Gwendolyn Empress Hayles is a loyal, outgoing, loving community advocate and fashion guru. Empress has always enjoyed all facets of fashion, being of service to others and turning pain into purpose which is the main reason she volunteered her services to NAMI. Volunteering for NAMI is an honor and she is delighted to provide her talents which will be an integral part in ensuring the event is executed to its maximum potential. Mental Wellness is something that is very near and dear to her and she feels it is imperative to have an outlet(s) to express your emotions individually and collectively. To maintain her mental wellness Empress utilizes fashion as an outlet which allows her to express herself creatively and without limit. Empress has had many experiences with various issues that could have easily lead her down a destructive path mentally but she utilizes fashion to rise above her obstacles and also uses her experiences to encourage others. Empress believes in utilizing her skillset and experiences as advocacy tools and is another great reason she volunteered her services to NAMI. Empress is a firm believer in the statement when the community thrives and is successful we all thrive and become successful. Her ultimate goal is for those suffering from mental illness to rise above adversity, turn pain into purpose, and use those experiences to not only become successful but to assist someone else along the way.