“The empowered woman is powerful beyond measure and beautiful beyond description.”

-Steve Maraboli

The second annual Empower(Her) Spring Salon, presented by Women United and sponsored by City National Bank, celebrated women owning their truth and unapologetically telling their stories. Leaders from across L.A. County came together to discover how they could make a difference and spur social change.

Attendees enjoyed meaningful networking opportunities and keynote speeches from Mei-lan Stark, Senior Vice President and Chief Counsel, Intellectual Property at NBC Universal and United Way’s own President and CEO, Elise Buik.

A highlight of the night included the presentation of the first ever Power of Her Award to the effervescent Naomi McSwain. This distinction celebrates the exemplary achievements that she has made in her community, through her profession, and as a role model for other women.

As the Executive Director of the Al Wooten Jr. Heritage Center in South Central Los Angeles, Naomi serves as a constant inspiration to those around her. The Center encourages and assists at-risk youth in South Central with educational platforms in homework preparation, SAT preparations, visits from corporation and educational sponsors, and much more. In the last five years alone, she has grown the center from 10 to over 350 kids, while also increasing donations and establishing a strong multicultural board.

As Executive Director, she faced a litany of challenges. For example, the building itself was unsafe. But Naomi worked tirelessly to raise funds and remodel the building with partnerships and volunteers from UCLA, Loyola, KROQ Radio, Pepperdine University, and more. She has also made innumerable connections in the community, leveraging resources that help ensure the Center’s kids can achieve academic excellence.

Her passion for helping the youth of her community knows no bounds. Whether it meant taking a cut in pay to keep the doors open and pay others for the sake of the children and her employees, or being there during the holidays while everyone else was at home, Naomi has never wavered in her commitment. And as a result of her passion and perseverance, she has taken a once troubled inner-city youth center to a new level, helping and inspiring kids to invest in their futures.

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