Bigger than us

In 2020, at the height of the pandemic, Mike Rowe and fellow board member Quincy Harris created a new direction for Legacy of Hope when they started the Mentorship Program—Mentoring Minds that Matter. Their idea: use a variety of mentors to bring otherwise unavailable career and learning opportunities to kids in underserved communities, and marry those efforts with Legacy of Hope’s mission. This unique approach would give 7th and 8th grade mentees tangible skills in negotiation and project management, firsthand experience with community service, and access to a variety of mentors from across the country.

West Oak Lane Charter School (WOLCS), the flagship school for the program, is currently wrapping up its second [very successful] year thanks to the efforts of Miss Holland Durham, an administrator at WOLCS, who has been instrumental as liaison between Legacy of Hope and the school. Nia Andrews, VP of the mentorship program, also helped to guide the students as they planned and executed their 2022 project.

This year, the mentees helped a cancer patient in their community, by providing household materials/dry goods for the family, and raising money for a gift card that helped the patient prep her son to head off to college. They are also working to establish relationships with local businesses to assist future patients.

La`Raine Bacchus, 8th grader, second year mentee and President of WOLCS Student Body, explains “one of the ways that we raised funds was having a ‘dress down day’ at school. Students paid two dollars; and each grade wore a different color. The money we raised went to school supplies, cleaning supplies, and food for the family.” Her favorite part of the project was “seeing the joy that we brought to the family.” She goes on to state “I was not the best at communication; the program has helped me develop and improve my communications.”

7th grader, and first year mentee, Zaria O’Reilly says the mentorship program has already helped her “because I was confused about what career I wanted. Through the mentors I’ve met, I feel like I’m closer to figuring out a career path” which, in her case, likely means becoming a veterinarian.

For 8th grader Quincy Sullivan, “the mentorship program inspires us to do something bigger than ourselves. It has helped me learn how to be a team player.”

These testimonies represent a promising start for the mentorship program, and the type of opportunities and education that our young people need. Legacy of Hope is committed to growing and improving the mentorship program so that everyone involved benefits from strengthening our community. You can partner with this vibrant community by supporting the mentorship program with a donation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Nia Andrews

Bio Coming Soon

Rebecca Blinn

Bio Coming Soon

Carol Sollenberger

Bio Coming Soon

Maree Lavo

Bio Coming Soon

Bryan Lathrop

Bio Coming Soon

Kimberly S. Reed

An award winning international speaker, author, corporate trainer and diversity, equality and inclusion executive, nationally recognized thought leader, expert, strategist and advisor to some of the world’s most influential organizations in global professional services, health care, financial services, consumer products and pharmaceutical industries.

Kimberly is a seasoned leader in transforming organizations into high-performing enterprises and challenging leaders to live without limits, with more than 20 years of HR, talent acquisition, and diversity & inclusion experience; successfully turning around troubled diversity practices by designing, building, leading, and shaping high-performing cultures at global organizations with robust strategies, global employee development programs and enterprise-wide initiatives that have increased revenue growth and organizational brand eminence.

Michele Redrow

Michele is a Director on the Legacy of Hope board and also serves on the Executive Committee.

mary chicorelli

Professional:  Mary is a certified city planner for Philadelphia, a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association as well as the Philadelphia Bar Association, and the Pro Bono Honor Roll First Judicial District of Philadelphia.

Bio: Mary’s insight into the legal world is invaluable to Legacy of Hope, both in keeping our daily operations moving fluidly as well as making connections for our patients and their families when needed.

“Michael reached out to me about 2 years ago through mutual friends. We worked together to help a woman with stage 4 cancer get her electricity turned back on after it was shut off during the winter. I’ve been 100% supportive of Mike’s vision since then.”

joseph ruggieri, jr

Education: Bachelor’s of Science from West Chester University in Management and Finance

Bio: As a member of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.’s upper management team, Joseph brings a wealth of knowledge regarding finances, management, team-building and planning to the Legacy of Hope board. Joseph linked up with Michael, our President, and Wells Fargo began supporting Legacy of Hope annually.

“My father passed away from what started as Colon Cancer in 2015. Cancer is horrible and if there is something I can do to help others impacted I would want to be a part of it.”

David April

David is the founder of the Fishtown Beer Runners, an organization with chapters all over the world based here in Philadelphia.

dr. kevin kelly

Dr. Kevin Kelly leads Legacy of Hope’s Scientific Review Board to seek out and support the most promising cancer research in Philadelphia using a merit-based system.  He is Jefferson’s Director of Solid Tumor Oncology.

greg garber

Greg Garber is the director of Oncology Support Services at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center.

Gina Mancuso

Gina’s experience as the very successful co-owner of CoreFitness, LLC coupled with her expertise in planning special events makes her the perfect Vice President for Legacy of Hope. With energy, passion, and drive that makes her seem superhuman, Gina’s connection to our mission is a personal one.

“Both my father and my dear childhood friend were diagnosed with cancer within 3 months of one another. They were surrounded and supported by friends and family throughout their battle and until their passing. No one should suffer through a diagnosis alone and, without Legacy of Hope, some people would do just that.”

Michael Rowe


Volatile Media Management’s Mover, Shaker, Changemaker Award – February 2017

Miles Mack Community Services & Leadership Honorable Mention – 2016 TJUH Emergency Department Technician of the Year, Physicians Choice Award – 2015

TJUH Emergency Department Technician of the Year, Physicians Choice Award – 2014


With his free time so limited, Michael manages to fuse his work with his other passion: running. Whether it is with the Fishtown Beer Runners, our own Team Relentless Hope, or his closest friends, Michael can often be spotted on the streets of Philadelphia keeping himself fit and active.