Press Release – NEW YORK, NY – January 30, 2017 – Soledad O’Brien and Brad Raymond today announce that they have renamed their foundation from “Starfish Foundation” to the “PowHERful Foundation” along with a new logo and website.
The mission of the PowHERful Foundation is to help young women get to, and through college. They provide financial assistance, mentorship and wraparound services to help their scholars achieve their highest potentials. Assistance that is now needed more than ever. Their summit series, held in several states throughout the year with host and Co-Founder Soledad O’Brien, and other notables, discusses what makes them “PowHERful”, path roads to success, alumni success stories and helps reach an even broader audience.
In 2016 celebrities and notables that graciously participated in summits and events included Dascha Polanco of Orange is the New Black; J.W. Cortes an award–winning actor, filmmaker and philanthropist; Actor Berto Colon of Two Night Stand; Karina Ortiz of Orange is the New Black and popular musical “Plantos y Collard Greens; Fitness Superstar and motivational speaker Massy Arias; Jennifer Tavernier of American Ninja Warrior; and Emily Keener of The Voice.
2017 is shaping up to be an exciting year for the PowHERful Foundation as well. While the roster of celebrities and influencers have not yet been announced, they have announced upcoming PowHERful Summits in Atlanta, Austin, Bronx, Cleveland, Jacksonville, Manhattan, Minneapolis and more to be announced with a gala in June in New York City.
Their expanding 2017 board members include: Soledad O’Brien Co-founder, Board Chairperson; Brad Raymond Co-Founder and Treasurer; Kim Bondy, an award-winning TV producer and media executive serves as the Board Secretary; Sonny Kalsi, a real estate veteran who was recently named by PERE as one of the most influential people in private real estate from the past decade; Jay Kriegel, Senior Advisor for the related companies, developer of the Hudson Yards the largest project in New York City History with 17 million square feet of residential, commercial and real estate space; Deborah Pond, General Counsel for Coca- Cola Beverages Florida; Prashanthi Rao Raman, Senior Public Policy Manager in Government Relations at Lyft; Keith Reinhard, Chairman Emeritus of DDB Worldwide; and Pharrell Williams, music artist and former coach of the hit show The Voice.
PowHERful Foundation also launched a new website which they will develop into a content hub for engaging with the PowHERful community over the next year and continue to develop resources for both their community and the broader public.
Soledad O’Brien stated, “We are so thrilled to continue our mission to fulfill PowHERful Foundation’s mission as we work to empower more young women.”
The idea for the Foundation came after O’Brien and Raymond witnessed the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina in 2006 and decided to privately award scholarships to young women in the area. The PowHERful Foundation was started in 2011 and has since helped 27 young women around the country.