News & Announcements

Hundreds of Girls Bring their PowHER to Cleveland

Soledad O’Brien joins CSU to present a free enrichment conference


More than 250 young women are expected at Cleveland State University (CSU) for an all-day conference next Saturday, September 23, as The PowHERful Foundation returns to provide real-world lessons for the girls to succeed in their careers and lives. The young women will come from all over northeast Ohio.

“I am both honored and thrilled at the support we’re getting in Cleveland,” said journalist Soledad O’Brien, who founded PowHERful with her husband, Brad Raymond, to help get underprivileged girls into and through college. Their nonprofit organization, formerly known as the Starfish Foundation, sponsored a similar event last year in Cleveland.

The event is free for participating girls between the ages of 14 and 23, with the generous support of Cleveland State University, KeyBank, Cleveland Clinic, Dominion, Women of Color Foundation, A.E.S. Management Corp. - A Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen Franchise Owner, Cuyahoga Community College, WKYC-TV 3 and WEWS-TV 5.

“As our nation endures and starts to recover from multiple hurricanes, it’s worth remembering that Soledad’s witnessing of Hurricane Katrina – and her desire to make a difference for underserved populations -- is what got this whole effort started,” said Alexandria Johnson Boone, the Chairwoman and Founder of the Women of Color Foundation as well as the Publisher and Chief Editorial Officer of the CL Magazine for Women of Color. “We’ll be thinking of everyone trying to rebuild as we work to build and enrich the lives of the young women at the PowHERful conference.”

“It’s an honor for us to provide the facilities for the conference,” said Sonali Bustamante Wilson, General Counsel at CSU. “Our educational mission is centered on raising the aspirations of our students, and I’ll bet some of our future freshmen are going to be in the room.”

The event at CSU’s Wolstein Center runs from 8am to 4pm, and includes sessions on “Blueprint for Success,” “Healthy You,” “Internships, Mentors and Getting Your First Job” and a special focus on STEM careers with an executive from NASA Glenn Research Center.

Girls can register in advance for the event at: