Women of Tomorrow Mentor & Scholarship Program reined in its 19th year in mentoring “at-risk” high school aged women in Broward and Miami-Dade Counties with an opening celebration at the Intercontinental on September 16th. To date, the organization fosters over 2,300 girls in a total of 119 South Florida public schools with an additional 1,400 at-risk girls in 75 public schools in the Detroit and Greater Philadelphia areas.
Established in 1997 by retired Telemundo Network President, Don Browe, and television journalist, Jennifer Valoppi, the Women of Tomorrow organization was created to instill power, motivation, and inspiration in young women who are at-risk of not living up to their full potential within society. Through an innovative mentoring program, these young women are put in contact with highly established and successful women who donate their time to guide these prospective women on career-oriented paths. Research has proven that these mentors have increased the participants’ self-esteem, raised graduation rates to 95%, and beneficially altered academic records each year the mentorees took part in the program.
Millinda Sinnreich, the Founding Mentor, led this year’s event by introducing new initiatives to be followed during mentorship. Each mentor and school coordinator participated in breakout sessions filled with interactive content that allowed for program discussions and collaboration on the best techniques to follow. As the event proceeded, all of the patrons were treated with the stories of Nathalie Mora and Vanessa Fleury, two former graduates and scholarship recipients from Women of Tomorrow. These extraordinary women told heart-warming anecdotes of how the program changed their lives and how it continues to influence them every day. Alberto Carvalho, Superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, also took part as a speaker. He expressed the program’s significance in the community and its influential impact on the thousands of young girls that participate.
Women of Tomorrow’s Founder and President, Jennifer Valoppi brought to light the idea behind the sessions, saying: “This is a wonderful time for our Mentors to get to know each other, network and share best practices. In 18 years of mentoring so many of the same questions, concerns and issues come up year after year and new Mentors are always thrilled to have the expertise of more experienced Mentors. It’s also just a great opportunity to spend time with a group of people who share your beliefs making the world a better place by uplifting the lives of young women.”
As the program grows with every coming year, Valoppi, the current president, revealed the program’s efforts to keep up with the increasing numbers: the launch of its Women of Tomorrow app. It will give mentors and school coordinators the tool to keep track and plan mentoring sessions. Currently, Women of Tomorrow has altered the lives of 1,700 at-risk girls by awarding over $5 million dollars in college scholarship money. Millinda Sinnreich explained, “Women of Tomorrow is about women helping young women to become successful, to have a vision for what they want to achieve in their lives.”
Kimberly Albanes Ginsburg, Elsie Howard, Millinda Sinnreich, Jennifer Valoppi, Jayne Weintraub-Sale, Alina Feldman & Eileen Youtie
Patricia Goldsmith & Debra Leibowitz
Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, WOT Graduate Vanessa Fleury, WOT Graduate Nathalie Mora & Jennifer Valoppi
Superintendent Alberto Carvalho & Don Browne
Anne Reiss, Stephanie Don & Bianca Erickson
Millinda Sinnreich & Neki Mohan
Marjored Perez, Doris Brown, Belinda Gonzalez Leon & Maude Exantus
Jayne Weintraub-Sale, Honorable Katherine Fernandez Rundle, Jennifer Valoppi & Maria Sanin
Dr. Margo Brilliant & Elise Scheck Bonwitt
Danielle Gonzalez, Marsha Tejeda & Lauren Deutch