Rising Phoenix – Michele Lawrence

For over a decade, noted community and business leader Michele Lawrence has served Philadelphia and its surrounding counties by educating and mentoring individuals and neglected communities on financial literacy and economic empowerment. Via workshops and discussions at churches, community centers and private homes, Lawrence has educated more than 5,000 individuals.

Since 2009, Lawrence has served as a Senior Vice President and Community Banking President for the Delaware Valley Central market of Wells Fargo. The Delaware Valley Central market includes 53 stores in Philadelphia and parts of Montgomery County with over 500 employees, $3.7 billion in deposits, and $1.4 billion in loans. If Lawrence’s team operated as a stand alone bank, it would be the sixth largest in the city.

On a weekly basis, Lawrence goes into various communities to educate individuals and organizations on the importance of financial literacy and being educated on how money works and the tools to financial growth and independence. What’s more, Lawrence actively mentors young girls and young men on self-esteem and educational and personal empowerment. She has spoken to Rutgers EOP students, WEPAC young girls, and at Common Cents workshops.

Most recently, Lawrence launched the Saving Our Boys Leadership Development Institute – the purpose of which is to stem the rising tide of drop outs, incarceration and disaffectedness within the young African-American male population, by expanding their notions of success, hard work, discipline, manhood, leadership, and personal and community development. Lawrence has taken a group of 31 young men, ages 13-17, and has begun repairing the concept they have of themselves and their future.

The young men completed a 4-day leadership and empowerment program this summer on the campus of Cheyney University. For the length of the 2011-12 school year, the group of young men will be educated on entrepreneurship, community leadership, and mentorship. When the next group of 31 young men are brought into the program during the summer of 2012, the original group of 31 will serve as their mentors – in the vein of being ‘my brother’s keeper’. This is a continuous program, with each new class of young men being actively mentored by the former, until they graduate from high school.

To learn more about Michele Lawrence, visit www.michelelawrence.biz.

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