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Regional Recognition Event: Celebrating Women’s History Month at the Women Who Lead Gala

On Saturday, March 30, 2024, in support of Women’s History Month, IDHS-Serve Illinois Volunteer Program Manager, Jacob Jenkins, and Upstate Volunteer Programs Coordinator, Cecilia Maciel Martinez, attended the Women Who Lead Gala hosted by Women and Wealth to present the Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service Office of the Governor Certificate of appreciation to thirty-three amazing volunteers for their outstanding community projects in the Greater Rockford Area.

This certificate is one of the highest honors an Illinoisian can receive for volunteerism and service. This certificate bears the signature of Governor J.B. Pritzker, IDHS Secretary Designate Dulce Quintero, and Serve Illinois Commission Chair, Natalie Furlett. This certificate e and bears the immortal words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “Everybody can be great because everybody can serve”.

Women and Wealth provides mentorship, education, and training to advance and empower women in the workplace, marketplace, and community. They serve professionals, aspiring professionals, entrepreneurs, consultants, educators, and executives. They do so by providing nine-month programs consisting of group learning sessions, training, development, community events, partnerships, and mentorship. Women and Wealth believes being “wealthy” consists of more than just monetary needs, but instead encompasses a holistic approach to disrupt the cycle of generational poverty.

Part of the program also includes executing individual volunteer projects. These include collecting toiletries and essential items for the Family Peace Center and Remedies Renewing Live, collaborating with Life Recovery Programs at the Mission, hosting a community clean up in partnership with Home Depot, facilitating a self-regulation boys’ group at Welsh Elementary School, and hosting a college fair informing students of Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Gala programming included encouraging words for Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara and Women and Wealth co-founders and mother-daughter dynamic duo Dr. Sheila Hill and Khay Horton.

Keynote speaker Karli Harvey Raymond, entrepreneur, international host, and magazine editor, provided encouraging words and special advice on how to succeed as women, including having a group of “super friends” who support you in all endeavors.

Thank you to Women and Wealth for having us and congratulations to the three awardees!