5:34 The Rhonda Walker Foundation Girls into Women Program

The Rhonda Walker Foundation was founded in 2003 to empower inner city teens girls in Detroit. Girls are nominated for admission into our award-winning five-year comprehensive Girls into Women Program  the spring before they enter the 8th grade by one of our seven partner schools.

Our Girls into Women Program is built on six program pillars: College Prep; Personal Development; Career Development; Health and Wellness; Community Outreach and Cultural Awareness and Mentoring. We proudly partner with Burton International Academy; Spain Elementary and Middle School; Brewer Academy; Plymouth Educational Center; MacDowell Preparatory Academy; Dossin Elementary-Middle School; and Ralph Emerson Elementary-Middle School.

We focus on making the maximum positive effort for our girls through consistent engagement and mentoring. Our board of directors, staff, mentors, and volunteers provide the momentum that helps us affect change. Using data driven models, we provide solutions that make a long-lasting difference.  Life changing events like our annual cross country college tour for our high school juniors provides our teens with a broader vision for their future. 

College Prep

At the Rhonda Walker Foundation we are committed to providing every teen in our program with a comprehensive college prep program to help prepare them to be college ready upon graduation from high school. Every RWF teen has access to our full college prep program which includes:

  • Year Round Tutoring in All Subjects
  • ACT/SAT Preparation Courses
  • Workshops on College Applications and Financial Aid
  • In-State and Cross-Country College Tours
  • Scholarships

For teens who participate in our college prep program, we have seen a significant improvement in grade point averages as well as overall scores on the SAT and ACT. Teens who successfully complete our Girls into Women Program receive a scholarship to assist with college expenses.

A group photo of the participants of the 13th Annual Give and Get Fit 5K/10K at its finish.

Personal Development

Developing strong life skills is a critical part of the Girls into Women program experience and builds confidence and self-esteem in our teens through a variety of workshops including: Etiquette Workshops; Public Speaking; Weekend Retreats; Conflict Resolution; Presentation Skills and Public Speaking, Life Skills.

24-Hour Girl Talk

Our annual spring lock-in is our signature personal development experience for the RWF teens. Teens are engaged in 24 hours of activities and workshops designed to uplift, educate and empower. Workshops include doctor talks, vision boarding, mental health wellness, strength and personality analysis, artistic expression and more.

Camp I Can

The three-day Camp I Can is our annual empowerment, personal development and leadership retreat where teens are challenged to find their voice, inner strength and overcome fears through a series of activities and engagement with adult facilitators and fellow teens. Each challenge is faced with encouragement and determination.Teens are pushed out of their comfort zone in a rural environment free from the distractions of urban living.

Career Development

Our efforts to prepare RWF teens for tomorrow’s workplace begin with exposing them to workshops and activities focused on interviewing techniques, financial literacy, resume writing, job shadowing, dressing for success, communication skills, work experience, internships and career planning. Every year, we visit the offices of a major Detroit area company so our girls can see firsthand what a day at the office entails. The key components of our Girls Empowered Career Development program are our annual Dress for Success workshop,  annual Take Your Daughters to Work Day outing, Girls in Construction, and the RWF Real Work Program (that includes job shadowing, internships and our summer jobs program), where our teens obtain valuable work experience at the offices of one of our many corporate supporters.

If your company would like to host an RWF Career Exploration Day or become a partner in our summer jobs program, please email our office at info@rhondawalkerfoundation.org 


The Mentoring Pillar is a keystone of our Girls into Women Program. Every teen is matched with a with a carefully screened professional woman mentor, who provides strong support and critical guidance and participates in a variety of mentoring opportunities.

The RWF Mentoring Program Includes:

  • One-on-one Engagement Between Mentor and Mentee
  • Industry Based Mentoring Round Tables
  • Speed Mentoring Networking Events

Although we ask our volunteer mentors to stay connected for one year, the bond often becomes so strong that the mentoring relationship continues through graduation from the program.

Health & Wellness

We are committed to providing every teen who participates in the Girls into Women Program  all of the tools and information they need to live healthy lives. Our signature RWF Zone Fitness program provides weekly workouts as well as lessons on healthy eating and overall wellness. Each summer the entire RWF Family hosts fitness enthusiasts for our Annual Give and Get Fit Fitness Event on the beautiful Detroit Riverwalk. 

Community Outreach

Giving back is a core value of the Rhonda Walker Foundation. Our teens help to host our annual Christmas Party for Genesis House II and our Sisters for the Cure Team participates in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure each year. In addition, the RWF Cares Initiative provides monthly community service opportunities for our teens to give back to their community.

Cultural Awareness

To ensure our teens are well rounded, we take advantage of opportunities for them to engage in creative endeavors; visit museums and the theater; and participate in issues that positively impact the community.