Celebrating National Women’s History Month
When I think of sisterhood, relationship building, leadership, camaraderie, patience, love, and unconditional support – by association, I highly regard my long-term mentor of 29 years, Annette Boxley-Drew. A visionary and trailblazer of the Fort Washington Chapter of Upsilon Tau Omega, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Annette Boxley-Drew is a leading example of what sisterhood and community leadership looks like.
Her vocation as an educator, organizer, and seasoned adviser, extend over more than four decades. From Alabama State University to the University of the District of Columbia, Annette has always believed that quality education is achieved through multiple experiences that nurture each student’s diverse intellectual, personal, social, and physical development. Her philosophy has been lived-out through a succession of teaching methods, classroom interactions, and organized student activities.
Since retired in 2000 as a Social Studies teacher from Frank W. Ballou Senior High School in Washington, D.C., she continues to teach in the Ballou S.T.A.Y. (Schools to Aid Youth) High School adult education program. Her diverse approach to helping students complete their high school education is a passionate and divine calling, all her own. For more than 46 consecutive years, Annette Boxley has been an exceptional mentor, catalyst for change, and earnest friend to thousands of students who have progressed through the D.C. Public School system. Her commitment to continue to empower young adults to gain career skills that will help them succeed in the real world, speaks degrees to her decorum as a forerunner.
But her respectability does not stop in the classroom. The Ballou Sapphire Modeling Team is one of her most notable multifaceted platforms. This original troupe nurtured male and female students’ in the areas of poise, self-esteem, panache and expression, while encouraging them to discover their creative talents. The team modeled at the Apollo Theater in New York City, the Embassy of Ghana, and appeared on local television networks and numerous venues throughout the D.C. Metropolitan area. Many graduates of the program have developed careers relative to this experience. I am proudly one of those graduates.
The personal impact that Annette Boxley-Drew has made in my life holds value beyond compare. Aside my home rearing, she was the first mentor who exemplified a true example of what it meant to be a lady, the epitome of a Queen. She fostered in me the importance of having grace, perfect poise, and maintaining elegance and control over my actions, as well as my thoughts. The influence of her coaching compelled me to continue a brief career in modeling and after graduation. Her leadership also became evident, well into my adulthood, and through my conception of Pearls of Poise LLC, a Washington, D.C. based premier youth etiquette and civility academy, which was initiated in 2009.
Annette has always had a natural elegance, without being aloof. She cares for those, in and out of local communities, and opts to treat every single person with concern and respect.
Her personal life mantra is, “To learn and never be filled is wisdom. To teach and never be weary is love.”
She is the proud owner of NU BODY, Inc., body shaping fashion/nutritional products, Platinum Plus Travel Agency, and is a Pearl Manager for Traci Lynn Jewelry. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Southern Prince George’s County Community Charities (SPGCCC) Inc., a 501 (C) 3 fundraising organization of Upsilon Tau Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Chairperson of the Women’s Forum, Co- Sponsor of the Senior Class, School Personnel Committee Chair, and Oversight Committee Member for the Ballou S.T.A.Y. Alumni Association.
- Teacher of the Year (multiple honoree since 1999)
- “Who’s Who of American Teachers
- Outstanding Young Women of America, Continental Who’s Who Registry of National Business Leaders
- Upsilon Tau Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. (Silver Star 26 years of Service)
- Ballou S.T.A.Y. Alumni Association Community Service Award
- Ballou S.T.A.Y. High School Star Award
Annette holds a Bachelor of Science in Sociology with minors in Psychology and Secondary Education from Alabama State University. She obtained her Masters in Special Studies from The George Washington University, and post graduate studies in Technology and Education from the American University, Catholic University, Georgetown University, Trinity Washington University, and Prince George’s Community College.
Annette’s professional and civic affiliations include, but are not limited to:
- The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
- The National Councils for the Social Studies and the Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development
- The Ballou S.T.A.Y. High School Home School Association
- Founding Sponsor of the Dr. Martin Luther King Memorial
- Member of Metropolitan A.M.E. Church (Washington, DC)
- Sons & Daughters of Allen
- Metro Aires Gospel Choir
- Potomac Estates at Caltor Manor Civic Association (membership committee)
- Southern Poverty Law Center
- The Smithsonian Institute Associates (national member)
- The National Parks Conservation Association
- The National Humane & Education Society
An enthusiast of photography, travel, singing, modeling, computer graphic design, gardening, and bird watching, Annette Boxley-Drew continues to exude a purposeful life filled with professionalism, personal style, persistence – and promise. Upsilon Tau Omega celebrated 17 years of sisterhood in December 2014.