Over 100 Secret Santas from Metro Detroit delivered gifts in a drive through at Detroit's Masonic Temple. Then, in the spirit of the season, especially in these unprecedented times, on Saturday, December 12, 2020 led by RWF founder, Rhonda Walker Drumheller and her sister, RWF Board member, Robin Gamble the RWF teens, alumni, board of directors, volunteers, and staff of the Rhonda Walker Foundation spread holiday cheer and heartfelt compassion to over 100 families living at the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries – Genesis House II Shelter for the 18th straight year! Under a heated tent turned into a Winter Wonderland, families took photos with Santa, received arts and crafts projects, and a bounty of gifts from our generous Secret Santas.
Giving back to our community is a key pillar of our Girls into Women Program. Celebrating the holidays with the families at Genesis House II every year warms our hearts and teaches our teens the joy of giving.
On Saturday, November 21, the RWF Girls into Women Program was joined by Emmy Award winning journalists Jemele Hill and Kelley Carter for a virtual two-hour career workshop that focused on setting goals, being excellent and how they have both used their stellar careers to open doors for other women.
The inspirational workshop was moderated by RWF President and Founder, Rhonda Walker Drumheller, pictured with Hill and Carter, along with great questions from our teens. Both left our teens with new insights and encouraging words of wisdom.
"Own your own excellence" - Kelley Carter
"It's not a question if I can be great, but how great can I be?" - Jemele Hill
Jemele Hill, Rhonda Walker and Kelley Carter
On Saturday, October 24, 2020 our Girls into Women Program visited Avalon Village in Highland Park, MI. The sustainable community just west of Woodward is a shining example of turning blight into beauty.
Our teens had a walking tour of the village with founder Shamayim "Mama Shu" Harris where she gave the history of her vision to build up the community on her block. Our girls learned about sustainable and renewable energy, social entrepreneurship, supporting women business owners and most of all why it is important to care for our communities.
In the spirit of our RWF Cares Initiative, our teens helped to pack laundry baskets full of cleaning supplies for area seniors including a special PPE kit from RWF
An important pillar of our Girls into Women Program. It is crucial to us that our teens understand the importance of being a part of positive change in our community by being of service
Our juniors and seniors got a special tour of the University of Detroit-Mercy with RWF supporter and UDM Alum Dan Kennedy from Flex n Gate. The day included presentations a special greeting from UDM President, Dr. Antoine Garibaldi, a presentation from the admissions office, dialogue with alumni and current students including RWF Alum Asia Williams, an architecture major at UDM
Camp I Can is a favorite annual weekend leadership and personal development retreat for the RWF Girls into Women Program. This year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, we had to postpone our weekend away. Camp I Can One Day was born and our girls came together on the grounds of the Boys and Girls Club Collingwood Campus for a beautiful day of sisterhood, and teambuilding. Using what they learned during our spring and summer RWF Zone virtual workouts, teens filmed mini workout videos; created beautiful art; planned activities for our quarterly RWF Cares Community Outreach Initiative and engaged in a fun trust building maze led by RWF Program Manager, Arlisa Robinson.
We also had our annual backpack and school supply giveaway so our teens would be prepared for at home learning when school began. Thank you to our sponsors, Laborers' Local 1191, Laborers' Local 1076, Retired Detroit Police Officer, Ron Griffin and GrindTime Fitness.
A special thank you to our guest teen facilitator, Kendyl Barfield for leading our art workshop, and RWF volunteers Kelita McCall and Adrienne Long for facilitating our fitness and community outreach workshops. A special thank you to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Southeast Michigan for our ongoing partnership to empower Detroit youth.
On Monday, August 24, 2020, the Metro Detroit auto industry came together at TPC-Michigan in Dearborn, Michigan for a day of golf with a purpose. The entire sold out event took place outdoors to adhere to social distancing and keep everyone safe.
Foursomes teed off to win the annual crystal trophy and to take the top foursome photo prize. This year's smaller outing welcomed a committed group of supporters who are invested in our mission to empower Detroit youth. We are especially grateful to Lear Corporation for their three years as our title sponsor!
Thank you to our 2020 Title Sponsor
For information about next year's Automotive Industry Golf Challenge, please contact us at 313-309-9234 or email@example.com
On Saturday, May 30, 2020, WDIV-TV 4 News Anchor, Rhonda Walker awarded $35,000 in scholarships to 7 outstanding graduating seniors completing the Rhonda Walker Foundation (RWF) Girls into Women Program with honors. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and adhering to Michigan’s Stay Home mandates this year’s 14th Annual Scholar Power Scholarship event had to be cancelled but RWF was determined to award these accomplished Detroit seniors with scholarships for college. The surprise caravan was made up of nearly 20 cars including members of their board of directors, staff, volunteers and mentors and RWF alumnae who drove to the homes of each senior in a RWF Scholar Power Parade and presented them with well-deserved scholarship checks.
A special thank you to Lear Charitable Foundation and the Rizik Family Philanthropic Fund for contributing to the RWF Scholarship Fund.
You can help ensure more teen girls receive the support they need to help with college expenses by clicking the link below to donate to our scholarship fund.
Thank you to the Renaissance Chapter of the Links for inviting our teens to celebrate International Women’s Day at the Ladies Who Lead Luncheon! Our girls proudly served as hostesses for this inspiring afternoon held at the Colony Club in Downtown Detroit. A special thanks to Susan L. Taylor, CEO and Founder of National CARES Mentoring Movement and Editor and Chief Emeritus of Essence Magazine and Dr. Kimberly Jeffries Leonard, National President of The Links, for spending time with our girls to talk about celebrating who they are, being empowered and being “Unbought and Unbossed”! This special celebration of powerful women gave our teens an opportunity to network with some of Detroit's most influential leaders.
Our Personal Development Program pillar teaches our teen girls skills like networking, etiquette and public speaking.
On Saturday, February 22, 2020 Detroit entrepreneur, Alyssa Space welcomed the RWF teens to her lab at 4 Her Cosmetics for an exciting workshop on using your passion to build a business. Space, who is a graduate of Michigan State University with a degree in chemistry. She helped our teens to identify their passion and create a business plan. The highlight of the day was when our girls got to go into the lab and create their own lipstick . With careful instruction from the 4 Her Cosmetics team teens were involved int he process from measuring chemicals to selecting a personal color for their lipstick!
Providing our teens with opportunities to explore STEM related careers is a key part of our education programming. African- American women hold less than 10% of STEM related careers. RWF is working to give our teens a new vision for the future.
On Tuesday, February 18, 2020, Stephanie Burnley, Co-CEO of Devon Industrial group and her team from Walbridge and DFM Solutions welcome the RWF Juniors and Seniors for an exciting day of career development at our first Girls in Construction Career Intensive. The purpose of the day was to introduce our teen girls to the multitude of career pathways available in the construction fields beyond the traditional work site. Representatives from accounting, marketing, legal, human resources, information technology, and safety engaged our teens in small group working sessions to provide information about their work. The day concluded with an informative panel discussion with women representing the skilled trades and diversity and inclusion within the construction industry. We are looking forward to Phase II of Girls in Construction that will take or teens to a project site.
Career Development is one of our core program pillars. Our Girls Empowered Career Development Program is designed to provide our teens with a multitude of career pathway engagements to inform their choices and opportunities for a positive transition from college into the world of work.
In a packed room, the Rhonda Walker Foundation celebrated International Day of the Girl with our inaugural Rise Up for Girls Breakfast at the Detroit Golf Club on October 11, 2019. Supporters were inspired by the moving testimony of our President and Founder, Rhonda Walker as she shared her vision and why she was moved to found RWF. What followed was a morning of unforgettable testimonies. RWF, senior, Makiah S. brought everyone to their feet when she proclaimed, "not everyone can be an RWF Girl, but when you encounter an RWF Girl you become a part of the Rhonda Walker Foundation."
Over 300 of the auto industry's best and brightest gathered once again at the prestigious Oakland Hills Country Club for our annual Automotive Industry Golf Challenge on Monday, July 29, 2019. Our day included brunch, great silent auction, an exciting live auction, dinner, live entertainment and a great round of golf.
A heartfelt thank you to our sponsors for their generous support, Lear Corporation, our Title Sponsor a, BASF, Diez Group, Denso, Linamar, Hitachi/Hitachi Metals, Joyson Safety Systems, Magna Seating, On Semi, Faurecia, Celani Family Vineyards, Flex n Gate, Cobra Metal Works, Gallagher Kaiser, Windsor Machine Group and SET Enterprises.
We are proud of our Sweet 16 Class of 2019, our largest class ever, who were awarded $55,000 in scholarships at our annual Scholar Power Scholarship Breakfast, April 27, 2019 at the Westin Hotel in Southfield. In a room packed with RWF Board members, parents, volunteers, mentors, and special guests, everyone was so moved by the testimonies of our graduates. The celebration also served as a time to honor and recognize the support of our amazing volunteers and mentors. Congratulations to our volunteer of the Year, Quintell Foster and our Mentor of the Year, Cynthia Amacker. A special thank you to the Rizik Family Philanthropic Fund and the Lear Charitable Foundation for providing scholarships for our teens who excelled in community service and academics.
Every year girls in our city face challenges that impede their future success. The Rhonda Walker Foundation works tirelessly to empower girls in Detroit to navigate any challenges and step boldly into a bright future and take their place as leaders in our community.
The Rhonda Walker Foundation teamed up with Magna International this year to host our 2nd Annual Rise Up for Girls Breakfast to benefit our Girls into Women program. This year's event was live-streamed from the Detroit Golf Club to RWF supporters across the country.
We were inspired by moving testimony from RWF Alum, Courtnie Thomas, now a college sophomore and current RWF senior Arianna L. The morning also featured an inspirational video and words from our President and Founder, Rhonda Walker.
This year's breakfast was co-chaired by RWF Board members Lloyd Banks, CEO & Principal at Banks & Co. and Michael Montgomery, VP Global Purchasing for Magna Seating and a special thank you to Rise Up for Girls committee member, Sheree Calhoun.
If you missed our live stream, you can still watch on our Facebook page at the following link:
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