DAYTON — Marina Stokes’s efforts to bring mental health awareness to people, especially women, in the Dayton community helped saved her little sister’s life.
Stokes, who is an engineer at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, adopted Anessa Lovett last October in an emergency adoption. Stokes said Lovett was going down a similar path she did. Stokes suffered from child abuse and developed mental health issues, which took a long time for her to deal with.
Once Stokes got help, she decided she wanted to help other women overcome what she did by opening her own candle line, Be The Light, at The Entrepreneur’s Shoppe on West Third Street.
Lovett nominated Stokes for as a Dayton Daily News Community Gems because of Stokes’s work to help empower other women.
Lovett said she thinks Stokes is a hard worker who cares deeply for her community.
“I think she really goes hard for her community,” Lovett said. “Like she really, really loves her community. She loves her family. She loves her friends. She loves making candles. She loves making other people feel good and making other people feel happy.”
Stokes said her candle store was meant to help other women take better care of themselves.
“The whole point was to remind (women), you have to take self-care moments, whether that’s counseling, whether that’s lighting a candle, cleaning your house, taking a bath,” Stokes said. “I just wanted women to remember to take care of themselves mind, body and soul.”
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