MIAMI, Fla. (May 5, 2014) — The Women of Tomorrow Mentor & Scholarship Program hosted over 750 guests at its Annual Graduation Luncheon to award over $300,000 in college scholarships to 116 mentees and honor the graduating class of 2014 on Thursday, May 1st at Jungle Island. This year brings Women of Tomorrow’s cumulative scholarship giving to over $4 million awarded to over 1,400 at-risk girls since the inception of its scholarship program in 2000.
Keynote speaker Trina Robinson, NBC 6 Anchor and Emmy award winning Journalist, accompanied Women of Tomorrow Founder & President, Jennifer Valoppi in addressing more than 500 attending graduating seniors as they took monumental step towards their bright futures. Lines such as Trina Robinson’s “Be a contender, not a pretender” and Jennifer Valoppi’s “Education is power, so today claim your power!” resonated with the crowd.
Scholarship committee chair Robyn Perlman alongside scholarship committee members in attendance Betty Amos, Rosary Falero, Neki Mohan, Robbin Newman, Karen Tynes and Shani Robinson began the award ceremony by presenting School Coordinator of the Year of awards to Kathleen Alexis from Palm Beach County, Ellen Williams from Broward County, & Pamela Cabarcos from Miami-Dade County.
This year’s Graduation Luncheon event sponsors were Carnival Foundation, Marlins Foundation and TotalBank. In addition to awarding scholarships to graduates who will be attending top colleges throughout the nation such as Duke, MIT, and Vanderbilt – the event successfully launched WOTCONNECT. WOTCONNECT will now serve as an online network where graduate mentees can connect, share resources, ideas, jobs, internship and scholarship opportunities. The celebratory luncheon gathered high school seniors from 116 of South Florida’s public high schools in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. Mentees gathered to celebrate their graduation and their dedication to the Women of Tomorrow program while they enjoyed a wonderful lunch and took home congratulatory gift bags filled with goodies from Carnival Foundation, Florida Community Bank, Marlins Foundation, and TotalBank.
Jennifer Valoppi, Founder & President, said “WOTCONNECT will enable our mentors to assist with the long term growth of our graduates beyond high school, beyond college and into becoming productive and successful members of our community’s workforce. We’ve always been about women helping women and we are thrilled to take it to the next level. “