Reaching for the summit

Premadonna Braddick gives hope to young girls facing challenges.



Premadonna Braddick is the founder of the Girls’ Teen Summit, which brings positive female role models together to encourage, educate and empower at-risk teen girls in the Tulsa area.

Evan Taylor

Some people are dealt a bad hand. Born into poverty, abuse, neglect, addiction ... coming out a winner is difficult. 

But a few rise above. They have an inner compass so focused on climbing out of life’s darkest struggles, they become a beacon of light.  

Premadonna Braddick, founder of the Girls’ Teen Summit, is one such shining example of hope.

Coming from impoverished beginnings, Braddick grew up in foster care because her biological parents had drug habits and criminal records. 

A victim of abuse in several California foster homes, she had a severe speech impediment and a learning disability and endured bullying at school and at home.

Most would’ve spiraled downward, but not Braddick. 

“It doesn’t have to be that way,” she told herself. 

At age 15, she started working 10- to 12-hour fast food shifts during summer and holiday breaks. She saved enough money to eventually attend college at San Jose University, where she majored in communications. She instinctively found mentors whose wisdom she respected.

As a teenager, she attended church alone. Her pastor, Bishop Ernestine Cleveland Reems, a board member of Oral Roberts University, encouraged Braddick to continue her education there. 

While earning a double master’s degree in Christian counseling and family and marriage counseling, Braddick learned Oklahoma has the highest percentage of incarcerated women in the nation.

Additionally, she learned that over 400,000 U.S. children are in foster care. Of those who age out at 18, 74 percent will be incarcerated within two years, 25 percent will become homeless and 70 percent of females will become pregnant. One out of four will develop PTSD, and only 3 percent will earn a college degree.

It became Braddick’s passion to help prevent these outcomes in the lives of young girls.

“If we can reach at-risk teen girls before they become a statistic, how great would that be?” she thought.

In 2012, she put together a platform of female speakers to demonstrate overcoming life’s challenges. Named the Girls’ Teen Summit, the event targeted seventh- through 12th-grade girls in the Tulsa metro area. 

Approximately 120 girls attended the first year. To date, more than 300 have participated. Braddick promotes the summit to Tulsa-area high schools, youth shelters and group homes.

Through her nonprofit, Soaring Eagles Youth and Family Services, Braddick offers counseling, mentorship and workshops at GTS. 

Financial support comes from various fundraisers throughout the year and community partnerships. The nonprofit received its first
operational grant last year from the Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation.

Teens at GTS learn about topics such as college readiness, financial literacy, red flags about dating, health and fitness and the importance of resilience. They also learn to value themselves, Braddick says.

She recalls one GTS participant who “came up to the mic, crying ... She had never shared her story (of witnessing her stepfather abuse her mother), but felt safe enough to talk, without judgment” from staff and participants. The girl shared her underlying anger, defiance of authority and suspensions from school. 

“She said, ‘I know I have to do better with my life, and I can’t continue to carry this anger and pain with me any longer,’” Braddick
recalls.

Sonia Brown, shelter coordinator for Youth Services of Tulsa, regularly accompanies girls to the summit.

“It’s so powerful,” she says. “One young lady said her whole life had changed. It’s phenomenal ... and so much fun.”

Brown calls Braddick “quite the person; modest, passionate, visionary.” 

“Premadonna’s enthusiasm is infectious,” agrees Angel Harris, a college student and former GTS participant. Her favorite workshop, “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” discussed domestic violence and bullying and how to avoid the trap of sex trafficking.  

In 2014, Braddick started the monthly “Real Life, Real Talk” series to help GTS alumni stay connected. The workshops are one Saturday a month during the school year. 

At all of her events, Braddick tries to instill in teen girls the advice that was given to her.

“Don’t just accept the story that is given to you,” she says. “We’re helping individuals rewrite their stories.”

 


April 1-2 

Girls’ Teen Summit 

Registration: 2-4 p.m., Friday, and 7-8 a.m., Saturday; summit: 4-8:30 p.m., Friday, and 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Saturday. Tulsa Dream Center, 200 W. 46th St. N. Free. Advance registration is requested; call 918-739-8336 to register. Visit www.facebook.com/girlsteensummit or www.soaringeaglesyfs.org

 

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October 2019

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View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Ballet
Telephone: 918-749-6006
Contact Name: Dan
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Cost: $1,250

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Website »

More information

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Cost: 0.00

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View map »


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More information

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View map »


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Sponsor: Oklahoma Aquarium
Telephone: 918-528-1507
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Cost: 109

Where:
THE DANCE PLACE
3310 WEST 42ND PLACE
TULSA, OK  74107
View map »


Telephone: 918-813-6514
Website »

More information

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Cost: 0.00

Where:
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Tulsa, OK  74114
View map »


Sponsor: Arabian Horse Association
Telephone: 303-6964500
Contact Name: Kelsey Berglund
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free, except food items for purchase from Food Trucks

Where:
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Sponsor: Asbury UMC
Telephone: 918-392-1165
Contact Name: Kim Broadhurst
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Hello, Friends!   Fall is in the air! We are excited to present the 5th Annual Hugo Pumpkin Festival, a fun-filled event featuring a variety of entertaining activities for the whole family....

Cost: $ 6 - $ 20

Where:
Endangered Ark Foundation
2657 E 2070 Rd
Hugo, OK  74743
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Sponsor: Endangered Ark Foundation
Telephone: 580-317-8470
Contact Name: Emily
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Outdoor All Day Family Friendly Halloween Event 

Cost: $0-$10.00

Where:
Downtown Wagoner
Main Street
Wagoner
Wagoner, OK  74467
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Sponsor: Wagoner Main Street
Telephone: 918-577-1772
Contact Name: Samantha Call
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Buy a Care Card and save up to 20% at more than 200 local stores and restaurants October 25 – November 3, 2018. With Care Card, you’re saving more than money – you’re saving lives....

Cost: $60

Where:
Tulsa, OK


Sponsor: Family & Children's Services
Telephone: 918-560-1115
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Abersons presents Pink Ribbon -- an exclusive, high-fashion fundraiser featuring a runway show by one of the world's hottest designers. Cocktails 6 p.m. | Dinner & Live Auction 7...

Cost: $1,250

Where:
Southern Hills Country Club
2636 E. 61st St.
Tulsa, OK  74136
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Sponsor: Abersons
Telephone: 918-834-7200
Contact Name: Scarlet Henley
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Go into the woods and experience the return of this fantastic family production with performances in both Tulsa and Broken Arrow. Tulsa Ballet's Hardesty Family Foundation Children's...

Cost: $15

Where:
Studio K (Tulsa) and Zarrow Studio (Broken Arrow(
1212 E 45th Place
Tulsa, OK  74105
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Sponsor: Tulsa Ballet
Telephone: 918-749-6006
Contact Name: Dan
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America’s LARGEST interactive comedy murder mystery dinner show is now playing at the Hilton Garden Inn Tulsa Broken Arrow! At The Dinner Detective, you’ll tackle a challenging crime while you...

Cost: 59.95

Where:
Hilton Garden Inn Tulsa- Broken Arrow
420 W Albany St.
Broken Arrow, OK  74012
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Telephone: 866-496-0535
Contact Name: The Dinner Detective
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Mummies of all ages! Bring your goblins, witches, and super heroes to our fun and food filled Halloween Dance! Saturday, October 26th, 2019 6-9 pm $5 per person (check or cash)  

Cost: $5 per person

Where:
Bixby Community Center
211 N Cabaniss Ave
Bixby , OK  74008
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Sponsor: Bixby Community Center
Telephone: 918-366-4841
Contact Name: Victoria Smith

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For the first time, the Oklahoma Aquarium will host seven nights of indoor trick-or-treating for kids of all ages from Friday, October 25 to Thursday, October 31! Guests can follow the...

Cost: Varies

Where:
Oklahoma Aquarium
300 Aquarium Drive
Jenks, OK  74107
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Sponsor: Oklahoma Aquarium
Telephone: 918-528-1507
Contact Name: Liz Medrano
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Originally from West Africa, Kizomba is a partner dance that is a sexy addition to any Latin dance party. It is the fastest Latin growing dance in the U.S. Come and learn the basics plus a few more...

Cost: 109

Where:
THE DANCE PLACE
3310 WEST 42ND PLACE
TULSA, OK  74107
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Telephone: 918-813-6514
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Tulsa Metro Sound Chorus presents: "As Seen on TMS". A comedic review which will keep you in stitches, including music of Iconic Women of Song . Come enjoy the music of Karen Carpenter,...

Cost: 15.00

Where:
Memorial High School
5840 S Hudson Ave,
Tulsa, OK  74135
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Sponsor: Tulsa Metro Sound
Telephone: 918-352-6091
Contact Name: Marlys Fallen
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Choral Music from North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Down Under

Cost: $20

Where:
Cascia Hall
2520 S Yorktown Ave
Tulsa, OK  74114
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Sponsor: Tulsa Chorale
Telephone: 918-625-1527
Contact Name: Anastasia Howard
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Are you looking for a night of Halloween hilarity, ghoulish guffaws, and spooky silliness? Then come and see the spirited stylings of Laughing Matter… Oklahoma’s longest-running...

Cost: $8.00 ($4.00 for children under 12)

Where:
pH Community House
306 S Phoenix Ave
Tulsa, OK  74127
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Sponsor: Laughing Matter Improv
Contact Name: Jerry Henderson
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Luchadores go head to head in the ring to see who really is The Great Pumpkin!

Cost: Free

Where:
Elote Cafe & Catering
514 S Boston Ave
Tulsa, OK  74103
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Sponsor: Elote Cafe & Catering
Telephone: 918-582-1403
Contact Name: Elote Cafe & Catering
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Seymour, a nerdy worker at a run-down florist is romantically pining for a seemingly unattainable beauty named Audrey, when he discovers an unusual plant that only thrives when it is fed human...

Cost: $15-$25

Where:
Tulsa Performing Arts Center
110 East Second Street
Tulsa, OK  74103
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Sponsor: Tulsa Project Theatre
Telephone: 918-596-7122
Contact Name: Amber Whitlatch
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No tricks, just treats! Gathering Place is casting a spell for all not-so-scary ghosts and ghouls to make their way to the park for sweets and treats. Meet us on Spooky Street for a kid-friendly,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gathering Place
2650 S. John Williams Way E.
Tulsa, OK  74114
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