Wednesday's Woman: Wendy Roberts
Roberts is CEO and founder of Minds in Motion, helping children in need.
Wendy Roberts once worked in the world of fashion – big industry players such as Donna Karan and the Gap are on her resume.
But she wanted to make a difference in the lives of smaller forces - kids. So, she went from merchandising to getting her degree in early elementary education, and never turned back from helping children.
Roberts, 48, is founder and CEO of Minds in Motion Inc., which “spreads awareness through programs and services while supporting the emotional and educational needs of children from disadvantaged circumstances and foster care,” according to the web site. Minds in Motion got started in 2007.
Originally from King of Prussia, Penn., Roberts was an only child who always had a desire to help children. That goal was intensified years ago when tragedy upon tragedy involving young lives made headlines.
“I was living in New York at the time and there were all these children passing away, getting kidnapped,” Roberts recalled. “I thought, I’ve got to do something. I’ve got to give back to children.”
Roberts earned her degree in early elementary education from City College of New York. She married, moved to Florida, and started teaching second grade. After having her two children, and with a husband who traveled frequently, Roberts became a stay at home mom.
She went on to do interior decorating – her retail merchandising background was an asset there, she said – and the family eventually moved to Georgia. She said Minds in Motion Inc. is “God’s will for my life. It took me about two years to figure it out. I prayed for two years.”
Among other accomplishments, Minds in Motion started a reading mentoring program, children's theater, and an after school program where high school students helped first through third graders with their reading skills in preparation for the CRCT. It has also helped a number of entities such as Gwinnett Children's Shelter and Angel Tree Ministries.
"Any way possible way you are helping kids educationally or socially, we're on it," Roberts said.
Minds in Motion has some new efforts in the works. A consignment shop is soon to open in downtown Roswell, where the proceeds will be given to help those children in state care, such as foster care providers and homeless shelters, Roberts said. Clothing and school supply needs will be provided.
The organization is in the process of collecting clothes and is "definitely" in need of gently worn children's clothing, Roberts said.
Roberts also hopes to help teen girls in need for a prom makeover -- the event happened in 2010 in downtown Atlanta for several students -- in which the girls get their hair and makeup done for the big dance, and pick their dresses -- a special day made possible through fundraising and volunteer efforts.
She’d also like to see families and business leaders in the community work together to give back to children, whether through clothing donations or other generosity.
The inspirational women in her life include none other than Judge Glenda Hatchett, “a very good friend of mine,” Roberts said, and as dedicated supporter of Court Appointed Special Advocates for children, is like-minded in her vision for helping the younger generation. Roberts recalled that Hatchett once told her that the number of children who are in foster care in the U.S. could fill the Georgia Dome – twice.
Another inspirational lady, Roberts’ mother, Delores Weaver, “taught me the gift of love and giving back,” she said.
Roberts also gives kudos to her husband, Reggie Roberts, who is president of the board of directors of Minds in Motion. He is also Vice President of Football Communications for the Atlanta Falcons and has been “beyond supportive” of his wife's efforts.
“He is the best,” she said.