Adriana Pabon is the President and Founder of The Affirmations Project. Adriana started The Affirmations Project in 2016, and what she thought was going to be a one-time event quickly became a thriving non-profit organization that has brought inspiration, healing, and hope to countless women in the Tampa Bay Area and throughout the country.
Adriana is originally from Medellin, Colombia, and immigrated to the United States when she was seventeen years-old. Adriana attended Florida International University in Miami, Florida, where she obtained her Legal Studies Certification. Professionally, Adriana has been in the legal field for over twenty-five years, but her true passion is community service and helping women.
Adriana’s passion for community service and for empowering women inspired her to start The Affirmations Project. The Affirmations Project is an organization dedicated to helping women by promoting self-love and self-acceptance. As part of its platform, The Affirmations Project also provides financial assistance to cancer and domestic violence survivors. It holds an annual fundraising gala showcasing survivors who select a word of affirmation. Their affirmation word is then painted on their bodies, and they share their stories of resilience, perseverance and hope while participating in an empowering photo shoot.
Adriana is a domestic violence survivor herself. After leaving that abusive relationship, Adriana met many other domestic violence survivors and witnessed women of all ages struggling with anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem because they were told repeatedly by others that they were not good enough, smart enough, or pretty enough. This experience ignited Adriana’s passion to help these women rediscover their true value—and The Affirmations Project was born.
Adriana was taking the first steps to make The Affirmations Project a reality when everything came to a sudden stop on March 18, 2014. She was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer and just a week after being diagnosed, Adriana underwent a double mastectomy followed by weeks of aggressive radiation treatment. Due to the nature of her diagnosis, Adriana’s doctors recommended she not have reconstructive surgery. Cancer took her breasts and left her with multiple scars as a daily reminder of what she had survived. Adriana’s cancer journey gave her the final push she needed to move forward with The Affirmations Project.
As a result of her life’s journey, Adriana understands the importance and need for self-love and self-acceptance. With the help of friends and local artists the first Affirmations Project Gallery was unveiled in October of 2016. The event has since become a staple of the Tampa Community and is part of Adriana’s commitment to celebrate women and their strength in the face of impossible circumstances.
Michelle Caudle, Vice President and photographer for The Affirmations Project, has been an artist all her life. Beginning her career at the ripe age of six with experimental finger painting, her love for creative expression has continued to flourish ever since. As a graduate from the Florida State University Art School, Michelle focused her college efforts in the realm of fine art painting with a secondary focus in photography.
Michelle completed an internship with a small company called Pix N Pages based out of Orlando, in the niche of dog show photography. She attributes much of her foundation in the field to the knowledge they shared with her. After working with the company for four years, she ventured out on her own, and in 2011 Silver Moon Custom Art & Photography was born.
For the greater part of the last decade Michelle has nurtured Silver Moon into a thriving and successful business. While specializing in wedding and event photography, she continues to feed her passion of the abstract through unique fashion portraiture and custom painted murals. Michelle has been lucky enough to have traveled across the United States shooting weddings and also capturing the beauty of our earth through frozen moments in time. An FPP (Florida Professional Photographers) Merit winning photographer, Michelle continues to expand her knowledge in the field through education and experience. Recently, she attended the WPPI (Wedding & Portrait Photographers International) conference in Las Vegas.
In 2016 Michelle joined The Affirmations Project as one of the photographers and assisted Adriana Pabon, the founder and president, in launching their first ever gala. Michelle later became Vice President of the nonprofit, and has since discovered a beautiful friendship with Adriana as they’ve put loving energy into the project. Each year the nonprofit grows and brings new insight and lessons learned to the table.
Michelle continues to pour her heart into connecting with the participants of The Affirmations Project and capturing the essence of their personalities and stories through visual portraiture. Over the years, the intimate experi