The Dare Divas: Angenette Frink, Mia Lewis, Brenda Jegede, and Sheri Hunter

BY: Raquelle “Rocki” Harris

Well-behaved women seldom make history and sometimes, they miss life changing experiences. This is why the Dare Divas conquer their fears through exploratory expeditions across the globe. The Dare Divas is comprised of four women who met while serving in the same outreach ministry at their church in Southfield, MI. Angenette Frink, Brenda Jegede, Mia Lewis and Sheri Hunter built relationships between the church and its members through various ministries. Mia, who is an auditor, desired to step outside of her comfort zone, so she invited the others to join her for white water rafting. Angenette, who is an attorney, agreed first, soon after Sheri, a journalist and Brenda, a project manager, completed the fierce foursome.

Once they braved the New and Gauley Rivers in West Virginia, the ladies headed to Colorado for the National Black Ski Summit. They soon realized that a courageous and unbreakable bond was forming hence their moniker, Dare Divas.

Three years into their newfound lifestyle, Sheri’s husband, Mannard died suddenly, sending her into a tailspin of depression. The ladies immediately rallied to support her, which led her to write an article and subsequently a book called, “Daring to Live: How the Power of Sisterhood and Taking Risks Can Jump-Start Your Joy.”

Since their 2009 inception, the Dare Divas have completed 17 daring missions including snowmobiling on the Continental Divide, extreme ziplining along the cliffs of the New River Gorge, skydiving from 14,000 feet, driving NASCAR Race Cars on the Charlotte Motor Speedway and – in their most challenging adventure to date – hiking Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa. Oftentimes, they have faced significant risks such as crossing bridges with missing planks.

With a sisterhood guided by faith, love and resilience, they have drawn attention from local and national media including the “Today Show.” Sheri’s book gained recognition from the right connection resulting in it being optioned as a film by Paramount Players, a division of Paramount Pictures. Faith based filmmaker, author and motivational speaker, DeVon Franklin will produce the feature entitled Daring to Live. According to Brenda, “That’s our new adventure!” Although the pandemic has halted their dares, the Divas remain ready to resume once it’s safe. Next up on their list is to chase the Northern Lights in Iceland. Career Mastered spoke with the dynamic ladies about their journey thus far and what’s to come.

Kudos to all of you, discuss the fears you’ve overcome.

SHERI: For me, the skydiving was a fear in the sense that you are literally free falling. At the same time, it’s amazing what you are able to do when you have a group of people that are gunning for it and they’re motivating you ‘cause I would’ve never done it on my own.

ANGENETTE: I am not a swimmer, I don’t have a fear of water, but I do have a fear of drowning because I don’t know how to swim. When we went white water rafting, we had on lifejackets, but I didn’t want to get bounced out of the raft.

BRENDA: I have always been the person like if we go to the amusement park, I want to get on the roller coaster first. All of a sudden, I was starting to get this fear of heights. A lot of things, I had no desire to do until I met these ladies, so I had no desire to go sky diving. But I did it and I loved it.

MIA: We go extreme ziplining. We had a zip that was about 300 feet in the air and about 700 feet long, and I got stranded and had to be rescued. Some of these zips, you look down and you don’t see the bottom. One of the last zips we did, you literally had to jump and free fall before the zip caught you.

Sheri, describe how your book is becoming a film.

SHERI: It came from an article I wrote about being able to operate outside of yourself after something horrible happens. This [2021] would’ve been our 30th year married. Life happens out of nowhere. Having friends to jolt you out of sadness and depression, resonated with people because we all have times in our lives when we go through something devastating. I started doing book conferences and reaching out to people and it just connected. Fortunately, DeVon Franklin was one of those who expressed interest.

What will viewers get from the film?

ANGENETTE: I really would love the theme of sisterhood, especially with women who are of a certain age. We all got together post 40, we didn’t grow up with each other, we met at church. We found the connection and made a bond and have a tight sisterhood. I want sisterhood and support and positive female relationships to shine through.

BRENDA: We’re more than just a dare or what has happened to us. I want them to see all the great things we do in many different areas of our lives, from our families, to work, to adventure, to friendship.

MIA: Our goal is to inspire all women, regardless of your color, nationality or religion. Although we focus on all women, I want to dispel the myth that Black women don’t get along. That doesn’t mean everything is hunky dory, it means that you love one another enough to recover from anything you may go through.

In addition, I want people to live outside their comfort zone. We don’t go into any of the dares not being fearful. We push each other to live outside our comfort zones. For me, it spills over to every other part of my life.

SHERI: What I pray for is that when people see it, they feel a sense of hope. What I’m hoping is when they see this movie, that they realize that we have to reach out and be vulnerable with other women. It’s also important to be able to open your heart, share your dreams, your goals. It’s life affirming to have someone say, ‘You can do this.’

Lessons learned?

ANGENETTE: There is much more power as a group. When our energy converges, you would think we’re superheroes with how we act and the attention we get.

BRENDA: I’ve learned to be more vulnerable and sharing. I like to hear and respond versus share and have other people respond. I’ve learned that I can be an extrovert at different times.

MIA: The synergy that we create is fantastic. The vulnerability the other ladies spoke about is unexplainable. We pray for each other. I can lean on them for things that I can’t lean on from anyone else.

SHERI: Sometimes you’re scared and you’ve got to do it anyway.

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Always game to show and tell a great story, Raquelle “Rocki” Harris is a writer, editor and media correspondent who values substance while appreciating style. She focuses on Black culture, minorityowned businesses, entertainment and relationships. As the host/producer of her podcast, Rocki’s Reality, she educates while entertaining.

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