WICHITA, Kan. – Rise Up For Youth has announced that Wanda Durant, affectionately known as “Mama Durant” “The Real MVP,” will be the featured keynote speaker at the 9th annual Sisterhood of Queens event on Saturday, April 8, 2017, at the Holiday Inn East in Wichita.

“I love to inspire and empower young people to overcome adversity; it’s one of my passions. I’m honored to tell my story of how I prevailed over the obstacles as a young woman. Rise Up For Youth is doing critical work inspiring and empowering our youth to succeed,” said Durant.

A strong leader, advocate and philanthropist with a passion for helping single mothers, women and children, Durant is the mother of successful businessman Anthony (Tony) Durant and 2014 NBA MVP Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors.

At a young age, Durant was a single mother who found inspiration in her two young sons and the knowledge that God would lead their way. She dedicated her life to her children, ultimately sacrificing her own aspirations to ensure a solid foundation for their future success.

After years of raising her sons and witnessing their incredible achievements, Durant became overwhelmed with a long-ignored desire to find her purpose beyond being a mother. Today, she travels the country sharing her inspiring life experiences with children and women of all ages.

“The barriers many children in our community face are so great, and we are excited to have Ms. Durant share her story with our students,” said Lynn Gilkey, executive director and co-founder of Rise Up For Youth. “Our kids need to know and hear firsthand that they can overcome any obstacle and reach any goal. Ms. Durant is a representation to our students that anything is possible.”

Introducing Durant will be Maria Melendez, founder of Embrace Her Legacy. Seating is limited. Tickets are $50 each and may be purchased at www.riseupforyouth.org. Table and program sponsorships are available.

Media is welcome to attend the event. Any photography, videography and other recordings are not allowed during the luncheon. A post-event press conference will begin immediately following the luncheon with the opportunity to interview Wanda Durant, Maria Melendez, Lynn Gilkey, and Rise Up For Youth participants.

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About the Sisterhood of Queens event

The Sisterhood of Queens event is hosted by the Rise Up For Youth Caring Ladies Assisting Students to Succeed (CLASS) program. The Sisterhood of Queens event is designed to build positive self-esteem by awarding high school seniors with educational scholarships and honoring women in the community for empowering others. CLASS is a mentoring and educational scholarship program that supports more than 120 female students in four Wichita public high schools.

About Rise Up for Youth

Rise Up For Youth works with students in Wichita public high schools, mentoring youth who come from challenging socio-economic circumstances. Through a focus on healthy lifestyle choices, the value of education, and the development of life skills, Rise Up For Youth is helping change young lives. Rise Up For Youth has two mentoring programs, Do You Want To Live Or Die? (DYWTLOD) for young men, and Caring Ladies Assisting Students to Succeed (CLASS) for young women. For more information about Rise Up for Youth, please visit www.riseupforyouth.org

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