Thursday night was Pass the Torch for Women Foundation’s annual Ignite the Torch Awards. The dinner and ceremony honored some of the most dedicated mentors and mentees who embody the Foundation’s mission. We are thrilled that Ignite the Torch’s success will allow us to reach even more dedicated mentors and mentees– Over $47,000 was raised between generous sponsorships and individual gifts from over 190 attendees.

Thanks to the support and hard work of the Pass the Torch for Women community, more women than ever before will be empowered through mentorship this year. We could not have done it without you. Your dedication to this community, and the passion of all the women and men at Ignite the Torch are the very things that are going to close the leadership gap for women and change the world for the better.

Here are a few highlights from the evening:

After half an hour of photos and networking, the night began with a celebration of how much the Foundation has grown. In Project Grow’s first year, fifteen students graduated from the program. This year, over 350 students from around the country are on track to graduate. Since then, the Developing Professionals program was also launched to fulfill a need for mentoring as women navigate the early years of their careers. This year’s DP program serves over 150 women. The Foundation’s impact is growing by the day.

While all of our mentors and mentees are vital to the Foundation’s success, these outstanding community members have gone above and beyond. We could not be more thankful.

2019 Project Grow Torchbearer Award Winners: 

  • Dr. Carol Leary, President of Baypath University 
  • Amanda Bremmer Babic, Associate Director of Student Life and Development at Ivy Tech Community College

2019 Rising Developing Professional Award Winner: 

  • Amna Sohail 

2019 Outstanding Mentor Award Winner: 

  • Vicki Yamasaki 

2019 Pass the Torch Award Winners: 

  • Brad Addison 
  • LaPorsche Jymi 

2019 Carla Perinne Perry Scholarship: 

  • Margarita Rodriguez Pineda

We were fortunate to have Dr. Sue Ellspermann, the President of Ivy Tech, as the evening’s keynote speaker. Dr. Ellspermann was trained as an engineer, and later served as the 50th Lieutenant Governor of Indiana. In her speech, she fondly remembered the mentors she had throughout her career who gave her the confidence to pursue opportunities she otherwise may never have reached for. Now, as Ivy Tech’s President, she spends “about a fourth” of her time unofficially mentoring students. She described answering a 9pm phone call from a student just the night before. Why does she set aside time for mentoring? Firstly, because from her personal experience she knows it is imperative in empowering women to reach their career goals. Secondly, because mentoring is a two-way street.

In the end, when women support women, everyone wins. 


There are many ways to pass your torch, whether it is offering human capital through mentorship or financial capital through tax-deductible donations. Our generous attendees were able to raise $3,849.61 Thursday night towards the Carla Perrine Perry Scholarship. This campaign in Carla’s honor allows us to continue awarding Project Grow students who excel in the program and are able to demonstrate an overarching drive towards success. There is still an impact to be made and if you are interested in helping drive this impact, click the link to donate.

The Pass the Torch for Women Foundation is currently in the process of matching mentors and mentees for the new Match Term and we are still in need of mentors! Matches will be completed by October 18th so if you are interested in finding out the next steps in this process, please email 


To view more photos visit here

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