There is beauty in music and song, beauty in the harmony of cooperation and positive interpersonal communication, beauty in well-spoken words, beauty inward as well as beauty outward. But few persons have the experience, talent, and desire not only to display such beauty but also to teach it. One rare person who does is Queen Yolanda.
Queen Yolanda is a beauty consultant who advises women and girls not just about makeup but also on their personal development, instructing them on both their inner and outer beauty. She is also an educator and lecturer, a professor who teaches not just how to be a confident public speaker but also how better to communicate in interpersonal relationships. And she is a singer and songwriter, a vocalist of soul, R&B, gospel, contemporary jazz, and disco.
If you've ever met Queen Yolanda, you’re immediately drawn to her infectious smile and gracious style. Born in Paterson, NJ, under the charismatic sign of Libra, she touches others with her magnetic persona. Her love of music and the arts generally, her embrace of the beauty within others, and her zeal for helping others are among her unmistakable and distinctive character traits.
From the beginning, Yolanda possessed exceptional talents. When a toddler, she'd walk boldly to reach for the keys on the piano, then listen and mimic the tones. As a teen, she kept others smiling by singing or storytelling. Throughout middle school, high school and college she’d often be found interacting or entertaining others. Her early years involved partaking in the high school band, Gospel choirs, and plays. The church, a very influential part of Queen Yolanda's life, was a catalyst to developing her community service awareness as well as her spirituality. Church leaders encouraged her to use her skills to coordinate events and serve as a youth leader. She also excelled as a director of her local church choir and its plays.
To sharpen her acting and communication skills, Queen Yolanda attended Montclair State University to obtain a B.A. in Speech & Theatre and an M.A in Communication Arts. She received a television production certificate from Cablevision and an honorary certificate of graduation from Barbizon School of Modeling. Through the years, she has also received numerous community service awards.
Early in her career, she worked on various projects as a fashion model (in Florida, Virginia and later, New Jersey), educator, and administrator for the public and private sector. She also started an event planning business, Finishing Touches by Yolanda, in which she coordinated community and fashion events in New Jersey.
She received additional performing arts training from various entities, including the National Association of Unknown Players. Queen Yolanda, the fashion model and event planner, would now add acting to her resume.
Yet, although acting and modeling were exciting, Queen Yolanda missed singing, and at the encouragement of a friend, she attended Chris Curry's So You Want to be a Star of New York for vocal instruction. The next part of her life and career was about to take center stage. And from that point opportunities presented themselves and her singing career began to take off. She would later meet Mary Wilson of the Supremes and work as her assistant for a few years. Fate enabled her to work on radio and live concert projects. She would continue to perform at public and private venues across the United States, as a solo artist, or duet with Bismillah Hafeez or with the girl group BJ & 40 Plus (BJ Frazier, Leslie Colyer-Brown, and June Lockett) or other R& B recording artists. She also performed on the theatrical stage (Cinderella Everafter, Fame Performing Arts; Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, Paterson Community Theatre). While acting, singing, and modeling, she’d also write poetry and inspirational writings and share them with others, her spoken-word presentations mesmerizing her audiences.
These experiences slowly forced a major turning point in her life. And from that point, Queen Yolanda set out to begin her life’s work: She was determined to use her vocal talents to educate, inspire, uplift and empower others.
Educating is nothing new to Queen Yolanda. For nearly 30 years she has been teaching in one forum or another. Beginning as a head instructor at the Barbizon School of Modeling in Jacksonville, Florida, where she taught self-development and modeling classes to adolescents and adults, she has never stopped giving out her wisdom in the classroom – at Friends and Families United, Inc. (Newark, NJ), William Paterson University (Wayne, NJ), New Jersey City University, Seton Hall University (South Orange, NJ), College of New Rochelle (New York), and for the past 15 years at Montclair State University.
And inspiring people to reach higher also flows naturally from the strong spiritual side of Queen Yolanda, who has delved into religious studies and attended Manhattan Bible Institute. (She recently completed the 2-year certificate program in Christian Studies at New York Theological Seminary and intends to pursue a Masters in Theology.)
So Queen Yolanda soon devised a plan to help contribute to cross-cultural education by bringing people of all backgrounds together through music and public communication. She thus set out to fuse her performing arts and communication background to educate and empower others.
Through her newest business venture, Power Jewels Management, she is doing just that. Empowering women, young and old, PJM is a professional personal development company that provides presentations, products, and resources that help women take responsibility for their own self-development and destiny.
Queen Yolanda’s mission is to inspire others to live as healthy human beings – to live at one’s fullest potential. It is about empowering others to respect self and others through the power of spoken word and song – empowering others to be and do their best! In short, it is about inspiring others through the power of spoken word and song.