Let's Be Friends
They Call Me Dama Bonita...
I’m Dr. T. Denise Manning, but you can call me Mrs. Denise.
I promise, I didn’t give myself the nickname Dama Bonita. It actually came from my sorority, inspired by a pink rose named “Pretty Lady” because, above all else, I believe in representing myself as a lady no matter the circumstance. Now, that may mean patience and observation, quiet strength, setting boundaries, or even being fierce.
My journey began early on. I didn’t exactly live out a Hallmark Channel dream. But it gave way to a hunger that’s served me throughout my life. Honestly, I didn’t even think I’d make it through high school, but I did and I carved a path through that darkness that led me here to you.
So, why a yellow rose?
Quite simply, the yellow rose represents friendship. Healing is a journey and when we work together, I want you to know I’m here to walk beside you. Each person I work with receives a yellow rose. It’s a sign of my caring and commitment to you and your journey.
A Few Features...
Out In the World
I could be described as an overachiever; I hold degrees in Criminal Justice Administration, Business Administration, and a Master’s in Human Service Counseling Life Coaching as well as receiving an Honorary PHD in Theology and Spiritual Counseling. This path led me to places I could never imagine.
Among other things, I was the first HBCU (Historically Black College and University) Life Coach for Florida A&M University, published a life coaching book for teens, created the first Reentry and Mentoring Program for the Youthful Offenders of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, and have even implemented creative writing and poetry classes.
Giving back to the community is a vital part of my mission. I have served on the executive boards for the American Legion Karl Ross Chapter, NAACP, Black Chamber, Black Leadership Council, and the San Joaquin County Community Action Board which oversees the San Joaquin county’s community centers.
As a holistic counseling center and spiritual retreat, Dama Bonita was founded on a framework I had been refining throughout my entire life without even knowing it. A deep knowing that could only come from walking my talk for years, professional counseling experience, overcoming my own life challenges, and a love affair with nature. When brought together, these factors create a powerful program designed to help you move mountains, conquer the world, and become your own Dama Bonita.