Spotlight – Debra McClendon-Boddie: Small Business Achievement Award

Debra I'd like to start by congratulating you on your 2020 key for Women's Small Business Award winner, you and your organization do such inspiring work

Keith thank you, Mr. Mitchell. I really appreciate KeyBank recognizing us when I say us, when I say us, I mean my board of directors, my volunteer mentors, my PhD, our parents, and my poise gifting already mentees. We humbly accept this award and your generous grant. We are elated to be selected. Thank you.

Absolutely, and I think it's great what you're doing for the community and helping our young women strive to be the best in life. I like to start by asking you a couple questions just for everyone can understand what you do with your foundation. You specialize in mentor. What difference can it make in the lives of people, especially at a young age?

From my experience it's made up great huge impact, the mentees and their parents, the volunteers, my board, we've all gotten something out of interacting with these young girls. They feel valued, they feel heard they feel cared about we've created a family. It created a girls just in case you didn't know ages six to 18. We've created a platform for them to strive for excellence not only in their natural gifts, but just in general have equal platform to grow, to compete. And we have so many treasures in our community. So many programs, businesses, people who have stories that are willing to pour into our mentees that we feel is our obligation to make sure that they meet them.

How did you personally benefit from mentorship? A founder's dream is to see or a business dream. A business owner's dream is to see the fruit that they bear. We've been able to, I have been able to see that. When I started in June, 2012, I started with five girls. Currently We have over 50 active mentees but out of the five, one of our little sisters graduated from a local high school. In 2015, she went on to achieve her associate's degree from Niagara university. Then she went to the university of Albany and received her social work, Bachelor's in social work, and now she's pursuing her masters from Fordham university. She's returned to volunteer in our program as a mentor. So she does follow our pledge. Our pledge is to do what we can, but who we can when we can. And so to see her come back into just that based on her short life and her experiences is a beautiful thing.

Debra, thank you so much for joining us and congratulations on being our 2020 key for Women's Small Business Award winner. Thank you.

Thank you Mr. Mitchell.

Meet Debra McClendon-Boddie, who has been chosen as this year’s recipient of the Central New York Key4Women® Small Business Achievement Award for her work as founder of PGR Foundation, Inc. Hear how her mentorship makes a difference in the lives of young girls, and how this work has changed her life, too.

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For more Key4Women resources to help you reach your goals, visit key.com/women, or email us to learn more.

For more information about the PGR Foundation, visit PGRFoundationInc.org

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