ATLANTA, May 8, 2012 - Being a great mom requires an around-the-clock effort. No one knows this better than Lorrie Wolfe who was named America's Most Inspirational Mom, through a pursuit conducted by Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA). Wolfe's ascension caps a nationwide search launched last November by Lucille O'Neal, BGCA and longtime partner Kimberly-Clark Corporation, which will yield her a full-tuition scholarship to University of Phoenix where she will major in Criminal Justice. Wolfe plans to use her degree to work in the juvenile justice system, and one day hopes to open her own Boys & Girls Club.
Wolfe from Hickory, N.C. is a single mother of three including raising one child with Asperger's Syndrome. She will soon celebrate her seventh anniversary as a domestic violence survivor. Her children have watched the family flee a physically abusive household with no money, transportation or job, to a safe environment in a loving home, with a car and food in the refrigerator. Regardless of her situation, Wolfe has always encouraged her kids to think big and to work hard in pursuit of their dreams. She works fulltime at the Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club of Hickory as a Project Coordinator with at-risk youth. She also helps the Hickory community by collecting clothes, school supplies, researching part-time jobs for teens and soliciting donations from businesses for program support and career experiences for Club kids.
"Being named the Most Inspirational Mom is a life changing honor for me, and I can't believe I have the opportunity to go to University of Phoenix to pursue a degree in criminal justice thanks to the Family PLUS program," said Wolfe. "My children, and the children I work with through our gang prevention program, are always encouraged to think big, work hard and stay positive so they can achieve their dreams. I hope this award will inspire others in difficult situations to never give up on their dreams, and to always take care of their families and give back to their communities."
The Most Inspirational Mom is part of a joint venture to implement family strengthening at Boys & Girls Clubs around the country. For the seventh consecutive year, Kimberly-Clark and BGCA are teaming up to provide the Family PLUS (Parents Leading, Uniting, Serving) program at Clubs around the country. The Family PLUS initiative encourages local Boys & Girls Clubs to integrate family strengthening activities into their programming, in addition to hosting specific Family Nights to help parents learn and have fun together, further building a strong family dynamic. Currently some 2,000 Boys & Girls Clubs around the country are implementing the Family PLUS program into their curriculum.
Wolfe is joined by runner-ups Karen Baker from North Little Rock, Ark. and Sue Trnka from Callaway, Minn. who will also receive full-tuition University of Phoenix scholarships along with Kimberly-Clark back-to-school survival kits. As the Most Inspirational Mom, Wolfe will also receive a new laptop computer, along with a book bag full of school supplies from BGCA. All three women plan to begin college this summer.
"Lorrie, Karen and Sue are wonderful examples of the driven, motivational and inspiring moms we have supporting our local Boys & Girls Clubs," said O'Neal, Family PLUS ambassador and mom of legendary basketball player Shaquille O'Neal. "I'm a product of both Boys & Girls Clubs of America and University of Phoenix, so it's exciting to provide three well-deserving moms with the opportunity to go back to school, through the Most Inspirational Mom search. Lorrie truly embodies the core values of the Family PLUS initiative and I cannot think of a more deserving woman making a difference in her community."
Runner-up Karen Baker was driven to make sure her kids beat the cycle of poverty. She worked two jobs to make sure there was food on the table and clothes on her kids' backs. Baker has also been a leader in the community helping to raise a number of children from friends and family within the Little Rock area, in addition to her own. Because Baker was adopted, she wanted to make sure no one close to her went through that same experience. Her son, DeShaun Bennett, was the 2011 Southwest Regional Youth of the Year.
Second runner-up Sue Trnka was involved with a non-profit organization to reduce crime, violence, drug and alcohol abuse, and implemented prevention based programs to enhance her community. Shortly after becoming a single mom, funding for this non-profit organization dried up and Trnka had to work four jobs to make ends meet for her family. In 2009 she became the Resource Development Director for Boys & Girls Club of Detroit Lakes and is working to provide great futures for youth in her community.
University of Phoenix provides access to higher education opportunities that enable students to develop knowledge and skills necessary to achieve their professional goals, improve the productivity of their organizations and provide leadership and service to their communities. With courses available in the evenings and online, University of Phoenix is a perfect fit for working parents, or stay-at-home parents looking to refresh their skills before reentering the workforce.
For details on the Most Inspirational Mom search or to get additional information on Family PLUS, please visit: familyplus.bgca.org.
For more information on University of Phoenix scholarships, visit phoenix.edu/scholarships.
About Family PLUS
Family PLUS (Parents Leading, Uniting, Serving) is a comprehensive family strengthening strategy developed by Boys & Girls Clubs of America (www.bgca.org). Family PLUS allows Boys & Girls Clubs to partner with families, ensuring that parents and caregivers have the opportunities and assistance they need to better their children's lives. This initiative is generously supported by Kimberly-Clark Corporation (www.kimberly-clark.com). To learn more about Family PLUS, visit http://familyplus.bgca.org.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (GreatFutures.org) has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, nearly 4,000 Clubs serve some 4 million young people through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native American lands throughout the country and on U.S. military installations worldwide. They provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun and friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Club programs promote academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 57 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more at http://bgca.org/facebook and http://bgca.org/twitter.
Kimberly-Clark and its well-known global brands are an indispensable part of life for people in more than 175 countries. Every day, nearly a quarter of the world's population - trust K-C brands and the solutions they provide to enhance their health, hygiene and well-being. With brands such as Kleenex, Scott, Huggies, Pull-Ups, Kotex and Depend, Kimberly-Clark holds the No.1 or No. 2 share position in more than 80 countries. To keep up with the latest K-C news and to learn more about the company's 140-year history of innovation, visit www.kimberly-clark.com.
About University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix is constantly innovating to help students balance education and life in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, challenging courses and interactive learning help students pursue personal and career aspirations without putting their lives on hold. As the flagship university of Apollo Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: APOL), University of Phoenix serves a diverse student population, offering associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programs from campuses and learning centers across the U.S. as well as online throughout the world. For more information, visit phoenix.edu.