women of tomorrow mentees

Women of Tomorrow engages highly accomplished professional women as mentors in a small group setting. We operate in partnership with public school districts; all activities are held during the school day, under the auspices of the school district. The schools select at-risk girls for participation based on a broad definition of “at-risk” including low income, abuse, disability, likelihood of dropping out of high school, becoming involved in gangs, drugs, criminal activity, getting pregnant or academic, social, behavioral, medical or other risk factors. Each group is diverse in its composition with girls in 9th - 12th grade who have varying strengths and weaknesses so they can learn from and empower each other. Girls in the program typically do not know each other prior to joining the group.

Our History

The inspiration and design for Women of Tomorrow is based on Jennifer Valoppi’s college years studying Psychology of Women. Jennifer says, “The research was clear - the real problem with true equality for women is not so much that men think that women are inferior, but that women agreed. The women who do make it to the top like being the only ones there and don’t do anything to help other women along.” Studies show that research still holds true today. Jennifer wanted to change that. So in 1997, while she was the main news anchor at WTVJ NBC 6 in Miami, Jennifer designed a unique program for highly accomplished professional women to reach out to at-risk girls. With the support of then NBC 6 President & General Manager Don Browne, a longtime supporter of women and minorities in the workplace and of mentoring as a tool for empowering people, the Women of Tomorrow Mentor & Scholarship Program was created.

DetroitMenteeFieldTrip

Women of Tomorrow Founded

Twenty-Three Founding Mentors Launched the Program in Six Public High Schools

1997

Scholarship Program Founded

Inaugural Graduating Class Receives Close to $10,000 in Scholarship Awards

2000

National Expansion Launches

With support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Women of Tomorrow launches in Metro Detroit

2011

National Expansion Continues

With support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Women of Tomorrow launches its second city, Greater Philadelphia

2014

20 Years of Mentoring At-Risk School Girls

Women of Tomorrow celebrates 20 years of mentoring at-risk high school girls.

2017

Surpassed 20,000 mentees impacted by Women of Tomorrow

2020

Our Founders

katherine fernandez rundle at women of tomorrow event
Jennifer-Valoppi-Founder-
Don Browne speaking at Bal Harbour Shops for Women of Tomorrow

In 1997, while she was the main news anchor at WTVJ NBC 6 in Miami, Jennifer designed a unique program for highly accomplished professional women to reach out to at-risk girls. With the support of then NBC 6 President & General Manager Don Browne, a longtime supporter of women and minorities in the workplace and of mentoring as a tool for empowering people, Women of Tomorrow was created. Since then we have positively impacted the lives of approximately 15,000 at-risk girls.
Women of Tomorrow is about women helping women and its program model is unique and effective — highly accomplished professional women meet with small groups of at-risk girls in public high schools once a month to discuss ways to overcome obstacles and to provide skills for success. In its first year of operation, Women of Tomorrow commissioned an independent psychologist to conduct pre and post self-esteem tests of the girls participating and a statistically significant increase in the self-esteem of the Women of Tomorrow Mentees was found.
Jennifer hand selected the inaugural 23 Founding Women of Tomorrow Mentors who went out to six public high schools in 1997. Since then Mentors come to Women of Tomorrow through referral from an existing Mentor. Women of Tomorrow currently operates in close to 200 public high schools and reaches over 4,200 Mentees with its network of 550 Mentors.

Women of Tomorrow Mentor and Scholarship Program