannot or do not want to do. I want to be known as one who is dependable. Being compassionate makes me less inclined to judge others. To first put myself in their place immediately makes me consider a person’s needs, not my personal reaction or judgment.