OUR STORY

Growing up in South Central Los Angeles, Jacqueline bore witness to countless injustices and disparaging circumstances within her neighborhood. Among countless issues, one that stuck with Jackie was the growing epidemic of chronic debilitating conditions in people of color, affecting not only adults within the community but also their children.

 

When she was 12, her father, and sole provider, fell ill. Shortly after, he had a stroke that left him partially disabled. Having her father in and out of the hospital took a massive toll on her young, impressionable mind and immensely impacted her life. Concerned about her father's well-being and being his support system, she did not get a chance to fully enjoy being a kid. As an adult, she realized that this was a common theme within her community, and she wanted to break the cycle. 

 

That idea led to the start of Your Special Day, a non-profit organization with the purpose of reminding boys and girls growing up in underserved communities that their circumstances do not define them. The objective of “Your Special Day” is to free these bright, beautiful children from their typical stressors and give them an opportunity to take some time to live and laugh while supporting and empowering their parents with additional services for the whole family.

Mission

Our mission is to empower and support parents living with debilitating chronic conditions and their children through education, referrals, nutrition, and special days.

 

Vision

We know it takes a village to raise a child. We envision an inclusive community free of disparities where both parents in need and their children can receive the support to thrive with dignity. 

 

Values

Dignity

             We value and respect everyone that we encounter.

Empowerment

             We believe all people regardless of their abilities should have autonomy and increase their agency.

Unity

             We believe that it is very important to unite families that include parents with debilitating chronic conditions.

Equity

             We believe that all families deserve access to opportunities and resources to thrive with dignity.

Community

             We believe in the African proverbs that “ it takes a village to raise a happy, and healthy child.” 

Well-being

             We are here to empower and advocate for the well-being of disabled families so they can continue to   participate in their own improvements in different areas of their lives.

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Meet Our Team

Co-Founder & CEO Jacqueline Evan

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A mother of five and a proud member of her community, Jackie continues to be active in Watts. In her spare time, she loves to cook and discover new recipes to make for her family. She has also transformed her life by diving into wellness to combat the health issues plaguing black women.

Over the last few years, she is proud to have been able to turn her plans for the organization into action!  Your Special Day has provided so many special days to service recipients as well as delivered fresh produce to various families in need!

Co-Founder & Programs Director Shekalia Johnson

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Shekalia Johnson is the co-founder of Your Special Day and Programs Director. She is
responsible for overseeing the programs, spending most of her time implementing and
setting goals according to the strategic objectives of the organization. Prior to forming Your
Special Day, she worked in a variety of industries but what truly made her heart sing was
working and volunteering extensively with local non-profits serving underrepresented groups.

Some of her work includes traveling around the country advocating for animal rights. Once off the road, she continued her crusade for animals in her full-time role as an animal rightsactivist for PETA where she produced content for the African American community on foodinjustices caused by systematic marginalization, on the cruel use of animals in differentindustries, as well as helping to bring justice to animal abusers. She also volunteered locallyin her community to provide plant-based nutrition classes for a period of time at her local YMCA. 

 

Growing up in South Los Angeles, Shekalia realized that she had a passion for working inher community to serve those in need, which led to the creation of the first non-profitserving disabled parents by prioritizing the needs of their children. She decided to becomeactive in her community and is now helping to lead the charge to provide parents withchronic conditions the support they deserve to continue bringing up bright and beautifulchildren.