When my daughter Gabrielle Eileen was born, I knew instantly she would be the light of my life. She was my first and only child. Her humor, energy, kindness, and curiosity were evident from the earliest days of her life. She was filled with love and life, even as a baby.
Unlike many children of color in communities around the world, Gabrielle was fortunate to be born into a family who could afford her the types of opportunities that make a dramatic difference in kids’ lives.
As the daughter of both a career educator and parents who started The Hord Foundation, Inc., to offer Black students college scholarships, I know the importance of education. I ensured that Gabrielle had access to cultural and educational enrichment through travel, STEM programs, art and dance classes, and organizations such as the Girl Scouts. Especially in the elementary school years, this type of exposure can make a dramatic difference in the trajectory of a child's academic and career aspirations.
Heartbreakingly, my daughter was murdered at the young age of seven. From the day that my worst nightmare became a reality, I vowed to Gabrielle that her legacy would be how she lived and NOT how she died.
With a heart for children and service, I started Gabrielle’s Wings. Gabrielle loved butterflies and I believe in the “butterfly effect,” which says one small change can have a huge impact.
Gabrielle’s Wings is dedicated to giving children of color in vulnerable communities the kind of experiences, access, programs and exposure that my beloved daughter had during her short life. We are an organization dedicated to equipping children with the tools they need to soar above their backgrounds, circumstances, family history, or socio-economic status. There is no work more important to me than this. It embodies every mother’s dreams for her child to grow and thrive without limitations.