California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

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Bay Area Star Gives Back

Vaughn is a media mogul, but is probably best known for her role on The Steve Harvey Show.

Well-known for her award-winning roles on “The Steve Harvey Show” and “All of Us,” Terri J. Vaughn, a CSU East Bay alumna, will soon be back in the Bay Area.

Vaughn’s Take Wings foundation will be holding a benefit gala on August 13 at the  Marriott Hotel in downtown San Francisco.

Vaughn has received three “Outstanding Supporting Actress” National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Image awards for her portrayal of Lovita Alizay Jenkins on the hit series “The Steve Harvey Show.”

She was also nominated for a BET comedy award for the humorous and invigorating  personality Vaughn brought to her character Jonelle Abrahams on UPN’s “All of Us.”

Aside from acting in small screen shows, Vaughn also does movies, her most recent being “Soul Ties.”

Vaughn has her own film production company, Nina Holiday Entertainment, acting as a solid mentor for young women and is in the process of opening her own bookstore.

Prior to landing on the red carpet of Hollywood, Vaughn was living right here in the Bay Area.

Vaughn was an advertising major at what was then CSU Hayward and while attending, one of her friends recruited her to participate in the Miss Black California pageant.

As it turned out, one of the pageant judges was also the producer of David E. Talbert’s touring play “Tellin It Like It Tiz,” which she ended up starring in.

From there, she went to Los Angeles and the rest is history.

“That’s how it all got started,” said Vaughn. “I guess I should thank my fellow Cal State Pioneer, Tony Hall for telling me about the pageant.”

Her determination and commitment to give back to her community led her to start her Take Wings foundation in 1997.

The organization aims at providing emotional support, motivation and inspiration for young girls between the ages of 13 and 18 growing up in at-risk communities or foster care in the Bay Area.

“I pray that we are creating a support system for them that continues to feed their spirits even after they walk away from us,” said Vaughn. “I pray that the day will come when foundations like Take Wings will no longer be needed because young girls, no matter where and how they grow up, will empower themselves to succeed in life at whatever they choose to do and still remember where they come from, so that they can be a blessing for those growing up behind them.”

Vaughn’s foundation hosts several weekend retreats and workshops with the girls in the program. The mission is to build up self-esteem levels and instill life skills through many positive experiences including volunteering in their own communities.

There are separate events for the graduating seniors, providing them as much support as possible during their final year in the foundation.

“I love watching them open up, share and embrace each other,” said Vaughn.  “It’s great to see them blossom and flourish with us and take that light with them wherever they go.”

This weekend, Take Wings will host its eighth annual awards benefit celebration, hosted by celebrity couple Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker.

The benefit raises funds for scholarships for the Take Wings girls. She awards 15 scholarships to girls who have not only been admitted into college, but have also attended all the life skills training workshops and completed their community service.

“I love sharing with the Bay Area community the girls successes and the work we are doing,” said Vaughn. “Of course I also love sharing my friends in the entertainment industry with my hometown family. It’s always an exciting time.”

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