Foundation for Fortitude Graduation 2017
On April 20th, the Foundation for Fortitude graduated from our program another amazing group of young women. They are surely on the path to becoming the Ultimate Successful Woman.
We want to thank our donors, those that support our community fundraisers, the generous corporate sponsors, and the volunteers that make Foundation for Fortitude possible. You help us do more and that means more young college women will have the opportunity that was available to our recent graduates.
We proudly share with you memories from this special day.
Thank you to our special guest and keynote speaker for the graduation, Anita Walton, Director of Development and Alumni Affairs at Edward Waters College.
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2017-2018 scholastic year!
President's Message - Graduation 2017
Sherry H. Blue, President and Founder
Foundation for Fortitude
It has been my honor in this scholastic year to watch a group of young girls become amazing young women. It all started with their taking an opportunity that presented itself and coming to the Foundation for Fortitude Chat and Chew, our event for introducing ourselves to interested candidates for our program. Once identified as a match to the criteria we were looking for, each one of them were put in front of door that they alone had the responsibility to open and walk through.
Facing change isn’t easy. It is no small task to take on change that enrolling into college requires. For some, it meant moving away from their hometown and for others it meant living away from home for the first time. Some were first generation college students. For all of them, it was a step toward independence and taking responsibility for their own choices and decisions.
While college life brought its own unique types of changes, Foundation for Fortitude required even more of the girls. In quick succession they were given information, mentoring sessions, and education programs that required dedication and commitment beyond their text books and courses. They participated in modules designed to give them an advantage in future corporate settings, job interviews, and networking situations to advance their career choices. They were encouraged to do more than what is required, to do their best and present their best self for their own success and the ability to thrive.
They participated in community outreach and learned that success is defined by more than a paycheck or title. There are things that are expected and needed within a community and that when everyone thrives, then a community thrives, and in a thriving community there is more opportunity for economic growth, and for personal and family enrichment. Giving back matters and the young women this year made me proud at how hard they worked to make a difference for others.
As I mentioned, despite all of the demands upon them, all the changes they faced which could and does overwhelm even the strongest college entrants, the young girls when offered an opportunity to share their year with Foundation for Fortitude did so enthusiastically. They walked through the door of opportunity and took each step asked of them.
There is now no going back. They are facing a strong and promising future. They have new tools, new knowledge, support from life long mentors, a strong sense of self and value, and a built up passion for curious learning – an essential skill to carving out their own path and shaping a future they dream of and can surely obtain.
Change is frightening for some, but others learn to be emboldened by it. I saw young girls face down their fears, open up their hearts and minds, and focus on the other side of what change could mean for them. No longer girls, but strong, impressive young women, I am confident the path they have stepped onto will be where their feet remain, and I expect great things of them. They are extraordinary young women and all of us will be watching them do amazing things in the years to come.
It is my hope, my deepest hope, that they in turn will be a part of the other side of our program someday, giving back, inspiring, and shaping the future of young girls to follow in their footsteps.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, Mentors, Volunteers, and Supporters that make our Foundation possible, it is with confidence, and much respect, that I present to you the young women of our 2016-2017 Foundation for Fortitude program. As this door closes, they have other opportunities to purse, other doors to walk through and we can’t wait to see these young women become the Ultimate Successful Woman they are destined to be.