Spotlight on WINGS Charlotte's Inaugural SOAR Awardees

Posted by 104f on March 31, 2017 · Flag

First fundraiser for the region - the WINGS Charlotte Inaugural SOAR Awards on May 4th - honors some of the most recognized faces in Charlotte.

The WINGS SOAR Awards were designed to celebrate local heroes who advocate for equity in education, quality out-of-school time activities and resources to help marginalized communities. This year’s honorees epitomize what it takes to be a fearless leader and champion for those who often remain voiceless.  We are thrilled to honor our pioneer awardees:

  • ● The Honorable Jennifer Roberts (Mayor, City of Charlotte)
  • ● Debra Plousha Moore (Systems Chief of Staff and Executive Vice President, Carolinas HealthCare System)
  • ● Jay Everette (Senior Vice President Community Affairs, Wells Fargo)
  • ● Richard “Stick” Williams (Retired, Duke Energy Foundation President)

While sharing similar traits and characteristics of what essentially defines a great leader, each of our awardees have their own unique story, perspective and ability to take immediate action when it comes to bettering the City of Charlotte. From the unrest that thrust the City into the national spotlight, to the Harvard economic mobility study, alarming rates of illiteracy to the chronic absenteeism rate that is so prevalent for students living in poverty, our award recipients have made, and continue to make, indelible marks to reverse these alarming trends and findings.  

Their advocacy and leadership has played out in findings from the City’s well-known Opportunity Task Force; the launch of a transformative education initiative, Project LIFT which has drawn national attention; and ONE Charlotte, created to address social and economic justice, to name but a few. Their bold vision and keen insight helped WINGS Charlotte double its footprint in the Queen City in less than two years; expanding from Bruns Academy to Walter G. Byers Elementary School now serving close to 300 elementary age students during out-of-school time.

WINGS kids face immeasurable barriers in their quest to be successful inside and outside of school, often bringing to school the trappings of their neighborhoods and domestic challenges. When we help kids to understand their emotions and the things that easily set them off, they are better able to control themselves. Living their lives is akin to playing football without a helmet with life circumstances often deliver damaging blows! The data is clear with respect to our national and local outcomes, but we’d like for you to have a sneak preview of what our honorees have to say about the importance and power of social and emotional intelligence.


SOARING Reflections About Social and Emotional Learning From Our Awardees:

The Honorable Jennifer Roberts, Mayor, The City of Charlotte 

“Social and emotional learning is like mentoring. Most people think it’s intuitive and just happens, but it doesn’t. What we know is that not every household, experience or neighborhood has all of the tools that a child needs to learn how to deal with the 21st century and all of its stresses and challenges. It’s very important for students to learn the tools that will help them through the tough times.”

Debra Plousha Moore, Systems Chief of Staff, Carolinas HealthCare System

A good classroom or community is developed by emotional intelligence. You must know your environment, how to thrive and understand how to advance as a group. You need a sense of belongingness, respect and a sense of value.  Social and emotional intelligence, at an early age, with competency, provides a platform  for longterm success.”


Jay Everett, Senior Vice President Community Affairs, Wells Fargo

“Social and emotional learning is not simply for children. I also find it useful for adults; quite  frankly, we all need more training. Working in a corporate environment and in the community constantly challenges me to think about my own emotional compass: knowing myself, setting  aside biases and the need to work collaboratively. It’s a struggle to model this right behavior, so investing in SEL at an early age makes students more capable of becoming collaborative thought  leaders.”

Richard "Stick" Williams, Retired, Duke Energy Foundation President 

“I never imagined the challenges many students bring with them to school, so it makes sense for them to learn how to control themselves and manage their emotions to become effective learners. There is no doubt  that we have extraordinary talent in our school district; with a nurturing and supportive environment they can  understand their potential. This what we call the LIFT (Project L.I.F.T.) effect because it’s broader than just  academic achievement.”

JOIN US on May 4th from 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM at the Westin Charlotte where we will honor these incredible champions while enjoying an engaging presentation from nationally acclaimed speaker, Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. on “Genetics, Genealogy, and American History.” Click here to purchase tickets at $80.00 per person. For information about sponsorship levels or to purchase tables accommodating ten at  $700.00 for profit rate or $600.00 nonprofit rate, please contact Annie Burton at

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commented 2017-08-24 10:26:45 -0400 · Flag
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