$50,000 Awarded and 17 Mentors Honored, Our 2022 Awards Celebration in Review

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Our 28th Annual Awards Celebration was held on May 17, 2022, at The Gazebo Banquet Center in Warren. We awarded a grand total of $50,000 to 24 phenomenal students from our Workforce Prep program. We also honored 17 dedicated local business professionals who completed their fifth year as career mentors! 

More than 200 students and their family members, career mentors, and sponsors attended our Annual Awards Celebration. Our wonderful speakers included Scott Rice, president of Powerlink and Winning Futures board chair, and Kristina Marshall, our president and CEO. The evening was filled with great energy and lots of laughs. 

CLICK HERE for photos of students and career mentors at the Awards Celebration 

The scholarships were awarded to students who were in our 2021-22 Workforce Prep program. The selection process was competitive and based on the students’ applications, essays, and interviews.  

“Our scholarship program is designed to help decrease the financial burden students face while enrolled in their continuing education. We know that the extreme costs of school often create barriers for students,” said Kris Marshall. “We are very proud to award scholarships to these 24 outstanding students and look forward to supporting them as they work to make their dreams become reality.”  

We are pleased to acknowledge the 2022 Cupp-Hamilton Scholarship recipients: 

Cass Technical High School, Detroit 

Miyah Hepburn, Mentored by Besima Mello, Treasury Manager, Ally Financial 

Nazifa Kadir, Mentored by Tamika Richardson-Carden, Manager of Payroll and Tax Accounting, Tenneco-Federal Mogul Powertrain  

Adib Mahdiath, Mentored by Benny Vann, General Manager, BCS-Automotive Interface Solutions 

Jayla Sanders, Mentored by Rasha Al-Naji, Director of Program Management, Flex 


Community High School, Sterling Heights 

Lima Akter, Mentored by Pam Ferarra, Program Management Analyst, Ford Motor Company  

Alyssa Jajou, Mentored by Dano Kluz  

Leah Pintoski, Mentored by Sarah Zigila, Vice President of Operations and Partnerships, Orbis Holding Group 

Gabriella Pruitt, Mentored by Lacey Cornell, Marketing and Education Associate, Extra Credit Union  

Claire Szurkiewicz, Mentored by Sara Grillo, Manufacturing Engineer, General Motors 


Harper Woods High School, Harper Woods 

Shaina Dean-Motley, Mentored by Tonya Moore-Bouchard, Senior Supplier Quality Engineer Global CT Lead for Switches, General Motors 

Alizsa Johnson, Mentored by Valencia White, Technology Compliance Program Manager, Rock Central, LLC  

Carmella Kern, Mentored by Jennifer Sutherland, Leader of Global Learning and Development, Trustwave 

Jessica Murphy, Mentored by Ashley Fordyce, School and Community Relations Coordinator, Extra Credit Union 

Michael-Allen Washington, Mentored by Prayush Saraswat, Sales Manager, Autodesk 


Warren Mott High School, Warren 

Jacob Milanov, Mentored by Gavin Haque, Educational Consultant, Gavin Haque Enterprises 


We are pleased to acknowledge the 2022 Alumni Scholarship recipients: 

Steven Bernard – Harper Woods High School, Cuyahoga Community College 

Mentored by Bob Lenz, President, Peak Management  


Iyana Cobbs – Cass Technical High School, Michigan State University 

Mentored by Vanita Sanders, Senior Director of College and Career Access and Success, Strategic Community Partners  

Kayla Lewis – Cass Technical High School, Michigan State University 

Mentored by Todd Russell, Veterinarian and Owner, Pet Menders Animal Hospital  

Faheem Mumin – Butcher Community High School, Macomb Community College  

Mentored by Brian Harris, Executive Director of Global Sales, Nexteer Automotive 

Sally Pham – Warren Mott High School, University of Michigan 

Mentored by Ruaa Bibi, Financial Analyst, Stellantis  

Jessica Taylor – Lamphere High School, Oakland Community College 

Mentored by Chris Cahill, Director of Operations, Winning Futures  

Angelica Tibbitts – Pontiac Academy for Excellence, Saginaw Valley State University 

Mentored by Tracey Yacks, Special Education Teacher, Ferndale Public Schools  

Aidan Watkins – Harper Woods High School, Wayne County Community College 

Mentored by Aubin Williams, President, Ekklesia Building Corporation   

Mohammad Zaman – Warren Mott High School, Michigan State University 

Mentored by Rana Mohamed, Operations Manager, Resquared  


We also gave a special honor to Claire Szurkiewicz who was surprised at the end of the night with the Melvin Akins Scholarship. Congrats again Claire!  


We are pleased to acknowledge our career mentors for completing five years of service: 

“These 17 career mentors are truly special people,” said Marshall. “For five years, they have dedicated themselves to their students, helping them get excited about their futures and coaching them as they learn critical life and job readiness skills.”  

Gerard Baltrusaitis – Internship/Employment Specialist, Jewish Vocational Services (Royal Oak)  

Josh Berg – Managing Director, Magna Technology and Investments, Magna International (Bloomfield Hills)  

Jeffrey Bradley – Credit Administration Officer, Comerica Bank (Berkley)  

Shuanti Brown – Vehicle Electrical Systems Manager, General Motors (Detroit)  

Mae Daniels – Public Relations and Events Coordinator, Extra Credit Union (Warren) 

Brian Donohoe – Financial Advisor, Morgan Stanley (Rochester Hills) 

Brianna Ellison – Director, Community Engagement, Verizon (Grosse Pointe Farms)  

Kinikia Essix – Court Administrator, U.S. District Court (Redford)  

Jason Henige – Business Strategist, Quicken Loans (Warren)  

Robert Lenz – President, Peak Management (Royal Oak)  

Andrew Makar – Senior Manager-Consulting Services, Salesforce (Oakland Township)  

Michael Matthews – Travel and Corporate Card Administrator, Shinola Detroit (St. Clair Shores)  

Kenneth Rogers – Business Resource Manager, Stellantis (Redford Township)  

Kelly Savela – Connections Supervisor, Social Media, VMLY&R (Livonia)  

Sharon vanSpronsen – Marketing Coordinator, Phillips Service Industries (Canton)  

Valencia White – Technology Compliance Program Manager, Rock Central, LLC (Warren)  

George Wooley – VP Business Development, Flex (Birmingham)  

The work and accomplishments of our students would not be possible without the generous support from our partners, many of whom attended the Awards Celebration. On behalf of the students and communities we serve, thank you for helping these students find success! 

Though the school year is complete, we’re already planning and recruiting mentors for the 2022-23 school year. Mentors receive training and support before, during, and after every meeting. If you’d like to help students achieve the life of their dreams, apply to be a mentor in the 2022-23 school year. If you’d like to support our students, contact Daniela Matthews at