Get to know the ladies of the WERise Network
WOMEN EVERYWHERE BELIEVE
Ogechi Nwaopara was born and raised in Michigan, but her heart belongs to her homeland Imo State, Nigeria. She is currently a sophomore at Howard University in Washington, DC studying Sports Medicine. From the moment she stepped into her first classroom, Ogechi developed a love of learning. As she excelled through school this passion branched into helping others. She began to volunteer in her school, church, and community. All of those experiences have allowed her to recognize how much she wants a career that involves aiding people. Coming from an all-girls high school, sisterhood played a major role in molding her to be the young woman she is today. There she learned she can be and do anything as long as she is motivated, dedicated, and impassioned. Ogechi has held many leadership positions such as senior class president, track captain, president of the Black Awareness Society for Education club and many more membership positions.
Outside of school she has participated in many community service projects, one of her favorites being Summer in the City Detroit where she was able to spend her entire summer mentoring children and showing them the beauty of Detroit through projects, field trips, and more. I believe “It takes a village to raise a child”. Countless members of my family, friends, mentors, and teachers, disciplined and shaped me into the young woman I am proud to be. I believe children are the future, which is why I love investing so much time to empower them not only to make a difference in their lives but make a difference in the world.
Mariah Neptune is a Sophomore, Political Science major and Economics minor at Howard University. After she completes her undergraduate studies, she plans s to attend law school. With her degrees, Mariah plans to give back to her community in Brooklyn, NY and combat the violence that is plaguing her city through education and mentorship. Her passion for helping others stems from working side by side with some of the best lawyers in New York. Some of her work history includes interning for the Brooklyn Children’s Law Center where Mariah acted as a youth advocate for children and the Brooklyn Bar Association; where she helped prepare practicing lawyers for their reevaluation exams.
Mariah has also worked for Read Alliance mentoring children in danger of repeating the first grade. That experience opened her eyes to the lack of resources available to many kids to become successful readers and writers. Her experience with Read Alliance is one of the reasons why she is so passionate about the WERise Network. Mariah believes that it is almost impossible for a child to succeed without a solid educational foundation. Her dream is for students to be able to choose their educational paths, instead of having their zip codes predetermine their future.
Rhuberlyne Toussaint is a sophomore Legal Communications major, Political Science minor at Howard University. During her freshman year at Howard, Rhuberlyne became involved on and off campus. She participated in Girls Inc. DC, a nonprofit organization that focuses on mentoring girls by instilling confidence and responding to the changing needs of girls in the DC community. She also participated in She’s The first, a non-profit organization that provides mentorship, scholarship, and empowerment to girls in low income countries who are the first in their families to pursue higher education. Through this organization, the Howard University chapter fundraised to aid a young woman in Tanzania pay for her final year of schooling.
Rhuberlyne spent this past summer interning for the Nassau County Executive and Housing department in her hometown of Long Island. While working in the Housing Department she aided with the disbursement of the Emergency Solutions Grant which helped not only homeless families but also families on the verge of eviction. This experience further ignited her passion for community service. Rhuberlyne plans to attend law school upon graduation. On her free time, Rhuberlyne is an avid reader and enjoys binge watching shows on Netflix.
Community Service Co-Chair
A’Briah Miles is a sophomore health science major from Harlem, New York. After graduating she plans on attending a physician’s assistant program, gaining work experience, then going to medical school to become an anesthesiologist. A’Briah considers one of her strongest traits to be her determination; in high school she put her mind to graduating in three years. She accomplished her goal while working three jobs to buy herself a car. A’Briah has always been active from dance to cheerleading and even volleyball. Growing up her mother taught her the importance of service. As she matured she began to give back to people in need. She even volunteers by her mother’s side with her mother’s social club, Phenomenal Women.
As a hard worker, A’Briah goes to school full-time while having a part time job. She is passionate about helping and teaching others. A’Briah is a certified Hip-Hop development trainer. The hip-hop development curriculum uses the tools in hip-hop to educate young adults about substance abuse and sexual health. A’Briah is devoted to empowering the youth and mentoring future leaders. A’Briah attributes her success to her mother, who has molded her into the strong woman she is today. She believes all children should have positive role models in their lives to ensure a better future.
Community Service Co-Chair
Dominique Davis is a sophomore, political science major from Las Vegas, Nevada. She has always had an inkling for challenging herself whether it was academically or socially. Since a young age she has encouraged her peers to not simply accept what has been told to them, but to challenge ideas and think freely.
Having had both of her parents serve in the military, she has lived in many places including Arizona, Japan, Alaska, and Nevada. Through her travels she has become culturally well-rounded. She aspires to become a real estate agent, and eventually sell commercial property across the globe.
Jada Hopson, a sophomore at Howard University attended Arabia Mountain High School, an environmental and technology based high school in Atlanta, GA. Hopson graduated holding a 3.0 GPA and a scholarship to Howard University. Born in Miami, FL and raised in Atlanta, GA, Hopson is the only child. Along with her mother, Jada is .one of the only people to attend college in her family.
She has completed many internships and volunteer opportunities and values giving back to the the community. At Howard, Jada studies advertising and is minoring in economics. With advertising, she plans on becoming a creative director in hopes of changing the face of media to show the future generation that they do not have to conform to what the media shows them is “right”. Eventually, Jada plans to reinforce the concept of self- awareness and love into younger and future generations by working in the television creative space.
Bridget Beauty Warlea is an Honors Student at Temple University in the Fox School of Business and Management where she is a double major in Legal Studies and Financial Planning. Her work history involves working in development and alumni relations at Abington Friends School, her alma mater, and Steppingstone Scholars Inc., a non-profit with the mission to bridge the gap in the college pipeline.
Born in Liberia and raised in Philadelphia, Bridget is the first generation in her family to attend college. Because of her cultural history and her long standing passion for education, policy and law, Bridget is passionate about being a voice for communities who are underserved and underrepresented. Her ultimate goal is to bridge the economic and educational gap between communities and transfer private resources to the public sector through a legal career.
Danielle Hardy is a Junior at Temple University double majoring in Psychology and Neuroscience. She plans to become a Child Neuropsychologist. Danielle cherishes her blood family and church family back home, considering them to be a huge part of her life and overall identity.
At Temple University, she has a work study job that allows her to combine her love of reading and kids by helping close the literacy gap for preschoolers before their matriculation to kindergarten. Danielle is also on the executive board of her University’s only Poetry Performance collective, BABEL. She uses her love of words to motivate and encourage others as well as entertain them. Three fun facts about Danielle are: her favorite animal is a monkey, her favorite food is mac and cheese, and if she’s not writing she’s probably laughing at something that nobody else finds funny!
Faithe Beadle is a rising sophomore majoring in Psychology, Human Development, and Community Engagement.
Originally from Piscataway, New Jersey, Faithe is not originally a city girl, but her heart currently belongs to the city of Philadelphia. From a young age she knew her passion was working with children. Throughout her high school career she worked as an after-school aid then as a camp counselor during the summer months. She enjoys building connections with children, specifically between the fourth and eighth grade. Here at Temple she is on the executive board for BigBrotherBigSister and works as a conflict educator in the Dean of Students Office.
Faithe is also a member of the IDEAL office’s Student Coalition that works to promote diversity and social justice on campus. Last but not least, she is a member of Babel Poetry Collective, Temple’s only poetry collective. Faithe aspires to obtain a job that combines her love for children with her interest in advancing underprivileged communities. She can not wait to see what the Temple Chapter of the WERise Network accomplishes and is very excited for all the possibilities.
Programming and Events Chair
Madina Kora is a junior at Temple University majoring in Management Information Systems in the Fox School Of Business. She was born in Philadelphia and raised in the west African country of The Gambia.
Madina works as a retention intern at Connection Training Services; in this role she serves as a mentor, tutor, and resource to the students of the program as they prepare for GED exams and post-secondary education. Because of this experience, Madina has developed a strong passion for education especially as it related to students in the Philadelphia public school system. Her goal is to help close the achievement gap by providing youth with the necessary support they need to succeed in high school and beyond.
Communications and Media Relations Chair
Shannon Wilson is a Strategic Communications major, with a concentration in Public relations, and a communications studies minor. She currently works as an after school teacher for Steppingstones Scholars Inc., a non-profit organization with a mission to bridge the gap in the college pipeline. She also currently works as a sales associate at Greene Street in Chestnut Hill. She attended Abington Friends School, where she developed a love for social justice, diversity, and inclusion.
From the age of 11-18 Shannon was a part of Uniquely You Inc. An organization that helps young black women discover who they are and why they are so valuable. Her experience in Uniquely You Inc. inspired her to continue to mentor and inspire other young black women struggling to figure out who they are. Shannon’s dream is to work for OWN, Oprah Winfrey’s Network, as a communications and media specialist.
UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH
Teresa Leatherow is a sophomore at the University of Pittsburgh pursuing a dual major in Supply Chain Management and Business Information Systems and an additional certificate in Environmental and Sustainability studies. Teresa is passionate about mentoring young women to achieve their goals, pursue an education, and firmly believes that education is an enabling tool for all. She was selected as an ANNpower Fellow in 2014 and was the recipient of the Donald E. Farr Award in 2015 for her outstanding contributions in the areas of International/Global awareness for college bound students in the Pittsburgh area. She recently participated in GenHERation Discovery Days in New York City, and connected with female executives at JPMorgan Chase, EY, Bloomberg, NBC Universal, the New York Yankees and Good Housekeeping Magazine.
Teresa has pursued undergraduate research by concentrating on business as a platform for environmental change through the HAS Fellowship and Brackenridge Fellowship, and currently is a Community-Based Research Fellow, all through the University of Pittsburgh Honors College. She is passionate about engaging with her campus and local communities, and is the chapter founder and president of Camions of Care at the University of Pittsburgh, Director of Community Service in Alpha Kappa Psi Business Professional Fraternity- University of Pittsburgh Delta Chapter, Director of Member Relations for TAMID at Pitt; a Peer Facilitator for the Emerging Leaders program at Pitt, serves on the University of Pittsburgh’s Student Government Board, Academic Affairs Committee, as Vice Chair to the College of Business Administration, and is active in the Center for Supply Chain Management. Leatherow is ecstatic to be a part of the WEBelieve Team and a part of creating sustainable and effective change for women in Pittsburgh.
Bianca Leonard is a junior at the University of Pittsburgh, majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Spanish and Studio Arts. She plans to attend medical school after graduation and is interested in Neurology. Bianca has been involved with Whole Eye Transplant research at Pitt since her freshman year, and she was awarded the Honors College Health Sciences Fellowship this past summer to continue her work in the lab and build relationships with other researchers inside and outside of the field of science. Bianca has spent the last four years working closely with a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit, Coffee Arabica Foundation for Education, where she has fundraised and raised awareness to build scholarships for Honduran students to attend middle school and high school. In 2015, she partnered up with the University of Pittsburgh Spanish Club for monthly coffee sales and events, and she acts as a mentor/sponsor to her own student, Danelia. In 2016, she became Secretary of the Board for CAFE. Being involved in the Honduran community is Bianca’s way of giving back to the country that is home to her mother, she is looking for ways to bring women’s empowerment to girls who grow up in the third world. One of her long-term goals is to bring healthcare, health education, and encouragement to youths to pursue the fields of science abroad in the third world, and domestically among minority students.
Sarah Krause is a sophomore at the University of Pittsburgh studying Social Work and Studio Arts on the pre-law track. She was awarded the Nordenberg Leadership Scholarship for her demonstration of academic excellence, passion for community service, and global awareness. She plans on joining the Peace Corps then attending law school after graduation to pursue a career in Civil Rights Law. When Sarah is not working long nights in the art studio, you can find her involved in a variety of extracurricular activities that she is very passionate about. She is actively involved in Pitt’s chapter of FORGE (Facilitating Opportunities for Refugee Growth and Development), an on-campus organization that advocates for the rights of refugees living in Pittsburgh and raises awareness about the global refugee crisis. Through her role as Coordinator of FORGE’s College Prep Program, she leads and organizes a program that provides tutoring and mentoring services to refugees at a local high school. One of the goals of the program is to provide refugee students with assistance and support during the college application process. She also volunteers for a research study on the development of borderline personality disorder in adolescents, where she analyzes participant data and identifies behavioral precursors of the disorder. Additionally, Sarah is a Peer Facilitator for Emerging Leaders, the premier leadership development program on campus, where she facilitates small group discussions on topics such as ethics and values, conflict management, social responsibility, power and influence, and the development of a personal leadership style. She is very excited and honored to have the opportunity to empower girls in her community to overcome some of the educational barriers they face.
IsaLynn Montgomery was born and raised in the Great Lakes state, Michigan. She now resides in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and attends the University of Pittsburgh where she is pursuing a degree in finance and marketing. She is currently in her sophomore year. She is heavily involved with programs on her campus including BRIDGES, RISE mentoring program, and Emerging Leaders. She also works as a program assistant for our community service office, PittServes. Some non-academic facts about her are she’s a dancer, shopaholic, and loves reading.