Fine wine, gourmet cuisine, live jazz, and a hilarious auction emceed by Les Gold from the TV hit series, Hardcore Pawn – all this and more were enjoyed by 328 supporters who attended our 10th Annual Corks & Forks, hosted by the Lear Corporation, on February 24 at The Townsend Hotel in Birmingham. The event was chaired by Matt Duffy, global purchasing director, Ford Motor Company, and raised more than $320,000 in support of our mentoring programs!
Corks & Forks guests sampled more than 36 varieties of specialty wine and 8 kinds of scotch and tequila, then enjoyed a fantastic meal with friends and family. The highlight of the event was college freshman, Dipita Das, who courageously spoke about her experience immigrating to the United States and critical support she received through our mentoring program.
Dipita moved with her family to the United States when she was five years old. Throughout her childhood, Dipita served as a translator for her parents, helped her sisters with homework, and made sure the family’s bills were paid. The responsibilities grew and took a toll on her mental and physical health.
“I was upset that nobody understood me, nobody was helping me, I felt alone,” said Dipita.
As a student in our Winning Futures program at Cass Technical High School in Detroit, Dipita was matched with Sharon vanSpronsen of Phillips Service Industries who mentored and provided her with the support and guidance she needed. Sharon helped Dipita see a future and put together a strategic plan to help her get there. With Sharon’s help, Dipita raised her grades, applied for college, and received a scholarship.
“Sharon helped me sort it all out,” said Dipita. “She helped me edit essays for college and scholarship applications. She taught me how to dress and present myself in a professional way, and how to create an elevator speech. She even taught me how to cook!”
Dipita is now a student at the University of Michigan where she plans to study immigration law, and participate in a study abroad program in Barcelona this summer. She hopes to one day help immigrant youth overcome obstacles, just like Sharon helped her.
All Corks & Forks proceeds support our mentoring program, helping thousands of metro Detroit kids annually. Learn how you can help a kid have a bright and prosperous future.