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  • John may arrive in January

    Dec. 13, 2016: Sarah reports that John Malindi has received support for his flight to the States. He’s currently scheduled to arrive Jan. 2 or Jan. 3.

  • Sarah Stevenson says thanks to supporters for boosting fund

    Nov. 17, 2015

    Sarah Stevenson, who co-founded the Tuesday Morning Breakfast Forum, used the Forum this morning to announce fundraising results from her Oct. 25 90th birthday celebration.

  • Thanks to all who participated in today’s birthday celebration

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    Oct. 25, 2015

    Click here for video excerpts from Sunday’s event marking Sarah Stevenson’s 90th birthday and her ongoing efforts to raise money for tuition and fees so that two South African students can get a taste of college at Johnson C. Smith University.

    As of Oct. 26, the event had raised $5,520 toward John Malindi’s spring semester tuition. More updates anon.

  • Surrounded by friends, and devoted to a mission

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    Oct. 1, 2015

    Portia writes: “This is the best thing about my job: Because I work with people who are selfless and challenge me to give my best in everything I do.

    “Our mission is to empower girls such as these to be leaders and role models in the community through mentorship, leadership and advocacy.

    “Nothing brings me more joy than to know that I helped a girl to reach her full potential. I thank God for this and making me realize my purpose.”

    Motsapi with EmpowHerment Executive Director Carrie Cook and Lanae’ Brown at Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology.
    Motsapi with EmpowHerment Founder Carrie Cook and Lanae’ Brown at Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology.

    “Not only do I have the best boss in the universe, but I thank you Carrie Cook for believing in me and giving me the chance to empowHer the girls.”

     

  • That all may eat

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    150919Garden2Sept. 19: “The garden is in the Lincoln Heights neighborhood, at an apartment complex. I went with a few students from school as part of my community service hours.

    “We were removing plants to help the others grow. But it’s not just about helping at the garden:

    “The project is trying to get the community involved. So us going there representing JCSU helps them see that we care about them too.

    ”It was actually my first time doing gardening in my life, but I enjoyed every minute of it.

    “It feels good to do something for someone because, taking good care of the garden weekly, the vegetables will grow and become food for a family in need.”

    Photos, Devonte Gooding

  • Where will you be?

    Sept. 17: What do Thomas Moore, Portia Motsapi, Ron Carter, Linda Straite Lynch, Bishop George Battle and Treva Pettis have in common?

    They’ll all be at Sarah Stevenson’s 90th Birthday Fundraiser on Sunday, Oct. 25 at Johnson C. Smith University’s Grimes Lounge, helping raise money for South African students attending JCSU. Join them! More info here.

  • A first volunteer job

    150916FestivalSept. 16: Portia writes: “I got my first volunteer work” – a Friday evening stint volunteering at Festival in the Park on Sept. 25. “We all have got to start somewhere, right? I’m looking forward to my work.”

    Portia will be one of more than 250 volunteers helping with logistics during the three-day gathering of artists, arts and crafts exhibits and entertainers. The free festival is in its 51st year and will be held at Freedom Park off East Boulevard.

     

  • Sept. 6: Friends Indeed!

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  • Sept. 5: First football

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  • Getting acclimated

    Sept. 2: Portia writes:

    “My classes have been demanding. I’m enjoying my math a lot because I need extra help with that so I look forward to class for that new something I’m going to learn.

    “I still find the weather not good for me because it really affects my skin.

    “The food is better now that I’m getting used to it.”

  • ‘I’m going to make you all proud’

    Aug. 25: Portia addresses the Tuesday Morning Breakfast Forum in Charlotte.

  • Posing with Queen Go Go

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    Aug. 25: Portia Motsapi, right, poses for a photo with Sarah Stevenson at the Tuesday Morning Breakfast Forum. In impromptu remarks, Motsapi thanked Forum participants who had donated money to help pay her tuition for the fall semester at Johnson C. Smith University.

  • Hugs for Queen Go Go

    Portia Motsapi gives Sarah Stevenson a hug at Stevenson's home on Aug. 24, 2015. For two years Portia has been working to raise funds to get to the United States, while Stevenson has been focused on raising tuition money in Charlotte to help the South African student achieve her dream of attending Johnson C. Smith University. Motsapi arrived Saturday and was scheduled to begin classes at JCSU this week.
    Aug. 24: Portia Motsapi gives Sarah Stevenson a hug at Stevenson’s home on Aug. 24, 2015. For two years Portia has been working to raise funds to get to the United States, while Stevenson has been focused on raising tuition money in Charlotte to help the South African student achieve her dream of attending Johnson C. Smith University. Motsapi arrived Saturday and was scheduled to begin classes at JCSU this week.

     

  • Portia’s long flight over

     

    Portia Motsapi is welcomed to Charlotte by Natheley McElrath, left, and Geri Brisbane Crooks on Saturday morning, Aug. 22, 2015. The group left Charlotte-Douglas International Airport for the Johnson C. Smith University campus, where Motsapi will move into a dorm room Sunday for the fall semester of her freshman year.
    Portia Motsapi is welcomed to Charlotte by Natheley McElrath, left, and Geri Brisbane Crooks on Saturday morning, Aug. 22, 2015. The group left Charlotte-Douglas International Airport for the Johnson C. Smith University campus, where Motsapi will move into a dorm room Sunday for the fall semester of her freshman year.

    150822Airport2Aug. 22: “Geri and I picked Portia up at the airport this morning,” Natheley writes. “She’s adorable.

    “We took Portia by JCSU on our way back from the airport and introduced her to Dean Hurd.  Portia will be able to check into her dorm tomorrow and then meet with Dean Hurd Monday morning to get her class schedule and a brief orientation. All her finances are covered.

    “Sarah … doesn’t know Portia is here.  Won’t she be surprised.”

  • Arriving at Gate …

    Aug. 21: Geri reports that, by way of Atlanta, Portia is due to arrive in Charlotte Saturday morning!

  • Visa released

    Aug. 18: Geri reports that Portia’s visa was released today. “She is working with her NYC sponsors to obtain her flight itinerary.”

  • Portia may be on way

    Aug. 13: Sarah reports that Portia may be arriving as early as this Saturday or Sunday!

  • Both students delayed

    Aug. 9: Sarah reports that Portia will be delayed in arriving in Charlotte for awhile, and John will postpone his arrival until time for JCSU’s spring semester. All funds donated thus far will go toward Portia’s fall semester tuition and fees. Continuing fund-raising will focus on supporting both Portia and John in the spring semester.

  • One arrival may be delayed

    Aug. 5: The donor who promised an airline ticket missed a meeting with John. Hopefully the donor will keep his promise, but as of today we’re not sure when John will arrive. – Natheley McElrath

  • Sarah makes another plea

    Aug. 4: Sarah announced today that she needed more donors to step up. John and Portia “are still scheduled to be here this Sunday.”

  • Registration confirmed

    Aug. 2: “I did receive a call today from Dean Hurd confirming their class registration and housing assignment. What a blessing.” – Geri Crooks

  • Sarah issues a challenge

    July 28: Sarah Stevenson stood before the Tuesday Morning Breakfast Forum and said she was prepared to empty her personal bank accounts to make good on a promise. More on her plea here.

  • Immediate need: $10,000

    July 28: “There is an outstanding balance of $10,000 of the $26,000 required for Portia and John to attend JCSU for one semester.” – Natheley McElrath

  • Arriving soon

    July 27: “We were very pleased to learn at yesterday’s meeting that our two students will be arriving Aug. 8 or 9 with the hope of starting at JCSU on Aug. 12.  We need a few more dollars to assure their enrollment but hopefully that is not going to be a problem.”

    – Natheley McElrath