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2 years ago

WOMEN OF WESTERN NEW YORK

JoAnna Wingo Mrs. JoAnna

JoAnna Wingo Mrs. JoAnna Wingo defines success as the achievement of goals and the end result of those goals bringing you happiness. She feels true success comes from finding happiness and joy with one’s self and what’s going on around them. Her happiness she explains is non-existent if it does not align with God’s will. If you have ever had the privilege of being in the same room with JoAnna, you know she has a vibrant personality and a smile that is truly genuine. Always leading the charge on issues such as education, women empowerment, economics, and most important to her - bringing the black family and community together. She is truly a passionate and powerful woman to both watch and emulate. women have mostly been carrying the burden of taking care of the family and community. JoAnna Wingo JoAnna Wingo is an educator for Buffalo Public Schools with nine years experience and is also the Director for the Boys & Girls Club of Buffalo. She is also a mother of five with four daughters and a son. Explaining that she and her husband were soul mates from the very first glance, Joanna feels it is her personal responsibility to contribute towards urban youth receiving a quality education that allows them to compete internationally. She feels she did not have access to mentors or a support network to help prepare her for higher education. She remembers spending time taking prep classes at Niagara University and having to work even harder at Canisius College. As a junior in college, she began working with Boys & Girls Clubs. She loved being there for the children and providing the guidance that is truly life changing for many youth here in Buffalo. JoAnna feels that Black women have mostly been carrying the burden of taking care of the family and community. And that often they put themselves on the back burner. She encourages women to take time out for themselves to relax and rejuvenate. She believes Black women are intelligent and talented, yet not enough people are watering the plant. JoAnna personally makes time for prayer, working out, foot massages, shopping, and getting her nails done. She would love for Black men to rally more for African American women. She believes that building strong families results in strong communities both spiritually and economically. While what is taught in school is great, JoAnna goes beyond the common core. As the Director of the Boys & Girls Club, she is not sitting idly by in an office. Rather, she is teaching our youth about finances and job opportunities. Challenging young males to think beyond professional sports and seek employment in fields such as engineering, medicine, law, and business. She discusses money management with young ladies and the importance of respect, both how to command it and also give it. She is always giving her daughters a role mode they can be proud of. There are a lot of changes happening within Buffalo and, similar to the California Gold Rush, she feels people in our community should seize this opportunity. She understands wholeheartedly that the youth are our future. She is truly a woman to watch! In putting God first, her family second, and community third, there is nothing that will hold her back! photo by Xavier’s

Davitta Alexander Life, Love and the Law We often hear about lawyers getting a bad reputation. The profession as a whole is often given grievances for being unethical. Ironically enough, it is one of the few professions that is policed by ethical rules and failure to follow said rules of professional conduct can lead to a lawyer losing the right to practice or more commonly know as being disbarred. Do not pass GO and do not collect $200! Divitta Alexander disagrees with this notion of the profession, stating that being a lawyer is a service job. You are helping those with a problem they can’t handle themselves. As a young girl growing up she always wanted to become a lawyer and it is rare a person can live out their childhood dreams. Her story is powerful and filled with motivation for us to pull from. Why is Divitta Alexander a woman to watch? See for yourself! A City Honors graduate, she went on to the University of Michigan. It was here Divitta was inspired by her math professor to pursue a degree in applied mathematics. This would allow her to teach classes at Buffalo State College such as Algebra and Geometry. She had decided the next move for her would be to get her Masters in Business Administration (MBA). But after taking the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), she decided an MBA would not be the best choice. It was at this time, during the mid-90’s, that companies such as Enron were going through turmoil. As a result, she found graduates with an MBA had hard times getting jobs. Divitta then took some time off and got a job working as a secretary in a law firm. It was while working here she decided to chase her dream of becoming a lawyer and applied to law school. Our very own SUNY Buffalo Law School made the great choice in accepting her! Anyone who has attempted to pursue a degree in law understands the time and hard work required to finish. However, imagine having a six-month year when you began law school? Still not tough enough for you? Okay what if you had a second child during law school? Now, I have your attention. But let me also add to the equation that you do not take any time off from school. So now, you are a mother, full-time law student, and nothing is free in life so Davitta Alexander Counselor by Chris Killings you also work a full time job. It would have been easy to make any number of excuses. Divitta Alexander made none and completed her law degree at U.B. She remembers she took two months off of work and gave studying for the New York state Bar exam her full attention. She passed the first time stating, “I had to pass the first time because I could not afford to spend more time studying for it. My children depended on me.” And she did not let them down, as she steps up to the plate time and time again. As a lawyer, she works with a focus on transactional law as it relates to commercial real estate and affordable housing. She is the dealmaker on your team making phone calls, reviewing documents and drawing up contracts. Ultimately, bringing two parties together so that a vacant lot can begin development or two companies can agree on terms of development. With the ongoing development in the city, Divitta is keeping busy. While working in this area of law, Divitta has learned a lot from her various mentors and has developed great technical skills . She has recently started her own law firm! I know what you’re thinking. She went from taking calls as a secretary to having to put you on hold because businesses are calling her. Divitta Alexander, Esq. Divitta Alexander PLLC 50 Fountain Plaza, Suite 1400-122 Buffalo, New York 14202 Phone: (716) 725-3123 photo by Xavier’s

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