Gloria Hembadoon Mensah, a Nigerian born from Benue State and a graduate of Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, has been recently honored in America by KNOW WOMEN, a global media company and community dedicated to amplifying the voices of female leaders, executives, and entrepreneurs. Gloria was recognized with an award titled “100 Women to Know in America,” presented by JPMorgan Chase.
The 100 Women to KNOW Across America Award showcases the most influential, accomplished, and honorable women in America. Following a nomination and interview process, these women entrepreneurs, executives, creatives, and philanthropists have not only grown their dreams but have created boundless opportunities for the next generation of female leaders. These women exemplify what it means to be high-achieving and ambitious on the next level.
Gloria Mensah is the founder and Executive Director of GK Folks Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Utah that focuses on creating scholarship opportunities for African students and refugees. Gloria’s efforts include providing mental health, educational & entrepreneurial resources/opportunities for African students in the diaspora to pursue their platforms, goals, and education and succeed in school with the intention of giving back to their respective African countries.
Through her foundation, Gloria seeks to support African immigrants and refugees by paving a way for them to showcase their culture, realize their individual potential, and gain access to a variety of resources necessary to propel their dreams and bring their goals to fruition. She is particularly dedicated to empowering women in the community, acknowledging the paucity of women within the exercise of leadership, and seeking to support women in their journey to become leaders in their place of work while simultaneously playing their part as active and involved community members.
The foundation also inspires women to build confidence, find and project their voices, promote their passion, and showcase their culture and pride. Gloria’s efforts with the foundation create a space for women to develop the skills needed to become community leaders. Many of the women who have passed through the foundation’s programs have gone on to start their own nonprofits or serve in critical leadership roles within their respective communities.
Some significant initiatives of the GK Folks Foundation are the Entrepreneurship Program which help support and encourage entrepreneurship in the black community in Utah by being community navigators who in collaboration with the SBA, IRC, and Salt Lake City County are the boots on the ground to find small immigrant businesses and connects these businesses to critical resources and support, including but not limited to, Financial assistance and Access to Capital, Marketing, booking keeping, accounting, Business Development, Business Counseling, Financial Literacy. loans/grant applications.
The Educational program, the Miss Africa Utah, Miss Africa Idaho, Miss Africa Arizona, and Miss Africa Nevada cultural educational scholarship pageants. These pageants give young African beauties the opportunity to share their culture and pride with others. The Miss Africa cultural pageants have greatly impacted the lives of over 1000 young women in Utah, Arizona, Nevada, and Idaho, including the awarding of over $120,000 in scholarship funds to pursue both educational and professional goals.
And the Cultural Awareness Program Three years ago, Gloria also started and has continued the Afro-Utah Festival. AFRO UTAH Festival is a cultural event that provides Black, African, and Black immigrants the opportunity to share their culture, pride, and their heritage with others. With the rise of the black population in Utah, there has become a need to only enlighten others about the blacks, but also to showcase the great work and contributions blacks are making in the community. The festival highlights, promote, and recognize Afro-black culture and the great work Afro-blacks are doing in the Utah community. https://afroutah.org/
Gloria was also involved in the United Africans of Utah organization, which helps all the African communities in Utah, especially women-owned businesses. She served as the Communication Director of the African Festival Committee for three years, an event that promotes and showcases Africa’s tradition, culture, and heritage. The festival was used as an opportunity to share food, art, and music.
Gloria’s contributions to the community have not gone unnoticed, and the recognition she has received from KNOW WOMEN is well-deserved. She is an inspiration to women everywhere, and her efforts to empower women and support African immigrants and refugees are commendable. The 100 Women to KNOW Across America Award is a testament to her hard work and dedication to her cause, and it is a recognition that will inspire others to follow in her footsteps.