COCONUT GROVE (CBSMiami) – In another edition of Women to Watch, Trend Tracker® Tara Gilani spent the day at a summer camp with one of South Florida’s most respected women—Tracy Wilson Mourning.
Tracy Mourning is the wife of former Heat player Alonzo Mourning, a recent inductee into the Basketball Hall of Fame.
But Tracy Mourning’s claim to fame isn’t being a famous, or infamous, basketball wife, it’s her beloved girls’ mentoring program called “Honey Shine” and the mentees themselves, called the “Honey Bugs.”
During their day at the Honey Shine Summer Camp in the Grove, Gilani witnessed and enjoyed firsthand just how involved Mourning is with empowering girls and giving back to her community.
Mourning, a mother of three, founded Honey Shine in 2002.
At the camp, the Honey Bugs, girls ages eight to 18, have fun while learning self-esteem, self-respect, and self-love.
Mourning is devoted to the camp and her Honey Bugs.
“I feel that God placed it on my heart and it has evolved over time, 14 years in, and it’s just really amazing when our Honey Bugs come up and hug me and say ‘thank you’ and you see the growth in them. That’s really awesome,” said Mourning.
Mourning could have gotten caught up in the celebrity hype and hoopla by joining one of the “Housewife” reality series, but instead, she focuses her time on mentoring the young girls.
“For me I’m all about making a difference in someone else’s life. For me it’s all about my girls—it’s about girls and women,” said Mourning.
Having a star athlete for a husband is a perk for Mourning, but fame was never on her to-do list.
“You can keep celebrity and keep fame—just give me peace,” said Mourning.
Mourning shared her not-so-secret weapon, which she proudly attributes to prayer.
“Prayer is my foundation. Every time, before I come into this summer camp, I sit in my car and I pray. ‘God give me wisdom, give me clarity, protect my girls, give me the words because coming in here with over 100 girls, ages eight to 18, and having my own kids, prayer is powerful to me—that’s what keeps me going,” stressed Mourning.
Mourning’s priorities are defined and clear.
“Every step of the way, I’ve been blessed, all of my life, and I know that it’s not just because I know that it’s for something bigger than myself and my own ego. Mentoring is important because we can’t do it by ourselves. Someone has to show the way,” said Mourning, “We all need that encouragement so it’s important because you can’t do it alone.”
Mourning is all about sisterhood and paying it forward.
“The best way I think for women to inspire other women is to share their truth—the good times, the bad times, the tough times—I’ve had them all. When I share them with my girls and girlfriends, we see that we’re more alike than we are different,” said Mourning.
Gilani asked Mourning, who inspires so many on a daily basis, whom inspires her.
“My mother is this special being; ornery woman, mouth like a sailor,” said Mourning. “She’s politically incorrect in every way but what I love about her is that she stands in her truth and nothing stops her. She’s one of a kind. She unfriended me on Facebook because she said ‘I’m tired of this rainbow and fair bull…”
Mourning dedicates her time to honoring Honey Shine’s mission—which is to encourage the balance of mind, body and soul in girls and young women by providing nurturing experiences that enlighten their paths and empower their future. Her motto in life, she told Gilani, is “…to follow your passion and to live your purpose.”
To learn more about Honey Shine, or to volunteer, visit the website at http://honeyshine.org/.