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Honoring The Accomplishments Of Women: Tolulope O. Omokaiye


Tolulope O. Omokaiye, MBA, is the Founder & CEO of Evolve Mentoring Inc., a nonprofit that prepares young adults for adulthood. The Chicago, Illinois native attended North Carolina Central University, where she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in 2006 and obtained her Masters in Business Administration from Meredith College in 2013. She followed her purpose and passion by founding EVOLVE Mentoring, Inc. in 2011 to help assist youth in their personal development.


Tolulope Omekaiya after accepting the Spectacular Magazine 2016 Woman of the Year Award – Emerging Leader (Photo: Mel Brown)

EVOLVE Mentoring, Inc. is a youth empowerment 501(c)3 nonprofit organization focused on holistically preparing students for life after graduation. Tolulope’s work empowers young adults, ages 14 – 24, by demonstrating the importance of financial management, professional development, personal health, and social responsibility. This is accomplished using hands on real world experiences, life skills training exercises, and mentoring. Their goal is to assist in the evolution from youth to well-rounded adult by acting as a bridge to the real world. To date EVOLVE has since impacted over 500 young adults in the Raleigh/Durham area.

Tolulope O. Omokaiye, MBA was honored as Spectacular Magazine’s 2016 Woman of the Year – Emerging Leader and Radio One’s 2016 Empowering Woman: Triangle Trailblazer. In 2016 Spectacular Magazine published the following questionnaire completed by Tolulope (responses in bold).

Describe what

makes you a successful leader in the area for which you were honored?  

It is my purpose to serve our youth and future generations. I am very passionate person and I believe that true leadership is transformative. Through EVOLVE Mentoring, I am able to combine my passion, purpose and transformative leadership to change the lives of amazing young adults by educating and exposing them to necessary skills in a way that’s relatable and fun. I see potential in all of our young people. My tenacity, resilience and drive to see that spark manifest itself into actualized success is a big component to what make me a successful Emerging Leader.

Can you name a person who has had a tremendous impact on you as a leader? Maybe someone who has been a mentor to you? Why and how did this person impact your life?

It’s hard to name just one person. I have been mentored and impacted by a tribe of wonderful people throughout my life. From my family to the inspiring people I’ve met and gleaned from along the way, my current mentors or Leadership Triangle more recently. But I can truly say Kim Harrison’s influence on me shifted my perspective on life and its possibilities. Ms. Harrison was my high school business instructor at Enloe High School, Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) advisor and first teacher to take real interest in my personal growth. She convinced me to join FBLA because she saw something in me that I couldn’t see in myself and pushed me to grow in alignment with it. Her business class was the first I had ever taken and with her direction I won multiple awards in FBLA.  She helped me build confidence and the ability to see my worth as a person. She showed me the impact I could have on the world and taught me to understand my duty to rise to the occasion. She is a bold, driven, giving, loving and brilliant woman all while maintain a level of realest that demands respect. The thought of being able to impact just one young person the way she has impacted me makes me tear up a little bit. Ms. Harrison truly changed my life There’s no way I could thank her enough….Thank you, Mama H!!

What problem or condition in your respective field do you want to solve or improve?

EVOLVE Mentoring teaches life skills to youth. We work to empower young adults by demonstrating the importance of financial management, professional development, personal health, and social responsibility. Our goal is help improve the condition of generational lack of knowledge that plagues our communities. Behaviors exhibited by parents will likely be reflected in their children, whether good or bad. By teaching youth skills like proper money management and personal health not only builds their confidence, but also ensures the progression of themselves, their family and future generations. We all know that knowledge is power, but some communities are kept powerless through restricted access to true education in and out of school. Our purpose is to stand in the gap to improve that condition.

What legacy will you like to leave behind?

The legacy that I leave behind will be reflected in the lives of the youth I’ve reached. I pray that it’s a shining example of the power of change through knowledge and growth. I hope someone can think of me and see that through all of our possible flaws we can still be effective and impactful in the life of someone deserving. I pray that just as a flame was sparked and nurtured in me; I am able to pass along that torch to as many as possible. I would love to be remembered as a passionate part of the solution.


In May 2018 Spectacular Magazine will recognize the brightest innovators and game-changers between the ages of 18-35 who are transforming the world in their own way with the inaugural Spectacular Magazine Millennial of the Year Awards in the categories of Arts, Activism, Athletics, Beauty, Community Service, Education, Entrepreneurship, Health & Fitness, Public Figure & Technology.

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Phyllis Coley
Phyllis D. Coley is CEO/Publisher of Spectacular Magazine and Host of Spectacular Magazine Radio Show. With a B.A. in English from NCCU, the Durham native began her professional career as Promotions/Marketing Director for New York City’s WKTU-FM. While at the radio station, Coley discovered the rap group Kid ‘n Play and managed them for five years, guiding their music and movie careers to success. Moving back to Durham, Coley produced a nationally syndicated television show, The Electric Factory, while working as News Director for FOXY 107/104. In April 2002, recognizing a void in highlighting the achievements of African Americans, she started her own business publishing ACE Magazine. Coley launched Spectacular Magazine in November 2004. Recognizing the lack of pertinent and truthful information, Coley began Spectacular Magazine Radio Show in March 2009. Coley is the organizer of Durham's Annual MLK/Black History Month Parade and the Annual North Carolina Juneteenth Celebration. She currently serves on Central Children’s Home Board of Directors, Raleigh Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Advisors, as Immediate Past Secretary of the Durham Rotary Club Board of Directors and is one of the founding members of the Triangle United Way’s African American Leadership Initiative.

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