PLWG Network: Today we are proudly featuring Mrs. Allison James-Frison, founder of Girls: Live, Love, Laugh, Inc.
Giving back to the community for which she was born and raised has always been important to Allison James. Allison is one of eight children born to the late Mr. Spencer L. James Sr. and Mrs. Zanna E. Hadley-James. Allison grew up in The Stella Wright Housing Projects of Newark, NJ. She was educated in the Newark Public School system and graduated from Central High School in 1987. When Allison was 17 years of age, she lost her father due to a violent stabbing. The death of her father left Allison’s mother a widow and responsible for raising her eight children on her own. When Allison was 26 years old, her mother lost a longtime battle with diabetes. Not having parents forced Allison and her siblings to rely on one another for strength and direction. Allison had faced personal struggles and obstacles as a teen and young adult. After her back then fiancée was shot and killed, she was determined to make a better life for herself. Allison worked to develop skills that would enable her to change her circumstances. Allison uses the adversities that she has overcome in her life as a catalyst of inspiration to young girls within her community. Fueled with the burning desire to make a difference in the lives of the “Allisons” of the world, came the emergence of Girls; Live, Love, Laugh, Inc. Allison believes that a little love, a helping hand, and guidance from someone who can relate to their real-life struggles, will make all the difference in a young girl’s life. Allison enlisted the assistance of other dynamic women from within her community who have had their own tragedy to triumph stories and yearned to make a difference. Girls; Live, Love, Laugh, Inc. was founded on a philosophy that with the proper tools, resources, leadership, and love, girls living in the inner city of Newark can beat the odds. The organization seeks to give all girls a chance to live, love, and laugh.
Presently, Allison is happily married to Andre Frison. While working as an Intermodal Service Specialist, Allison is pursuing her degree in Human and Social Services from Essex County College. She is also a Court Appointed Special Advocate for Children in Essex County.
In 2013, Allison spear-headed another community outreach initiative called Bags of Hope. During the winter months, she alone, distributed bags to Newark residents with the intentions of spreading hope into the crime infested, poverty stricken city streets. Allison is also an active member of Mt. Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church under the leadership of Pastor Rakeem S. Thomas Sr. Allison sits on the Board of Directors as Secretary for Stella Wright Reunion Organization. She is also the Board of Secretary for Central High School Alumni Association. Allison has been featured in NewarkPatch.com in an article entitled: Allison James Raises Confidence, Positive Energy for Newark’s Girls; she has also been featured in the Movement Magazine Volume 1 article entitled: 10 Power Moves by Women of Color: – Allison James “Makes a difference in young girls’ lives.” Allison was the Honoree of the 2013 Central High School Alumni Associates Award of Merit for Mentorship and Community Service. Allison passion is to be a mother in her community by giving back to those in her community that are in need.
PLWG Network: Allison, what is Girls Live, Love, Laugh, Inc.?
Allison James-Frison: Girls; Live, Love. Laugh, Inc. is a nonprofit organization focusing on 6-13 year old girls living with limited resources in the inner city of Newark, New Jersey and surrounding areas. Our vision is to empower girls by building self – esteem, proper etiquette, self -respect, bullying awareness and health/fitness. We aim to make a difference by removing obstacles that stand in their way, so that they can become respectable, successful, productive and happy young ladies.
PLWG Network: Please share with us the inspiration behind Girls, Live, Love, Laugh, Inc.
Allison James-Frison: Growing up in the projects in Newark, NJ I realized that we were treated differently and frowned on. I noticed that I was not provided the same resources that some of my friends were provided that did not live in the projects. I always told myself that one day when I was able I would start an all girls’ program to make sure that they all received the proper tools and resources to become successful , productive and happy young ladies.
PLWG Network: What are some of your goals for your organization?
Allison James-Frison: Our goal is to make a difference in young girls’ lives within our community, by providing a safe haven that allows the ladies to express themselves, explore new opportunities, and empowers them to become young professional and productive leaders of today’s society.
PLWG Network :What advice do you have for young African American/Black Girls?
Allison James-Frison: Each and every one of you was born with a book of matches in you. It’s up to you to light that fire in you. No matter what anyone tells you, you can’t do never give up on your dreams. You are important, you matter, and you belong in this world just as much as anyone else does.
PLWG Network: Thank you Mrs. Allison James-Frison for sharing with us. We are very pleased to have you and your organization on our team!
Website: www.girlslivelovelaugh.org ;
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