Love is in the Air: Women Leaders Forum at Cambria Gallery
The Coachella Valley is filled with many hidden gems, but the Women Leaders Forum is by far the most precious of them all by Scott Alvarez / CoachellaValley.com
The CoachellaValley.com team was honored to receive an invitation from local Artist Rhonda Donahue to her benefit “Love is in the Air” at Cambria Gallery on El Paseo. Unlike many art showings, this event was a fundraiser for Women Leaders Forum put on by artist Rhonda Donahue. Walking into the event we had no idea what to expect, but we soon found ourselves surrounded by locals that are united in their mission to help empower women of all ages throughout the Coachella Valley. As their website states, “Our Mission: Women Leaders Forum of the Coachella Valley (WLF) develops, empowers and serves leaders of all ages and backgrounds”. Cambria Gallery was filled with women and men that supported the efforts of Women Leadership Forum. One attendee stated, “All the money goes here in the Coachella Valley, with scholarships for young girls and I’m here to support that cause” and this attendee was right.
Since its inception in 2001, WLF has:
- Awarded over $ 350,000 in college scholarships.
- Hosted an annual Leadership Conference to help women advance their professional and personal leadership skills.
- Provided training on the value of financial empowerment and independence through the annual Wall Street Teens workshop.
- Mentored young leaders of tomorrow through its Young Women Leaders program.
- Established microbanks in Mexico and Guatemala to help women and their families become financially self-sufficient.
After mingling, we finally spoke with Rhonda Donahue and got her thoughts on the event. As we walked around and discussed her artwork, we also discussed her role in the Women Leaders Forum. We learned that with the Women Leaders Forum Rhonda is a mentor for a high school senior name Maya, and with the help of her mentor Maya has been accepted to Georgia State University.
When discussing her decision to join Women Leaders Forum, Rhonda explained, “It’s a great group because they raise money for young high school senior girls for college. When I was a senior in high school I didn’t have money to go to college. I had to put myself through school”. We learned how Rhondas personal experience with not being able to pay for college helped shape her decision to join Women Leaders Forum, she continued, “I thought it was a really great program. I am even a member of the mentoring program” It was great seeing how Rhondas personal experience led to her choice of joining the Women Leadership Forum, and it was amazing to see that she loved doing everything she could to help the organization. While she was enthusiastic about spreading the message of the organization, the real reason behind her joining Women Leaders Forum put a smile on her face, she explained, ”I’ve always wanted to help inspire a young woman to be a better person and go on to college and make a life for herself”. This was the best moment of the night for us at CoachellaValley.com, because Rhonda’s message was purely about her own personal goal to better the community.
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