When people feel supported…magic happens. There’s newfound confidence. Opportunities burst out where obstacles had existed before. Dreams take practical forms and begin coming true.
And to make all this happen, sometimes all you need is for someone to believe in you and your dream.
Through her Walker Phenomenal Spirit Award, Doretha Walker is doing just that - believing in people, helping them make their dream come true - and supporting other women as well.
Doretha’s story about why and how she started this award is an inspiring lead BIG and give BIG message.
I am Doretha, and the Walker Phenomenal Spirit award is my dream. The fund was born because I wanted to provide a source of money for women to fulfill their dreams. At the time, I was contemplating going back to school and could not find a place to get grant money that did not require me to fit into a box. I was not unemployed, on welfare, abused, homeless, gay, a single parent, or any of the other labels that generally apply in giving money to women. When I first conceptualized this award, I did not have any money to create a fund; but when I received a bonus at work, suddenly I did it. It is as simple as that.
Also, after thinking of the legacies left behind by Rosa Parks and Coretta Scott King, I wondered what my legacy would be. I decided to build it while I was alive.
I was not exactly sure what this award should look like and was even more unsure if people would accept it and support it. When I heard Oprah say that it was our duty to give back and to stop living our lives small, I knew I had to do it. I could not let my dream sit in my heart and fester. I had no excuse not to do it this time.
The poem by Langston Hughes, A Dream Deferred, sums it up nicely:
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore-And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over-like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
No dream should ever expire due to being unfilled. No dream should ever be deferred indefinitely. Dreams are what enable our souls to fly. This award is my dream and I hope to make other women’s dreams come true for many years to come.
The Walker Phenomenal Spirit Award offers a $1,000 one-time grant to a woman aged 35 years and older to help fund a project, activity or event that fulfills a heartfelt desire.