VIDEO: “You Have Done It Already” by Dawud Muhammad

For the past thirty years Dawud Muhammad has been inspiring large and small audiences with his unique ability to speak to what he calls, “the human condition.”

He has addressed students at high schools, colleges and universities, as well as inmates at federal and state prisons. Muhammad does not consider him a motivational speaker. As he puts it, “Motivation is a very personal thing that originates deep inside the individual and is self-driven.”

He has spoken on topics as varied as Overcoming difficulty, What is leadership ,The value of arts and culture, The nature of male female relationships and Finding unity in diversity. Through the use of compelling facts, humor and good old fashioned Storytelling Muhammad has left his audiences informed and inspired.


VIDEO: Ime Ekpenyong at Hope and Dreams Seminar

Ime Ekpenyong, owner/founder of Kola Restaurant and Ultra Lounge in Farmington Hills, Michigan shares his motivation and tips for success at the September 2015 – Hope and Dreams Seminar Series.

Lisa DeFelice: 2014 Back-To-School Essay Finalist

Lisa DeFelice: 2014 Back-To-School Essay Finalist

Agents of Hope is pleased to announce the winner of our 2014 Back-To-School campaign, Mrs. Lisa DeFelice. According to recent reports, teachers spend between $500 – $1,000 per year out of their own pockets on school supplies due to cuts in education and financial issues. The Back to School Campaign will help ease the burden from these budget shortfalls as well as the student’s families.

Here is an essay letter from our 2014 Hero Teacher winner, Mrs. Lisa DeFelice:

As long as I can remember I have always wanted to be a teacher. I have always found a profound joy in helping children and connecting with them on a daily basis. I have come to realize in my 12 years of teaching 5th students ‘respect and let them know that you care about them as individuals.

My driving force as an educator is the students. They are my motivation to become a better teacher every day. It is their eagerness to learn and their excitement to share their experiences with me that makes me want to provide the best education that I can give to them.

I began my journey as an Elementary Educator at Eastern Michigan University. After I graduated with my Bachelors in Science degree in 2002, I was offered a 5th Community Schools, where I have been employed for the past 12 years. Also during this time I returned to school and earned a Masters in the Arts of Elementary Teaching from Saginaw Valley State University in 2006. In addition to continuously furthering my education through professional development, I have always been very involved with extracurricular activities that are offered at the schools I work at.

Throughout my 12 years of teaching I have noticed a decline in students being prepared with the necessary supplies needed to be successful in school. This is not due to the fact that the students do not want to be prepared, but rather their families do not have the means to prepare them with the tools grade that being a teacher is more than what is in textbooks; it is being able to earn the they need. Every year I spend on average $400-$500 on a variety of supplies for the classroom, this would include pencils, notebooks, pens, pencil sharpeners, rulers, crayons, colored pencils, as well as supplies that are needed throughout the year for different activities to enhance student learning.

I am very dedicated to my work and believe that each child deserves an equal opportunity to learn and having the proper tools supports their success. Thank you for your time and understanding,

Mrs. Lisa DeFelice, John R. Kment Elementary School, Roseville Community Schools.

Give And Get Fit With Rhonda Walker Foundation

Give And Get Fit With Rhonda Walker Foundation

Detroit, Michigan, – The Agents of Hope Health and Fitness Team participated in the 5K Run at the Rhonda Walker Foundation’s annual Give and Get Fit 5K Run, Walk and 10K Race on Sunday, July 27, 2014, along the Detroit Riverfront at Rivard Plaza located at 1340 East Atwater, Detroit, Michigan.

Now in its fourth year, over 400 health conscious participants ran, walked and raced along Detroit’s Riverwalk, the Dequindre Cut Greenway path and downtown neighborhoods in support of the Rhonda Walker Foundation’s Girls into Woman programs – a five-year program for teen girls starting in the 8th grade and continuing until they graduate from high school. Over that five-year period the girls meet monthly for workshops, seminars, retreats, field trips and camps that focus on career and personal development. In addition, every girl is paired with an adult mentor.

The Agents of Hope team was award the “Team Spirit” Award for great collaboration, motivation and team support. Robert Gunn won the overall 5K Run for the Agents of Hope team and Ada Jones won in the women 30s age group. The participating Agents of Hope team members are: Shola Salako, Ada Jones, Olawale Anifowoshe, Robert Gunn, Yewanke Oke and Jayla Jones.

“What an exciting fitness and health event for Detroit! I am so proud of the Agents of Hope team and the motivation for everyone…let’s continue to give hope,” said Shola Salako, Agents of Hope’s founder.

The overall winners for the Rhonda Walker Give and Get Fit 5K Run and 10K Race – for the women include Blaire J. (5K time 20:48.6) and Andrea Brisson (10K time 42:06.4); and for the men Robert Gunn/Agents of Hope (5K time 18:17.0) and Jonathan Tate (10K time 41:39.6).

The Rhonda Walker Foundation was founded in 2003 and since then, 100 percent of its teens that have completed the five-year Girls into Women program graduate from high school and enroll in college and 95% percent of these students attend Detroit Public Schools where the graduation rate is far lower. It’s mission and work to empower inner city teen girls towards becoming strong, confident, successful, and moral future leaders continues with a bright future ahead.

Agents of Hope is a proud supporter of the Rhonda Walker Foundation. For more information on the Rhonda Walker Foundation please visit online at or call (800) 652-2989.

Civic Leaders Gather To Rally For Abducted Nigerian School Girls

Civic Leaders Gather To Rally For Abducted Nigerian School Girls

DETROIT — Southfield Mayor Brenda L. Lawrence and Vice Chancellor Dr. Omobonike Odegbami of Wayne County Community College District along with concerned citizens will speak at a rally at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 10th 2014 to demand the return of more than 200 abducted Nigerian school girls to their families. Agents of Hope, a Detroit-based non-profit committed to education freedom and financial literacy, is also a key supporter of the rally and movement.

The rally, open to the public at Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, 315 East Warren Ave – in Detroit, hashtag #Detroit234BBOG – is designed to send a positive global message calling for an end to violence, commodification, oppression and of course abductions against women and young girls worldwide.

Demonstrators will wear crowns, headwraps, and caps to symbolize solidarity and freedom for the 270-plus schoolgirls who were kidnapped from their boarding schools in Northeastern Nigerian, and a second recent abduction on May 7 of eight school girls in Borno State, to prevent them from attending school. Boko Haram claims responsibility for the crime and allegedly refers to the young women as “slaves.” They have alleged to have actually sold several of the young girls into forced marriage. The group actions are depriving many young people from the required education and knowledge needed to excel in their societies.

“Women and young girls are not commodities. No human being is a commodity,” said Detroit community activist and African dancer Fatou-Seydi Sarr. “We are hosting this rally to show support for all women and young girls around the world. All have the right to equal rights and it is unfathomable that in 2014 there are still women who are viewed as property. This is not acceptable and the world cannot accept, ignore, or look away. We demand the young girls be released to their parents and protected while they continue their education.”

Rally demonstrators will gather on the outside Patio of the Museum Cafe Latimer.

Career Day At Ralph Waldo Emerson School

Career Day At Ralph Waldo Emerson School

Detroit – May 14, 2013. Agents of Hope visited the Ralph Waldo Emerson Elementary and Middle School in Detroit, Michigan for its Career Day. The students received information and guidance on many opportunities in entrepreneurship and global business leveraging powerful and yet simple technologies.

Quite a number of topics were discussed to great lengths such as the power of imagination, creative visioning, college degree requirements, the role of money and journaling. The students posed very important questions regarding achieving successful careers and inquired about the importance of having a passion.

The students received special gifts of notebooks and pens to jump start them in writing down goals and dreams. Special thanks to the student helpers/greeters, school staff and principal for the invitation and event planning. Our deep gratitude to Agents of Hope friend and partner, Jossy Media, for volunteering with the excellent photos.

Giving Hope Through Food

Giving Hope Through Food

MAKOKO, NIGERIA: Over 400 hungry young elementary students were given food HopePacks in this joint charity campaign by Agents of Hope and FoodClique. The children were so excited by the surprise visit and both schools also received whiteboards and dry erase markers to aid in their learning. Agents of Hope founder, Mr. Shola Salako, and the charming volunteers from FoodClique were greeted with glorious songs and applause. It was quite a hope-filled day indeed.

Foodclique founder and co-founder, Mr. Bolajoko Fadipe and Mr. Akintunde Akerele respectively, had recruited a passionate team of locally-based volunteers for this successful effort. The support and approval of the Makoko community was received through the diligence of Mr. Paul Aworetan, Youth Development Leader for the Makoko community.

Agents of Hope would like to specially thank its donors for generously funding this campaign. Agents of Hope would also like to express deep gratitude to FoodClique Nigeria and all volunteers for their selfless service in giving hope.

Please visit our Facebook page for more photos.

GALLERY: Attain Your Hopes and Dreams Seminar

GALLERY: Attain Your Hopes and Dreams Seminar

Are you ready for 2013? Deep within you lies a reservoir of unused potential. It is our utmost desire to help you release this power to achieve your goals in 2013. Participants from the Detroit metropolitan area came and listened to our successful speakers at this Agents of Hope motivational seminar.

These real-life success pioneers will shared real life examples on how to achieve what many think is impossible. Our guests received some great information on how to make 2013 their best year yet. Now it is time to live more completely.

When: January 12th, 2013 at 10:00 AM until noon

Wayne County Community College
Northwest Campus
8200 West Outer Drive
Detroit, MI 48219
Phone: (313) 943-4000

Meet our distinguished speakers:

Matthias Horch, Co-CEO, Secure-24, Inc.
Ellis Liddell, President/CEO, ELE Wealth Management, LLC
Omobonike Odegbami, Vice Chancellor, Wayne County Community College District

Holiday Gifts For Thirkell Elementary School

Holiday Gifts For Thirkell Elementary School

DETROIT, MI — Agents of Hope gave holiday gifts of toys to 70 happy kindergarteners at Thirkell Elementary School in Detroit. Led by Shola Salako, founder of Agents of Hope, volunteers delivered the gift-wrapped toys — colorful red for girls and navy blue for boys — as they greeted the wonderful students in holiday cheer.

“A lot of these kids are very needy and own very little. These gifts would mean a great deal to them and it is very nice to know that there are people in the community who care. I am sure their parents would be deeply appreciative,” said kindergarten teacher, Ms. Montee Clay, as she ushered the children into the school’s cafeteria.

Mr. Salako says the charity project is very much needed especially with the recent tragedy at the Connecticut Sandy Hook Elementary School where young children where killed. The collective consciousness of Detroit needs to be lifted up to a highly positive level in order to effect great change, he added.

Special thanks to the young angels at Thirkell Elementary School, school teachers, principal and our passionate helpers, Shola Adedugbe, Julia Capobianco, Opeoluwa Anifowoshe, Tanisha Clay-Oloyede and Ola Salako.

GALLERY: 2012 Agents Of Hope Benefit Fashion & Cultural Show

GALLERY: 2012 Agents Of Hope Benefit Fashion & Cultural Show

The elegant evening of fashion, arts and culture featuring Vogue Afrik and a host of other fashion designers concluded with major success on Friday August 17th, 2012 at The Silver Garden in Southfield, Michigan. The evening started on time at 6:30 PM with a red-carpet reception and networking session with interviews and photography. Living art statues by Rozenia Johnson (MDUBA Associates) and Simbala Desilles decorated the reception area. Agents of Hope partner vendors were also present including Joi Taylor of Joi Jewelry, Edythe Ford of Walker Miller Energy Services, LLC, Folasade Egbedoyin of DavFolFun Quilts and Pillows, Victoria Wiley of Organo Gold, Rita Coleman of Pontiac Discount Pharmacy, and Ola Salako of AVON Products.

Promptly 7:15 PM, the main doors to the Mystic Ballroom were opened for guest admittance. The show started with Ezekiel Hosu and his talking drum from West Africa. His drum spoke of a befitting welcome and it announced the coming of the Hope Warrior King. Right on cue, Shola Salako, founder of Agents of Hope, entered the stage, captivating the audience with a warrior costume and gold body adornment painting by Rozenia Johnson. Ezekiel drummed around him and then exited the stage as Mr. Salako greeted the audience with a welcome speech. He spoke about Hope and about awakening the great power of hope within all of us. He explained that by helping others, we are actually helping ourselves.

Please scroll to the bottom of this article for photo highlights. More available on our Facebook page.

The event host, Eva Toby, was introduced by announcer Von Jour Reece and the show officially begun. She started by thanking Agents of Hope sponsors and partners including Rita Coleman of Pontiac Discount Pharmacy , Dr. Dolapo Shodipo of State Farm Insurance, Kene Monplaisir of My Solutions Diabetes and Wellness Center and Edythe Ford of Walker Miller Energy Services, LLC who presented a wonderful plan to help save energy while supporting the Agents of Hope charity. Ten dollars will be donated to Agents of Hope for every guest that registers for an energy home inspection. Next, the keynote speaker and honorable Mayor of the City of Southfield, Brenda Lawrence, delivered a powerful speech on the power of hope.

After a brief intermission for food and drinks, Dr. Olubunmi Ayo-Vaughan from Lagos, Nigeria continued the benefit show with a very touching introduction to the Agents of Hope Charity Drive video from July 31, 2012. She described the desperate and hopeless situations of very innocent children. She choked back on tears as she spoke about a new born baby girl (later named Destiny) that was abandoned in a filthy sewer in Lagos. Mosquitoes and other insects had fed on her scalp for several days before she was found and taken to Dr. Ayo-Vaughan’s hospital. She concluded with a powerful rendition of Maya Angelou’s poem, Alone.

FOX2 Detroit News Sneak Peak (air date August 10th, 2012):

To open the fashion show portion, the dance performing group, The Red Pumps (Erika Stowall, Laressa Batson and Lydia Porter) gave a sizzling dance performance in their signature red pump shoes to “Chop My Money” (P Square featuring Akon and May D.). The entire routine excited the audience as The Red Pumps did its mesmerizing number. The fashion show commentator, Ms. Vinetta Lloyd, was introduced and the Vogue Afrik fashion clothing (event sponsor) was displayed by fabulous models. All jewelry accessory complements were displayed by Classical Beads. It was indeed a unique experience watching the theatrics of the king, queen and gracious royal attendants bringing to life a rich African cultural heritage. This finale held the entire attention of the viewers.

To close the show, Hope Alive, a musical group dedicated to spreading the power of hope delivered its strong musical message to the world. Detroit-based saxophonist, Adeboye Adegbenro, was featured delivering an awesome sax solo. Singers included Augustine Agwegwe, Isioma Agwegwe and rappers Marx Ojemudia and Olanre Adewole. Agents of Hope founder, Shola Salako, and event sponsor Rita Coleman of Pontiac Discount Pharmacy thanked all guests and participants, and the show adjorned to the after-party. The Invincible DJ Ayoo entertained everyone in this rare annual party. It was indeed a show never-to-be-forgotten in the minds of many.