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.