I wouldn’t be doing any of this without the support of so many loving people. Please allow me to thank some of them here!


Daddy, I don’t have words to tell you how much I love you. Thank you for always pushing me to believe life can be better. I know the best days are coming for us both.

MATERIALS: Richard Sumo

If it wasn’t for your hard work collecting the bullet casings, we’d never have the final product. God bless you. I pray for you and our country every day.


Cori Stern, co-founder &
Zoë Adams, co-founder & exec director

A girl can never have too many mothers and you each have brought something amazing to my life. You two are the foundation for Akawelle™ and work tirelessly to bring so many dreams to life. Cori, you’ve taught me that in every moment I’m making a choice, and I can have the kind of life I want if I’m brave enough to choose it. Zoë, your focus and dedication have helped me grow myself and Akawelle™ into what we both are now. Thank you from the bottom of my (strong) heart.

MENTOR: Melinda Maria

Melinda, you gave me advice, hope, love, and friendship. Your jewelry is beautiful and you inspire me. Thank you for all of your support and your belief in me. All those late hours were worth it! WWW.MELINDAMARIAJEWELRY.COM

SUPPORTER: Tracey Durning

Tracey, thanks for helping me come to America and helping my jewelry company to grow and find new fans. Seeing how you carry yourself with confidence inspires me to do the same.

SUPPORTER: Ben Goldhirsh

Ben, thank you for believing in me and sponsoring my school. I will always remember the good time we had in Ghana on the beach and how you make me laugh. (And thanks for the monkey!!) I love your magazine. WWW.GOODMAGAZINE.COM

WEBSITE: Jason Pollock

Thank you for your work. We wouldn't have this without you.

MY PHOTOGRAPHS: Alexandra Whitman

You are so talented and made me see myself in a whole new way. Thank you for giving me the gift of these beautiful views of my jewelry and myself.

PHOTO MAKEUP: Jeffrey English from Sephora

From the first moment I met you, I knew you would be a friend. Thank you for your enthusiasm, skill, and for making me feel glamorous!


Thank you for your generosity and guidance. Especially thank you for all the work you're doing for the women of Africa. And your jewelry is beautiful! April Star Davis Jewelry : April Star Davis

LAUNCH TEAM: Emerson and New Roads

Emerson, all those days of raising money 25 cents at a time to buy jewelry materials paid off. You are the best young businesswoman I’ve ever seen. Thank you for jumping in to help me get started. Thanks also to everyone at New Roads who pitched in and believed in me. I’ll never forget my days with you.

STRONGHEART FELLOWSHIP TEAM: Kristi, Chris C, Tina, Judy, Judith, Heidi, Amrita, Ezra, Jaz, Craig, Todd, Ryan, Alex, Kizzy, Etienne, Michael, Sonia, Ali, Ava, Annie, Chris O, Micah:

How can I say thank you enough to the people working so hard to change my life? I love you all. On behalf of all of the Strongheart Fellows now and to come, THANK YOU.

And to all of the volunteers who've come to Liberia and slept in the roughest conditions while remaking Strongheart House - bless you!


Doug, you’re my “American dad” and you’ve been the best one I could ever hope for. I know I can be tough sometimes but I hope you always know I love you. Thank you for all the help with the launch of my jewelry and for always knowing the best music!

MY TEXAS FAMILY : Dede Clark, Hannah Clark, Grandma, Carmen, Mrs. McCreary, and everyone at St. Andrews:

You welcomed me into your home and your life - and you will always be in my heart. Thank you for so much - I spent my time learning and laughing with you all. I will never forget your kindness and Hannah's singing night and day!

©2010 Akawelle™ Contact Akawelle by phone at 512-348-8744 or by email: