On June 2 the 14th annual Inspiration Awards, presented by Coach Foundation, took place in Beverly Hills raising $425,000 for Step Up, the mentoring nonprofit.
Step Up propels girls in under-resourced communities to fulfill their potential by empowering them to become confident, college-bound, career-focused, and ready to join the next generation of professional women. Step Up was founded in 1998 by Kaye Popofsky Kramer in Los Angeles and is led by CEO Jenni Luke. The organization operates in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Dallas and is in the process of expanding its programs to serve Atlanta.
I first became a Step Up member 12 years ago, and the annual Inspiration Awards is one of my favorite events of the year. Without fail it’s always an incredible, but also emotional, reminder of the life-changing impact professional women can make when we mentor, support and enable young girls to reach for their future.
This year, Step Up honored ABC’s black-ish and graduating senior Kimberly at the awards luncheon hosted at the Beverly Hilton. The 2017 honorees were recognized for inspiring women and girls to have confidence and dream big.
ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey presented the black-ish cast with the Inspiration Award, acknowledging the show’s commitment to creating conversation about important issues. Lead actress Tracee Ellis Ross delivered a heartfelt acceptance speech, joined by her black-ish family Anthony Anderson, Yara Shahidi, Marcus Scribner, Miles Brown and Marsai Martin.
Kimberly, the honoree selected from Step Up’s Class of 2017, was introduced by Margaret Coady, executive director of Coach Foundation. Kimberly shared with us how she rebounded from childhood challenges to graduate from high school. She is now preparing to enter Cal Poly Pomona as a freshman this fall.
In addition, I particularly enjoyed the journeys shared on stage by Step Up’s alumnae and previous Inspiration Awards honorees. These talented young women, including Shalisa Craig and Kalen Isreal, have completed their degrees and are now embarking on what look sure to be rapidly accelerating careers.
All in all, as always, this year’s Inspiration Awards was a fantastic event to attend. I’d like to extend special thanks to the Step Up team, in particular Alissa Zito and Paula Kashtan, as well as Phoenix Gonzalez and Kelsey Patel on the Board of Directors for the LA Chapter, for making my experience so special.
For more information check out suwn.org
Post by Octavia Goredema @OctaviaGoredema