Alternatives for Girls Event Salutes True Role Models

Alternatives for Girls, the agency that helps homeless and high-risk girls and young women in Detroit, celebrated and recognized leading women at its 23rd annual Role Model Dinner on March 29, 2012 at the Fillmore Detroit. A lively crowd enjoyed the sold-out event featuring a reception, dinner, silent and live auction, and inspiring messages from girls in the AFG program as well as the four women who received an award.

The event was emceed by Amyre Makupson, former “Ten O’Clock News” anchor, and well-known supporter of AFG and other metro Detroit charities.

Seven young women, who have received services from AFG, participated in the program, including presenting awards to the honorees. They were Kee’Janae Moore, Akelia McLeod, Alexis Cheeks, Shaquavia Hall, Juanetta Leftwich, Jennifer Martinez and Cassandra Mix-Traylor.

Winners of the 2012 Role Model Awards were:
Detroit RiverFront Conservancy President and CEO Faye Alexander Nelson was presented with the Professional Award. Committed to the revitalization of Detroit, Nelson joined the nonprofit Conservancy in 2003. Prior to that, she was vice president, governmental affairs for Wayne State University. She serves on the board of directors for Compuware Corporation, the University of Detroit/Mercy, TechTown, the Parade Company and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Nelson is the recipient of numerous awards including “the Grio’s” 100 African American History Makers presented by NBC News, the Milliken Distinguished Service Award from the Michigan Environmental Council, and Crain’s Detroit Business as one of Metro Detroit’s Most Influential Women. She has four daughters and is married to Albert Taylor Nelson Jr., of counsel to Giarmarco, Mullins and Horton, PC.

The Community Award recipient was Carolyn Lett, diversity and community programs coordinator for The Roeper School. Lett has served the school for 18 years. She is chair of The Roeper School “All School Diversity Committee,” the advisor for the middle/upper school Student Diversity Committee and stewards inclusivity in all areas of the school’s programs. She is also involved in local and national diversity work, serving as chair of the AIMS Southeastern Michigan Diversity Committee and as a member of the NAIS “Call to Action” Committee.

Kristina Marshall, M.Ed., was named Emerging Leader. She is president and CEO of Winning Future, a school-based mentoring program. As the first mentee in 1994, Marshall has made the organization her life’s mission. With degrees from Michigan Tech and Oakland University, Marshall has raised $8 million and watched the program help over 20,000 youth and make a national impact through their award-winning life skills curriculum. She is a motivational speaker, co-author of four books, chair of the Mentor Michigan Providers Council, and involved in the Entrepreneurship Organization. Marshall has been married to her high school sweetheart, Duane, for 13 years and they have a five-year-old son.

Mandi Murray, attorney for St. Joseph Mercy Health System, received the Summit Award. Murray was the first female Battalion Commander, first female Brigade Commander and first female General Officer in the Michigan Army National Guard. She joined the Army National Guard while in high school. She received her nursing degree from Michigan State University. In 1993, Murray earned her law degree from University of Detroit Mercy School of Law after working as a nurse. She deployed to Afghanistan from 2010-2011 where she oversaw the U.S. detention facility and training of Afghan Guard force. She also received the Bronze Star.

“These four women are dedicated, courageous and creative -¦ they serve as shining examples for the girls and young women at AFG of what can be achieved when hard work and a supportive community are combined,” said AFG CEO Amy Good.

Corp! was a media sponsor of the event.