PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - A Philadelphia woman is one of ten individuals being honored by the White House Friday as a "Champion of Change."
Her efforts are tied to a major White House initiative.
"It seems like people aren't listening but then to get an honor from the highest level of government. I actually cried" says Cheryl Ann Wadlington, founder of Evoluer House.
The non-profit is dedicated to building leadership among marginalized girls of color. According to data, Black and Brown girls are less likely to graduate high school and more likely to suffer sexual assault.
"But we turn that around at Evoluer House," says Wadlington.
The group has serviced 1,200 girls over 12 years and boasts a 100 percent high school graduation rate and a 90-percent attendance rate at a four year college.
"It's amazing to me where i get a phone call to say I got a full ride scholarship to Barnard College, I'm going to spellman, I'm at Villanova," she says.
Evoluer House's mentoring and work ready programs caught the eye of the White House Council on Women and Girls. It launched an Advancing Equity for Women and Girls of Color initiative, which is backed by $100-million in private funding.
The goal is to study women and girls of color and promote efforts to ensure they are able to love to their fullest potential.
Wadlington will be honored be named a Champion of Change for her work in helping to make the White House effort come to fruition.
"Sometimes you just can't stop to think about it-- because you have a thousand of more girls to work with," she says, "but I'll be there on behalf of every Black and Brown girl who must wake up every day and be resilient."
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