|“Never underestimate the power of dreams, nor the influence of the human spirit. For we are all the same in this notion. The potential for greatness lives in each of us.” Those wise words, spoken by the late Wilma Rudolph, have become Rhonda G. Mincey’s motivation that she lives by and shares with others.
Rhonda G. Mincey was raised in a single-parent household and her mother worked two jobs in order to provide a decent living for Rhonda and her older brother. And while Rhonda was not voted Most Likely to Succeed in high school, she enrolled in college almost 30 years after completing high school, and graduated Summa Cum Laude. Rhonda earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice, her Master’s Degree in Education, and her Graduate Certificate in Cyber Crime in just five years. “I didn’t know I was smart, and that second best was not an option for me,” says, Rhonda. While in graduate school, Rhonda was awarded the Armstrong State University Service Award for making a significant impact in her community. But her path to serving others began many years prior to college.
In 2004, Rhonda founded Made 2B More, a 501(c)3 tax-exempt nonprofit community-based organization in Atlanta, Georgia. The mission of the organization was to equip girls in middle school with the tools to build self-confidence and develop leadership skills. Partnering with a local Boys & Girls Club, girls met monthly to discuss empowering topics and to hear from inspiring guest speakers. Because Made 2B More’s mission aligned with Prevent Child Abuse Atlanta’s vision, the director asked the girls to perform a dance at their annual conference to inspire their 800 attendees. Rhonda was subsequently recognized as a prestigious Turner Broadcasting Station (TBS) Pathfinder recipient, which is an award recognizing outstanding work by ordinary individuals. She was also recognized as a Face of Change through Grassroots.org, a nonprofit organization that supports other nonprofits. This recognition encouraged Rhonda to reach even more girls through her programs. So she developed Made 2B More’s in-school program, S.I.S.T.E.R.S. (Stay in School to Excel, Rise and Succeed), for the Crossroads Alternative School in Warner Robins, Georgia. Under this program, recidivism was reduced by 100%.
In 2014, Rhonda relocated to South Carolina, and combined all the nonprofits and programs into a singular organization, Great Girls, Inc. And in 2016, she changed the name once again to in order to provide programs to boys also, by request. In 2018, for simplicity, the name evolved to Great Youth, Inc. Its mission is to transform both middle school-aged boys and girls into leaders, mentors, and role models. Placing a high premium on leadership training and higher education, Great Youth awarded several Great Leader Scholarships to Savannah State University (SSU) ROTC Cadets. In 2018, the administrative duties of this scholarship was transferred to Tigers Lead, Inc. Now, Great Youth focuses on awarding scholarships to high school students through its Great Youth Scholarship, and it awarded its first two high school scholarships in 2010. Not resting on its accomplishments, Great Youth, Inc. made a bold move. It implemented its inaugural outreach “Notes of Hope” campaign, designed to distribute 2000 encouraging messages (one for each recipient to share with someone else) to citizens in Savannah, Georgia. This undertaking comprised of recruiting four community partners (including Georgia Southern University’s Office of Leadership and Community Engagement, Jenkins High School’s Naval Junior ROTC cadets, the Bull Street Library, as well as Summer Bonanza, which is a youth mentoring organization). Great Youth deployed over 50 volunteers to pass out the messages, recruited over 80 volunteers to write the messages, and accumulated over 250 volunteer hours. As a result, Great Youth, Inc. received a Letter of Support from Mayor Eddie Deloach, Mayor of Savannah, Georgia, as well as press from several media outlets, including: The Savannah Morning News, The Savannah Herald, and The Savannah Tribune. But more importantly, Ms. Mincey was instrumental in reminding a thousand individuals in Savannah, Georgia that there is hope in this world – that “they are worth it, loved, and they matter.”
These accomplishments under Rhonda’s leadership are certainly impressive as they demonstrate her perseverance in following her passion as well as her ability to accomplish her goals. But her unwavering level of commitment to empowering youths to be their absolute best is what is more extraordinary and certainly sets Rhonda apart. For instance, Rhonda has given her time, money, and resources to the organizations she started. Specifically, since 2004, Rhonda has volunteered over 9,000 individual service hours. What’s more astounding is that she has also donated over $30,000 of her personal money, even forfeiting all of her salary, in order to sponsor a girl’s conference, award scholarships, and have startup funds for the organization. Rhonda has never received any monetary compensation for the work she has done with any of the nonprofit organizations since 2004. In fact, Rhonda has turned down jobs that she felt would interfere with her mandate to help young people because she put her passion to help the next generation above making a personal profit. Furthermore, to reach girls on a larger scale, Rhonda wrote a book, “A Girl’s Guide to Being Great” which was used in several school districts. And when a school did not have the funds to purchase books for their entire 5th grade class, Rhonda either donated books, or identified people who sponsored the school. Because of Rhonda’s unselfishness, she has impacted thousands of girls, challenging their mindsets and changing their behaviors. As a matter of fact, many of them are attending college while others are enjoying successful careers. Some remain connected to Rhonda. For example, former girls under Rhonda’s guidance reach out to Rhonda on Facebook to say hello, and some of the girls’ mothers reach out to her on LinkedIn to thank her for helping their daughter.
But Rhonda’s generosity extends beyond the organization she founded. To impact more girls and women, last year Rhonda donated $10,000 of her personal money to other nonprofit organizations that empower girls as well as those who assist women who have been victims of sex-trafficking and domestic violence. Rhonda continues to volunteer her time mentoring other women who have started nonprofit organizations designed to help young girls reach their full potential. Rhonda states, “I am only one person, but if I give resources to other women and organizations, I am many, and my work is significantly multiplied.”
Rhonda is also a social entrepreneur. Her company, Great Success, LLC., combines inspiration with action, giving peoples the tools and training they need to reach a higher level or success. And as a life strategist, through her personal website that bears her name, rhondamincey.com, Rhonda provides coaching on Clarifying One’s Purpose, Your Personal Brand, Building Confidence, and more; as well as motivational messages that people have come to know her for. Through her speaking engagements and books, she encourages people to live a fearless and fulfilled life. A portion of the revenue Rhonda receives supports Great Youth, Inc.’s scholarship and mentoring programs.
Rhonda has been featured in the Island Packet, Pink Magazine, and several other publications over the past few years. Rhonda is a leader and a light – an inspiration to many people. As a result, numerous people, both young and old, male and female, desire to learn from her. Rhonda embodies enthusiasm, serves with style, and personifies passion. Consequently, many people enjoy being in her presence. Rhonda lives her life with a purpose, which is encouraging and equipping others to live their best life. And because of her, young people know that they are made to be more and that greatness lives within them. And men and women are optimistic about their future. “I focus on living my legacy, not leaving my legacy,” says Rhonda.