Each of our scholarship recipients receives a volunteer mentor through ANSWER’s Mentors for Mom program. Mentors offer support and guidance on managing the challenges of raising a family, work and school.
Recipients call and meet with their mentors to get good advice, a sounding board, or a little reassurance that they can succeed. Recipients and mentors also meet as a group once a month. They share experiences and hear speakers on essential topics, such as household budgeting and strategies for job interviews.
Past recipients describe Mentors for Mom as “extremely important” and “essential” in their quest to earn a college degree as a mom.
Please meet our 2014-15 mentors below.
Sonya Muhammad, Program Coordinator
Sonya Muhammad knew at a young age that she was meant to teach, lead and empower. A two-time ANSWER Scholarship recipient, she earned a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) as a divorced mother of two daughters while working third-shift at a high-end grocery store as a means to finance her education. After earning a BSW from UNC Charlotte, Muhammad obtained a Master of Social Work (MSW) through an advanced-standing program which afforded her the chance to earn her MSW in one year. Muhammad is a licensed mental health therapist who works with a local mental-health agency.
As volunteer program coordinator for Mentors for Mom, Muhammad identifies and books monthly speakers. She also meets new candidates for the ANSWER board and serves on the committee to select new scholarship recipients. She gives so much to ANSWER, she says, because “the program gave so much to me. We don’t achieve things just through self-gratification. It’s our responsibility to help others follow and succeed.” Muhammad is honored to work with ANSWER founder Susan Andersen: “She allows me the independence to contribute my gifts, talents and abilities to bring her vision to fruition.”
Charlene Edwards and one of her daughters both graduated from college in 2014. Edwards often turned to her daughter for encouragement as they completed their coursework together. Now Edwards wants to inspire other moms to succeed. Edwards earned a B.S. in Business Administration from Pfeiffer University in 2014. She is a past recipient of an ANSWER Scholarship and currently is a lease administrator at Cato Corp. Edwards has two daughters.
A former ANSWER Scholarship recipient, Erica L. Frazier works at Central Piedmont Community College as a program coordinator. In that role she plans and organizes GED classes at three campuses and 17 community sites, and manages the activities of 24 faculty and staff members. Frazier earned a B.S. in Management from the University of Phoenix and is currently studying for an M.A. in Human Services, Marriage and Family from Liberty University. She is the proud mother of three awesome children ages 17, 9, and 6. “I’ve always had a passion for seeing others reach their goals and overcome life's obstacles,” she says.
Faith Triggs has served as a mentor for the past two years with ANSWER and enjoys the opportunity to help others realize their dreams. “Mothers have a life-changing impact on their children,” she says. “When we provide support for these moms to complete their college education, everyone benefits, including their families and the community.” Triggs holds a B.S. in Communication Studies from Northwestern University. She is a Realtor with Keller Williams SouthPark. An active volunteer, Triggs is president-elect of the Top-of-the-Week Rotary Club and a volunteer on the family selection committee with Habitat for Humanity in Charlotte. She is also a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
Hisayo Gallo was born and raised in Japan. She graduated from Toyo University with a B.S. in Sociology. Gallo came to the United States to study linguistics and psychology as a graduate student at the University Of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. After getting a master’s degree, she began teaching psychology, focusing on developmental psychology. Her main interests are brain and cognitive development. Gallo teaches at Gaston College and is author of a developmental psychology textbook. She is married to a wonderful guy, Al. They live in Huntersville with two cats and a dog who rule the house. She also has three grown sons.
After raising two children, Julie LeQuire returned to school to finish her B.S. in Business Administration from Gardner-Webb University. She also completed certifications in life and health coaching from the Martha Beck Institute and other programs. LeQuire is owner of Self Evolved Health and Life Coaching and an instructor at Brookstone College. A successful entrepreneur, she previously owned The Lingerie Shoppe, which received a “Best of Charlotte” award. “I appreciate and relate to the difficulties of managing school while life throws a few curve balls!” she says. “It’s through the challenges that we grow and expand our perspective. I hope to help make the challenges facing my mentee a bit more tolerable.”
Regina Baker is passionate about helping families thrive. She owns Train Up a Child Development Academy, where she teaches and cares for infants and toddlers as well as provides support to their parents and families. Baker serves on several civil and religious initiatives. Through her church, The Park Church, she has mentored young women for the past five years. She also teaches a monthly Bible class to women in prison. Baker lives in Charlotte with her husband, Keith. They are the proud parents of six grown daughters, all of whom graduated from college, and ecstatic grandparents to four granddaughters.