Kris Marshall, president and CEO of Winning Futures, center, with the 2024 Winning Futures Scholarship recipients at the banquet June 10 at Club Venetian in Madison Heights

Kris Marshall, president and CEO of Winning Futures, center, with the 2024 Winning Futures Scholarship recipients at the banquet June 10 at Club Venetian in Madison Heights

Photo provided

Winning Futures scholarship night celebrates students

Mentoring program celebrates 30-year milestone

By: Maria Allard | C&G Newspapers | Published June 28, 2024


WARREN/MADISON HEIGHTS — Sixteen high school students from Warren, Sterling Heights, Detroit and Harper Woods who have worked hard academically were recently awarded scholarships from Winning Futures.

The nonprofit organization, based in Warren, held its 2024 awards celebration June 10 at Club Venetian in Madison Heights. Winning Futures helps metro Detroit high school students find a career path through its Workforce Prep program. This year, the organization awarded a total of $30,000 in scholarships to high school and college students who went through the program.

Business professionals serve as volunteer career mentors. They visit with the students on a regular basis to teach them life and job-readiness skills they will need to be successful. Local businessman Sam Cupp, a Warren High School graduate, created Winning Futures in 1994. He died in 2021. This year, the organization celebrates its 30-year milestone.

Students enter the program in 10th grade, known as Year I, and receive training, guidance, and support through 11th and 12th grades, and four years of continuing education after high school, culminating with Year 7. The program has awarded more than $2.1 million in scholarships and financial support since 1994.

“As we celebrate our 30th anniversary, I reflect back on previous years and how our program and students have grown,” President and CEO Kristina Marshall said. “Our students never cease to amaze me. From our Year 1 students who are in 10th grade, all the way through to our Year 7 students who are completing their continuing education, our students are growing, thriving, and achieving their goals. We are very proud of them and celebrate their hard work and ongoing success.”   

The evening also was a chance for Winning Futures representatives to acknowledge several local businesspeople for their 5- and 10-year anniversary of mentoring the students.

Prior to the awards ceremony, Winning Futures held Student Success Ceremonies for the Workforce Prep high school students promoted to the next year of the program. That included students from Warren Mott, Cass Tech, Harper Woods High School, Mumford High School, and Pontiac Academy for Excellence.

In other Winning Futures news, Stephanie Burnley-Hemphill, Co-CEO at Devon Industrial, has joined its board of directors.

“I love the fact that Winning Futures helps students throughout their high school and college paths,” Burnley-Hemphill said in a prepared statement. “I look forward to jumping in and supporting their mission and students.”

Staff is already recruiting for the 2024-25 school year. Mentoring sessions occur two or three times per month from November through May at participating schools. Once the mentors are trained, they attend on-site sessions and coach students in hands-on activities, discussions, and completion of workbook pages. If interested, visit or call (586) 294-8449.

Winning Futures will hold its “Golf Social” networking event Sept. 25 at Topgolf in Auburn Hills. Scheduled are team competitions, food and drinks, door prizes, raffle prizes, and more. Individual tickets and sponsorships are available by contacting Daneila Matthews at Daniela@WinningFu or (586) 276-5236.

This year’s high school scholarship recipients were:

• Rei Struga and Tiffany Tran, Warren Mott High School in Warren.

• Gabriela Frangaj, Halimatus Sadia and Lina Yousef, Community High School in Sterling Heights.

• •Ali Abdullah and Shanya Matsey, Cass Technical High School in Detroit.

• Sky Kelley and Ka’Shayla Taylor, Harper Woods High School.


This year’s college scholarship recipients were:

• Rabika Ali and Jessica Murphy, Wayne State University.

• Reaghan Cohen, Tennessee State University.

• Amaya Davis, Macomb Community College.

• Joshua Hudson and Nazifa Kadir, the University of Michigan.


This year’s Winning Futures students who raduated from college were:

• Briana Hurt, the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

• Kayla Lewis and Mohammad Zaman, Michigan State University.

• Sally Pham, the University of Michigan.

Angelica Tibbitts, Saginaw Valley State University.

• Aidan Watkins, Wayne County Community College.

• Joseph Zora, Wayne State University.