Behind the Mask

Coping through the Pandemic

by Jocelyn Avery Photographs by King Marvino



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 1/24/2023

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 8.5x11
Page Count : 178
ISBN : 9781665713559
Format : Hardcover
Dimensions : 8.5x11
Page Count : 178
ISBN : 9781665713573
Format : E-Book
Dimensions : N/A
Page Count : 178
ISBN : 9781665713566

About the Book

Behind the Mask shares the poignant stories of people from all walks of life during the height of the COVID-19 global pandemic and quarantine. Shared in their own words, Jocelyn Avery has captured the range of experiences of the young, the old, first responders, business owners, educators, parents, church leaders, restaurateurs, the dispossessed, service professionals, and many others, even the “last responders,” while coping through the pandemic. Social status, race, and economic status aside…every story makes clear that COVID-19 had no respecter of person. Yet every experience is different. Some faced great struggle or heartbreak, while others’ circumstances flourished. Several contracted COVID-19 themselves. We are glad they are still here with us. As you read their stories, you’ll be drawn to reflect on your own story; to cry when they cry, and laugh when they laugh; and in turn, to see those qualities that make us human, the ability to have compassion. In Behind the Mask our humanity shines through – that important part of life which compels us to try to understand one another, to help each other, and to realize we are all in this together.

About the Author

Jocelyn Avery is no stranger to the event planning industry. From an early age, she shadowed her mother decorating events, designing wedding gowns, and wedding cakes. Little did she know at that time, this would be her life’s passion. While following in her mother’s footsteps, Jocelyn learned the art of being detailed and always striving for excellence. From her college dorm at Winston Salem State University, she planned one of-a-kind, over the top events for the homecomings, fundraisers, rallies, political functions, fashion shows, and pageants. Quickly she developed a reputation as the go to person for memorable affairs. After graduating from college with a B.A. degree in Psychology and Special Education, she decided not to pursue a career as a special education teacher or social worker and chased her dream of becoming an event planner. Within two years, Jocelyn received numerous certifications in wedding and event planning, and graduated from George Washington University. For six years, she worked as a catering manager and Director of Catering for two of Washington DC’s finest hotels and restaurants. There she gained the necessary experience to become one of the leading planners in the industry. With the guidance of her father, entrepreneurship was not far from her reach. In 2002, Jocelyn leaped out on faith and started her own event planning and production firm. Since, she has planned and curated hundreds of weddings and events from coast to coast to include Africa, Paris, Nevis West Indies, London, Jamaica, St. Marten, Bahamas, St. Thomas, St. John, Punta Cana, Bermuda, Aruba, San Juan, Barbados and Cruise ships; Galas, Corporate meetings, red carpet events and or Black Entertainment Television. From her humbled beginnings, Jocelyn continued to expand her vision by opening a floral design studio in 2005. J. Avery floral design studio provides flowers for all occasions. In 2006, she was praised by various media outlets for opening the very first wedding chapel in PG County, Maryland. In three years, over 380 couples wed. Jocelyn is often referred to as the “Diva of Event planning”. She is known for her posh and lavish design style. She has mastered the art of making even the smallest event budget look grand. Jocelyn works tirelessly to ensure that every client has a personalized experience and finds value in their planning service. Her high standards and excellence is exhibited in even the smallest details. She prides herself in the ability to customize events of any size, whether it is a rendezvous for two or a grand affair. Events are created within each client’s budget, reflecting the essence of their personality, style, and taste. Jocelyn has the recipe and every ingredient for a one of-a-kind event. Each event is curated creatively, executed flawlessly, and leaves the guests with an expression of “awe”. Jocelyn has received numerous awards to include most recently the planners purpose award and the DMV phenomenal woman award. Her work has been featured in various magazines and newspapers; Hyattsville Life and Times, Washington Post, Essence Magazine various social media outlets and Chanel 9, Good Day DC.