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Impact100 awards first grant recipient. From left to right are: Erika George – The Empowerment Plan, Amy Bouque – Impact100, Veronika Scott – Founder of The Empowerment Plan, Emily Eichenhorn and Kathryn Bentley – Impact100

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Katana and Veronika Scott, Founder and CEO of The Empowerment Plan

First of all, I hope you had a wonderful Father’s Day weekend!  Congratulations to all the great dads that give so much to make our lives better.

Last month, Emily Eichenhorn, founder of Impact100 Metro Detroit invited me to lunch at the Iroquois Club in Bloomfield Hills to learn about a new not-for-profit agency consisting entirely of women volunteers.

The idea was to recruit 100 women who would agree to donate $1,000 each to award a $100,000 grant that would be given to a deserving not-for-profit organization from the tri-county area each year. Qualifying organizations go through a rigorous grant and financial review process, complete with a site visit.
Each of the organizations had eight minutes to pitch why they should receive the $50,000 grant for the project they were undertaking.  It was amazing to watch and listen to their stories.
All three candidates made wonderful pleas, but when it came time to select the winner, the Impact100 Metro Detroit members chose The Empowerment Plan – a Detroit-based nonprofit dedicated to serving the homeless community.

Veronika Scott, CEO and Founder, created the organization when she was a twenty-year-old product design student with the goal of helping those who have become trapped in the cycle of homelessness. Hiring homeless people from local shelters to become full-time seamstresses so they can earn a stable income, the program provides the opportunity for workers to find secure housing and gain back their independence for themselves and for their families. The individuals they hire are trained to manufacture a coat that transforms into a sleeping bag at night

Veronika was told over and over that she would fail because the homeless people she wanted to hire would be worthless. “Everyday I enjoy proving all of those people wrong. Everyone I hire is powerful, driven, and I’m lucky to be part of their lives,” states Veronika.

Young women like Veronika are shining examples of what is possible when you have a dream and turn it into reality with purpose and passion.  All of these organizations are making such a huge difference in our community!  I’m thrilled that I accepted Emily’s lunch invitation and can’t wait to interview her soon on Smart Women Talk Radio!