Mid-Year Update

July 2024

Note from the Executive Director

To our incredible donors,

If you’re anything like me, the mid-year point is a wonderful time to reflect on the successes of the first six months of the year and look forward to what’s to come for the rest of the year. You have contributed so much to our success since we started on October 27, 2020 and I want to share encouraging news from the work you’ve made possible in 2024! The most exciting news is the two new Building Opportunities for Sistas to Shine (B.O.S.S.) Scholarship scholarship recipients for which you’ve helped to provide scholarship money which will help to alleviate or minimize their financial hardships as they continue their educational pursuits.

Throughout our almost four years, you have helped to provide scholarships to 8 scholarship recipients. Thank you for your support! In fall of 2024, our first recipients will be starting their final year of college! You were right there at the beginning and have played a  tremendous roles in the lives of our scholarship recipients.

While there is much to be thankful for over the past six months, with your help we can meet our vision to provide scholarships in the amount of $2,000 to our two scholarship recipients in 2025 and have a donor recognition event in fall of 2025! With your help, we will see so many more lives changed in 2025 and beyond.

In this time of the year, I look back upon the last six months with gratitude for you and the difference you’ve made in the lives of our scholarship recipients. Let’s look forward to an exciting remainder of 2024 and to 2025!

Melissa Green, Executive Director

2024 B.O.S.S. SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS

Z’HARIA ANDERESON
INCOMING FRESHMAN – UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Majoring in Business Administration

Q. In what ways will the scholarship enable you to focus more on your studies and academic goals?

“This scholarship will provide me with the opportunity to dedicate all my time and energy to my academic pursuits, free from any financial burdens. Additionally, it will open up doors for me to pursue new passions and hobbies that I could not explore throughout high school.”

Q. What are your academic and personal goals for your first year of college and how do you plan to achieve them?

“In my first year of college, I aim to excel in my studies, make new friends, and participate in clubs. To successfully manage this, I will stay on top of my schedule, prioritize my time, and reach out for support when necessary.”

Q. How will you be spending summer 2024 in advance of starting college?

“I am currently completing a seven-week full-time internship at Kaiser Permanente to gain experience in an administrative healthcare setting. In my spare time, I plan to research and prepare for all the opportunities that my future college, the University of Southern California, has to offer.”

LOREN DAVIS
INCOMING FRESHMAN – SMITH COLLEGE
MAJORING IN ENGLISH WITH A FOCUS ON JOURNALISM

Q. In what ways will receiving the B.O.S.S. Scholarship enable you to focus more on your studies and academic goals?

“Receiving the BOSS Scholarship from the MGAM Scholarship Foundation has significantly eased the pressure and stress of transitioning to college. As a first-generation student, my family and I were completely unaware of the tremendous amount of money needed for tuition, dorm supplies, and general everyday activities. The BOSS scholarship allowed me to focus more on attending a summer program at Rice University rather than picking up a part-time job to bring in some extra income for textbooks and school supplies. After my program ends in late July, I will then be mentoring the students who still attend my high school.”

Q. What are your academic and personal goals for your first year of college and how do you plan to achieve them?

“Throughout high school I have always been a top scholar and I plan to continue that trend into college. With college being more self-paced, I understand that I must hold myself accountable and push through when overwhelmed or feeling defeated. While being a student-athlete at Smith College, I’m hoping to explore more of the English department and learn how my passion for writing can be turned into multiple careers. On the more personal side, I’m excited to make new friends and community, as well as compete in NCAA volleyball!! Go Pioneers!”

Q. How will you be spending summer 2024 in advance of starting college?

“I will be spending this summer studying at Rice University, mentoring my former teammates, and spending time with high schoolfriends who I will greatly miss.”

MEET THE ROUND 1 REVIEWERS

Starting in 2023, the scholarship application review process was broken into two rounds. The purpose of the first round of reviews is to ensure that only the “best” applications reach the Board for Round 2 of reviews. Round 1 reviewers review their allotted number of applications to ensure that they meet the requirements (e.g., GPA minimum; resume was provided, in .pdf form, no more than 2 pages, and well organized; letter of recommendation is on letterhead, from a faculty member, and signed). Let’s meet the Round 1 Reviewers for 2024:

AREILLE MILLER

Dr. Arielle Miller was born and raised in Valley Stream, New York. Her academic journey started at Northwestern University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Physics and also received her commission in the US Navy in 2003. Serving as a nuclear-trained surface warfare officer for five years, she honed her skills and developed a strong foundation in the field. Arielle holds a Master’s Degree in Nuclear Engineering from North Carolina State University and a doctorate in Mechanical Engineering from Howard University. Notably, she became the third woman in Howard University’s history to earn a doctoral degree in Mechanical Engineering. Driven by her passion for empowering others, she now runs her own business providing PhD coaching to Black women in STEM programs and offers consulting services as a nuclear engineer.

DR. DAISY JOHNSON

Dr. McCuiston was born and raised in Ann Arbor, MI. She received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Chemistry from Spelman College and her Medical Doctorate from Wayne State University School of Medicine. She completed training in general pediatrics at the University of Michigan and is also an Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant. She has practiced in small and large private practices as well as a large healthcare organization where she held various professional leadership positions, including serving as a physician executive in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, focusing on language services and increasing the pipeline of underrepresented minorities in medicine. In October 2021, she opened her own practice, The McCuiston Group, Pediatrics & Lactation, in Washington, DC. Her clinical interests include lactation support, and holistically supporting health and wellness for children and their families.

RHONDA FLOWERS

Rhonda Flowers is a youth development and leadership professional, who lives to inspire, loves to encourage others to chase their wildest dream and is unafraid of the challenge of making others dreams come true. She is a native of Tampa, Florida with over 25 years of experience in the youth development field. She works for The Skills Center, in Tampa, Florida as the Senior Director of The Collaborative. Rhonda currently serves as Vice Chair of the Hillsborough County Anti-Bullying Association, Second Vice President of the Tampa Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., and a Club Advisory Council member at Wilbert-Davis Boys & Girls Club. When not working or serving, she enjoys traveling, attending sports events, gardening and reading.

MGAM’S ANNUAL FUNDRAISING EVENT

From March 18th through March 22nd, MGAM Scholarship Foundation held its inaugural fundraising week. The weeklong fundraising effort featured the Dollars for Dares Fundraiser, which required each board member to present dares for supporters to potentially fund. Once the dare was funded, the board member is to record and post their completion of the funded dare on the organization’s social media platforms. The Dollars for Dares initiative was a huge success. Of the 15 dares presented by the board members, 12 of them were fully funded, raising $4010.00 towards our efforts to alleviate and/or minimize financial hardships for the MGAM Scholarship Foundation scholarship recipients. Some of the funded dares included “Mel’s Time on the Farm”, which requires our Executive Director to spend a day doing “chores” on a farm; “Alysia Dons the Green & White for B1G 10’s” which required board member Alysia Green, a die-hard alumnae of The University of Michigan, to purchase and wear a Michigan State Gymnastics t-shirt at the B1G 10 Women’s Gymnastics Championships that were held in East Lansing at Michigan State University; “Keke Rides the Waves” which requires board member Keke Green, who is typically a very adventurous daredevil, but does have a fear of being in or on any small vessel in a large body of water, to conquer her fear by riding a jet ski; and “Terri Gets Messy” which requires board member Terri Sanders, someone who loves ice cream but despises all things sticky and messy, to consume an ice cream sundae with no hands! While being dared to do things they detest, the board members of MGAM Scholarship Foundation are showing their willingness to do what is needed to assist in alleviating/minimizing financial hardships for its scholarship recipients. There is NO WAY our efforts could have been successful without YOU, our supporters, and we cannot thank you enough.

Without our supporters and donors, MGAM Scholarship Foundation would not be able to achieve the desired impact on our community. You don’t have to wait for a fundraiser to donate. Please feel free to donate at any time on the website (www.mgamfoundation.org) or by using a QR Code (see below).

RECURRING DONOR HIGHLIGHT

MEET ANN SIEGRIST

Q. What motivates you to donate? What shapes your giving?

“I don’t often donate financially to organizations. My preference has always been to donate personal time. To me, personal time is more reflective of seeing your immediate impact, but when it feels like the world around you is breaking down those you love, you realize you need to do more, get more involved, but how? I’ve never felt I was the smartest woman in the room, but I do know when you surround yourself with women who have different life experiences, different viewpoints, but the same heart, only then can you learn more and get smarter yourself.”

Q. Why is the mission of The MGAM Scholarship Foundation important to you?

“Supporting organizations my friends start, which speak to their soul and who they are as people is a no brainer; especially since those are the types of women I aspire to be more like.”

Q. How do you feel when you make a charitable gift?

“Each month when I see the automatic withdrawal hit my checking account, I smile and feel good allover again. I know as a donor to this organization, it’s just one of the ways I can be involved in becoming a change agent.”

EXCITING UPDATES
FROM THE MGAM SCHOLARSHIP FOUNDATION

We are thrilled to share some important and exciting news with our supporters. As the MGAM Scholarship Foundation continues to grow and evolve, we recognize the need to ensure that our brand aligns with our mission as well as our future goals and objectives. The landscape of nonprofit organizations is ever-changing, and to maintain consistent and impactful messaging, we are embarking on a brand refresh. This initiative will allow us to better reflect the planned expansion of our scholarship awards and programming, including special events for award recipients and fundraising.

A brand strategy workshop in July 2024 will be the first step in this transformation. During the workshop, the organization’s current language will be reviewed, the mission and vision will be refined, and the brand voice and tone will be identified. Messaging guidelines will also be developed and naming options that honor the organization’s future direction will be explored. This brand refresh presents a valuable opportunity for the MGAM Scholarship Foundation at this critical juncture, ensuring that the organization’s name and messaging continue to support our goals and resonate with our community, including all of you.

We are excited about this journey and look forward to sharing our progress. Stay tuned for updates as we move forward with our brand refresh, culminating in an official launch in October 2024. Thank you for your continued support and dedication to the MGAM Scholarship Foundation!

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

October 27, 2024

Give $20 for ’20 Day

December 3, 2024

Giving Tuesday

December 10, 2024

MGAM Scholarship Foundation End of Year Newsletter