When Phenomenal Women Talk

There’s something to be said about a woman who knows her power and shares it.

Her confidence is dependent on the beliefs and love that lies within as opposed to the insecurities of others. She’s focused and possesses an unshakeable belief that she can do whatever she sets her mind to, no matter what obstacles presents. With her wisdom, love and sincere encouragement, she inspires and ignites a drive within her peers.  She is a phenomenal woman.

CT Publicist Extraordinaire, Martine Senecal believes phenomenal women are to be acknowledged and celebrated.  Passionate about bringing strong women of color together, Martine uses her annual Phenomenal Women Panel event to empower, uplift and motivate.


Martine Senecal/ Courtesy: Facebook

“[Phenomenal Woman] is about letting women know that whatever you go through, you can do anything you want,” Martine said. “With what I’ve been through, I didn’t think I could do something like this.  I never thought I could bring women together.”

She can and she effortlessly did.

Held in Downtown Bridgeport, CT, a panel of six incredibly brilliant women candidly shared their stories of heartbreak, disappointment, and success to an audience of approximately 40. Though the trials and tribulations varied, the message of faith, hope and the appreciation of sisterhood remained consistent from the first speaker to the very last.

“I never thought about entrepreneurialism,” admitted Terri Walker, owner of TW Home Essentials.

Terri Walker/Courtesy: Facebook

After experiencing numerous headaches from burning her then, favorite candles, Terri was led to conduct research on what exactly she was inhaling. To her surprise and disappointment, her studies showed that her candles contained paraffin, a toxic cancer-causing, bi-product of petroleum.  Inspired to create candles that not only smell good but are healthy to inhale, Terri created TW Home Essentials, handmade candles that cater to the candle enthusiasts.

Licensed Social Worker and Life Coach for women, Shawniel Bullock followed Terri’s story of entrepreneurialism by reminding attendees of their self-worth.  A topic most over-looked but very well in need of discussion, Shawniel encouraged women young and old that their specialness shines within.

1d9e52d.jpgShawniel Bullock/Courtesy: LinkedIn

“Self-worth is shaped in childhood,” she proclaimed. “The phenomenal woman is deserving of a happy, fulfilling relationship. Set your intentions and cultivate your self-worth.”

After landing a Director position at a Norwalk Hospital, a then, 25 year-old, Lillie Enniss’ faith was put to the ultimate test when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.


Lillie Ennis/Courtesy: Facebook

“My truth is bigger than their lies,” she boldly declared. Now eight years in remission, Lillie says her battle didn’t break her. Instead, she allowed her limitation to be her launching path.

“Because I was sick, I lost my job. What I didn’t realize was that as I was asking God for a position, He was positioning me for my purpose,” she shared.

Knowing where she’s been, where she is now and where she is going, has been the key to success for Pastor Brenda Barnes, who followed Lillie’s touching testament of strength.


Pastor Brenda Barnes/Courtesy: Facebook

“The greatest enemy is the inner me,” Barnes said. “I had to realize that my options were not my choices.”

From her addiction-filled past to now, Barnes boldly credits God and the ability to work in the T.R.A.P., further defined as her talents, resources, abilities and passion.

Confidently sporting a “Planned Parenthood” t-shirt, Doris Walden confessed that she is indeed a work in progress. Having her first child at a young age, Doris says she struggled to work and attend school but knew she had to.  After experiencing the loss of employment, a long relationship, the health complications of her first child, Doris believed giving up was not an option.


Doris Walden/ Courtesy: Facebook

“Depression never paid my bills,” she said.

27 year-old and first-time mother, Lytasha shed light on the growing concerns of the current state of the Bridgeport school district.  Having worked closely with educators, Lytasha says she was heartbroken to hear of the negative opinions educators had of their students.


Lytasha/Courtesy: Facebook

“[Their views] inspired my organization, B.O.S.S., Beyond Ordinary Set Standards.”

Proud entrepreneur Marisa closed the panel with her intriguing story of the life events that triggered her change in lifestyle.


Marisa/Courtesy: Facebook

“I do not look like what I’ve been through,” she said. After having her son at the age of 19, Marisa says her world turned upside down when her husband was incarcerated and her grandfather fell ill.

“Looking back, [her husband and grandfather] needed to be removed in order for me to step up and be the woman that I am,” she shared.

From the candid confessions to the heartfelt stories that concluded with triumph, there was no question that these women were indeed phenomenal.

“A phenomenal woman gets up every day and takes the day by storm,” said Martine. ‘She doesn’t give up just because people may be tearing her down. She’s a woman that keeps on trying.”

Surely, these six women keep on trying.