Paying it Forward

By reading about your challenges and how you coped with them, the students begin to see their own inner strengths.
— Roseanne Riolo, English Teacher, Saint Catharine Academy

Three Signature Programs


Valerie and two of her closest friends founded Black Women of Influence (BWOI), a development and networking organization that connects and supports women trying to advance in the business world.

BWOI is a sisterhood of women who are committed to ”Helping Each Other Win” by offering a range of workshops from financial planning to leadership development programs to help them build successful lives and careers.

Each year, BWOI honors trailblazing women in the community who are committed to opening doors and blazing trails for women and underserved communities.

To find out more visit

Logo_ Valerie Irick Rainford Scholars.jpg

Valerie is a proud Alumna of Saint Catharine Academy in the Bronx, New York.

In her memoir, Valerie describes her time at Saint Catharine as life-changing. Grateful for the experiences and opportunities, she launched the Valerie Irick Rainford Scholars program at SCA where two essay winners are selected each year to receive scholarships to help offset their SCA tuition.

The Valerie Irick Rainford Scholarship is intended to encourage young women to tell their own stories of resilience and courage like Valerie did in her memoir.

To find out more visit St. Catharine Academy’s website.


In 2015 after reading Valerie’s memoir, “Until The Brighter Tomorrow: One Women's Courageous Climb From The Projects to the Podium”, a Girl Scout troop in Brooklyn, New York designed a leadership activity entitled, “The Price of Poverty & Privilege” that included creating a custom Girl Scouts badge in Valerie’s honor (see badge above).

Once a Girl Scout herself, Valerie’s way of paying this incredible honor forward was to create the “I Will Reign Global Girls Initiative” where she donates the badge above to girls groups who work on similar leadership activities.

Leaders of girls groups and Girl Scout troops can download an Information Sheet to learn more about how girls can earn the Valerie Irick Rainford badge.

Instructor’s Resource Guide

*** Coming in 2019 ***

Professors, teachers and troop leaders be the first to get your FREE e-book, Until the Brighter Tomorrow: Instructor’s Resource Guide for use in leading your students through reading Valerie’s memoir and teaching the lessons around Courage, Perseverance and Leadership.

The Guide is flexible depending upon your students and preferred teaching style.

Section One includes “general discussion questions” to help you read with and lead students through each chapter. Section Two has a list of “questions by topic” (e.g., Courage, Perseverance,,). Section Three contains “activities” for leading group projects.

Target Student Audience: College, High School and older Middle School Students

FREE to all Educators!

I am glad there are people like you who are unafraid to share a piece of your life to help other people in similar situations”.
— Natalie, 16 years old