“Get your education, career and independence before you get married and have kids…”—Denise McPherson, MBA, PMP, Board President and Executive Director, WAM Foundation
Denise McPherson is on a quest to help men and women complete their education and get a good job and career so that they can be independent.
Her best friend in college dropped out to get married at a young age, although Denise begged her to stay in school to finish. “My parents were both college educated and I knew growing up I would go to college too. Completing a degree was a commitment my parents and I made to each-other. They felt it was key to my future success.” She took it to heart and was devastated as her college classmates dropped out one by one for lack of funds, work, or marriage.
She kept in touch with her best friend and encouraged her to finish her degree. Ten years after dropping out, her friend had three children—and her husband left.
“Suddenly she was in charge of her family’s finances. She didn’t have a job, didn’t know how to pay bills. She admitted to me that I had been right all along: you need an education and a good job to become financially independent and ready for a successful life.”
Denise said both her parents worked until the day they died. “They were happy, but after they both died I realized I didn’t want to work all my life.” She took a year off to travel and see the world, and plan her future.
She joined with two friends to create a non-profit with a broad approach to making the world a better place. Her friends Wouter Jan Nieuwstad, MBA, of Switzerland and Aimee Muir, MBA, in Dallas collaborated to create the 501©3.
The WyattAnnMarie (WAM) Foundation, named after herself, parents and brother, is raising funds to help others. The website states: “The W.A.M. Foundation is a nonprofit organization that is bringing and supplying the means to elevate people out of the darkness and into the light and supporting charities who aspire the same!”
The mission of the WyattAnnMarie Foundation is to “improve the quality of life in the community and nationally by providing support and donations for educational and social services to people in need as well as provide opportunities for people or group of people who explore a passion for entrepreneurship.”
Denise says the foundation is “dedicated to making real, meaningful differences in our community.” Animal Welfare, College scholarships, Educational programs, Veterans and those recovering from Brain Injury are the five areas the non-profit supports. 2017 grant recipients include Texas SPCA, Hope After Brain Injury, and the PMI Educational Fund.
Now, at 40, Denise’s goal is to help as many college students as she can to complete their educations. The focus for WAM this year, 2017-2018, is to help college seniors complete their degrees.
A Happy Hour to introduce the foundation to the Dallas area is planned for later in August. Denise owns a home both in north Texas and Atlanta, and plans to work with Texas college students to help them pay for and complete their college educations. Denise will be speaking at local events in the metroplex to raise awareness of the Non-profit, and the board members are updating the scholarship application for college students who need a little financial assistance to complete their associate or bachelor of science degree.
In the meantime, Denise and her friends are happy to talk with anyone interested in helping to make the world a better place. To learn more, see the W.A.M. website or e-mail her at Denise.McPherson@WyattAnnMariefoundation.org
Phone: Direct 404.400.2935
Judy Porter is a writer in Dallas who writes about non-profit agencies, small businesses and local heroes. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org