Emonne Markland, Founder of LYBM
Emonne Markland is a wife, mother, author and speaker with a passion to love God, love people and leave her beauty mark on the world. Emonne desires to see women of all ages walk in freedom and wholeness through the knowledge of the truth. She has served in youth ministry for over 8 years and travels nationally as a speaker, using her voice to proclaim the gospel message of freedom in a dynamic and fresh way. She and her husband, Stephan are the founders of Leave Your Beauty Mark, a newly launched organization that empowers and mobilizes girls to make a difference and live on purpose. With a love for written work and passion to bring hope to her generation, Emonne completed her first book, Break Every Chain, as a resource for young women to know the truth of God’s love and learn how to live in freedom. Professionally, Emonne works as producer at Daystar Television Network, an international television ministry that broadcasts the Gospel message into over 200 countries around the world.
In April 2007, Emonne found herself in the center of the greatest storm of her life. Forced to leave school during the last few weeks of her junior year at ORU, she moved back home to have major lung surgery to remove a malignant mass. Through much prayer and the gifted hand of an amazing doctor, she is now cancer free. During the following year, Emonne re-learned how to walk, talk, eat and drink and completed her Bachelors degree in Mass Media Communications at Oral Roberts University. It was a process, but God was with her every step of the way.
Today, Emonne is happily married to her best friend, Stephan and loves mothering her favorite girl, Grace, affectionately known as “Amazing Grace.” She and her family are members of The Potter’s House in Dallas, Texas. For fun, Emonne enjoys expressing her artistic creativity through photography, painting, writing and fashion. She also enjoys eating delicious food, putting together stylish outfits and relaxing at Starbucks. Her ideal day is spent laughing and enjoying quality time with loved ones outside in the sunshine, preferably the beach.
MIREDYS VALCÁRCEL RODRÍGUEZ, blog contributor& LYBM Coffee connect leader in puerto rico
¡Hola! Me llamo Miredys. Soy puertorriqueña y vivo en la "Isla del Encanto". Soy líder de adoración en mi iglesia, hija de pastor, educadora y futura psicóloga. Me encanta la fotografía y tengo algo de escritora. Mis mayores pasiones son Dios y la música.
Estudié Educación en Historia en la Universidad de PR, mientras realizaba un minor en idiomas: francés y portugués. Soy amante del café a cualquier hora del día acompañado de un bien libro, de la belleza aún en los pequeños detalles y de la vida.
Vivo eternamente agradecida de mi creador, por esta razón he decidido ser su voz en este mundo.
Hello! My name is Miredys. I'm Puerto Rican and I live in "The Isle of Enchantment". I'm a worship leader in my church, daughter of a pastor, teacher and future psychologist. I love photography and I'm a writter. My greatest passions are God and music.
I studied education in history at the University of Puerto Rico and I have a minor in languages: French and Portuguese. I'm a coffee lover at anytime of day with a good book. I love beauty even in the smallest details of life and I love life.
I'm eternally grateful to my creator and for this reason I have decided to be His voice in this world and LEAVE MY BEAUTY MARK.
VALERIANA CHIKOTI BANDUA, LYBM LEADER / TEDx Speaker
Valeriana Chikoti-Bandua is a former refugee from Angola who was born in Zambia, but fled from Zambia to Papua New Guinea with her family due to a series of life-threatening circumstances.
By the age of 18, her life took a turn as her father, uncle and grandfather's deaths within a span of 2 months shifted the course of her livelihood. She went from being a high school grad to burying her loved ones, to experiencing homelessness with her mom and her younger sibling all while trying to manage her studies as a student at the local community college. During that season as difficult as her life had become, her family stood by their faith in Christ to continue to overcome turbulent circumstances. Upon graduation with her associates degree, she was awarded as the valedictorian of her class and was given an opportunity of a lifetime to move to the United States to pursue her further studies at ORU in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
She has since earned her Bachelors degree from ORU, and her masters degree at FIU in Miami, Florida. Today, she is the founder of More Than A Refugee, an organization helping to empower refugees, immigrants, asylum-seekers and underprivileged people groups. She also recently delivered a powerful TEDx Talk at FIU entitled, Protect the Girl Child. As a member of the Angolan Mission to the U.N., she worked alongside Southern African Development Committee member states to help successfully pass the HIV/AIDS girl child resolution during the U.N.’s annual Commission of the Status of Women. She is passionate about her faith and how it affects the state of human rights, social world issues and mainly the plights of displaced people groups, refugees, immigrants, women and children from all over the world as especially those who society has often forgotten.
Rachel Ruckes, BLOG Contributor
Hey All! Rachel here. Here’s a little something about me. I’m currently a 20-year-old full-time commuter student majoring in Creative Writing and minoring in Graphic Design at Oakland University in Rochester Hills, Michigan. As you can already assume from my fields of study, I’ve had a passion for art and literature since childhood.
I want to leave a beauty mark that impacts the way women, especially women of God, think of themselves in the kind of world we live in today. I want to leave such an impact that makes women learn to see their worth through God alone, rather than through men, the media, peers, and society as a whole. If women of God were able to get into the habit of placing their worth in God's hands, i truly believe women of God would be a force to reckon with in a world like this. It can be a struggle to learn to love ourselves when the world is directly and indirectly telling us not to unless we look a certain way, act a certain way, think a certain way, etc. That's why i want to help uplift women to think beyond their TV, iPhone, and computer screens and rather set their eyes on what's above.
Paola Henriquez, Blog Contributor
Hey LYBM lovers! My name is Paola. I am Dominican and I was raised in Florida but I currently live in my birth state, New York. I am a lover of fashion and dance. You can catch me dancing to any beat I hear or sketching fashion figures on napkins at coffee shops. These are my greatest passions after my love for the Lord. Besides coffee, a newfound love of mine is bubble tea and pot stickers! I am currently enrolled at The Fashion Institute of Technology studying Fashion Design. I love traveling, I’ve traveled to many countries in Europe for vacation but I want to add some more stamps on my passport while preaching the gospel and leaving my beauty mark all around the world!