Chocolate Girls is a non-profit organization based in Cleveland, OH. It provides teen girls with mentorship, health and wellness training, skills development, job readiness, and academic and personal development.
Chocolate Girls is a crusade of African American women on a mission to empower and inspire our female youth within our communities with the use of technology, sharing of personal and professional life experiences and positive lifestyle modeling.
Chocolate Girls' workshops aim to enrich lives and help to pave the road to success for brighter futures.
Mrs. Tonikka Rhodes
CEO/FOUNDER AND VISIONARY OF CHOCOLATE GIRLS INC
I am known to my mentees as Ms. Toni. I am a 45 year old mother of a 16-year-old Prince named Josiah, an upcoming Trinity junior with a GPA OF 4.2. I graduated from John F. Kennedy High School Home of the" Fighting Eagles". I attended Ohio University; double majoring in Criminal Justice and Psychology with a minor in Interpersonal Communication where I am currently studying online to receive and finish my degree.
My background in peer mentoring stems back to the year 2000 when at only 23 years of age I oversaw 45 residents between the ages of 16 and 21yrs of age (both men and women) at Job Corps. I also worked as a Director of Assisted Living for teenage girls ages 14-18, who had children at Marycrest Group Home. In 2015, I walked away with no regrets as the Director of Nutrition for the Catholic Diocese where I oversaw 4 different Elementary Schools and two High Schools for several years.
While dealing with my own personal battle with Lupus since 2009, I went on to pursue my PURPOSE, PASSION, and VISION. When CHOCOLATE GIRLS INC. was launched in June of 2015 with only 18 girls attending. This was one of my greatest accomplishments and now to date my program has been awarded the opportunity to Mentor over 2,800 students within the Greater Cleveland area and surrounding suburbs including but not limited to the Boys & Girls Club of America, and recently the "Coach Sam's Higher Learning After School Program", which is in over 32 Cleveland Metropolitan Schools. We have facilitated Special Projects at Chapelside Academy, and just recently have been added as an official vendor for the entire Cleveland Metro School District.
In 2017- out of 1.5 million reported applicants, I was chosen as 1 of the top 10 finalists for the Ford Freedom Unsung Heroes awarded by the Tom Joyner Foundation. In 2018, I was awarded by "The Teens with Purpose Organization", "The Champion Award for Community Outre and also the recipient of the "2019 Community Advocate of the Year Award." My natural passion has always been to uplift, encourage and support women in all their endeavors. My motto is "If you know better you do better!" and I plan to save our youth one teen girl at a time with God's Will.
Princelle Shaye Cottingham
P. Shaye Cottingham, M.IT (mother of a 23-year-old young man) has served as the web administrator and a mentor of Chocolate Girls since 2016. She grew up and graduated high school in Cleveland Heights. Her favorite subjects were Physics/Science, Algebra, and Philosophy.
Shaye attended Wright State University for 2 years, graduated from Tri C East with an Associate's Degree, and also graduated twice from AIU where she achieved a Bachelor's in IT (2003), as well as a Master's in IT Project Management(2012). She has worked on IT projects for the last 20 years as a Project Manager, Quality Assurance Analyst, and Business Systems Analyst in Fortune 500 companies, private businesses, and state government.
As of 2018, she incorporated her 2007 website business Touché Solutions Inc and headlined it with a mobile app platform for local small black business owners. She also owns an apparel line and personal development e-bookstore.
Shaye grew up with a variety of interests, from playing sports, cheerleading, and singing in the Gospel Choir to playing video games, researching Astronomy and Numerology, and of course hair and make-up! Toni's vision for this program is a dream to participate in the last 6 years to show that chocolate STEM girls rock too! Most of all, serving as a mentor and helping to empower these young ladies with tools to go into adulthood with confidence and class is deeply rewarding for her.
Grace Roberts, co-host of Code M Radio, of Code Media Group, CODE M Magazine (CodeMmagazine.com)
As Grace loves to dance, she won 2nd place in Duffy Liturgical Dance Ensemble’s “Dancing” w/the Stars, Celebrity Contest. Grace is a proud graduate of Neighborhood Leadership Cleveland ofNLI and studied Communications Management at Cleveland State University.
She is a Veterans advocate and has been an active board member with various organizations and volunteers throughout Northeast Ohio. Grace has been recognized in Who's Who in Black Cleveland. Grace enjoys volunteering, reading, skating, volleyball and traveling. She is the principal of her voice over company, Grace Roberts, LLC/Voices of Grace. She is a proud member of the Toronto Women's Club & dedicated advocate for veterans. Grace lives in Northeast Ohio.
Joy is the proud mother of five. She is a 1993 graduate of the CMSD. Joy received a business scholarship to Myers College in 1994 that jump started her to even higher education endeavors to become an Accountant. Her education and mentors provided a great forum to develop MANY SKILLS that she uses toll this very day. At Myers College she learned from her instructors lessons of entrepreneurship that lead to founding her own current successful accounting company which she began in 1999. Ms. Thomas started out with just one client in 1999 and now her company "Vision Financial Services has over 200 clients ranging from individuals to small businesses acoros the USA!
As a proud mother of 3 wonderful children, 2 daughters 21 and 7 and one son 19 years old, Teri proudly joined the Chocolate Girl's Team in 2016. Her background is in management and recruiting. She holds a degree in Human Resources Management from Baldwin Wallace University. Teri uses her professional experiences to capture and hone in on some of the basic fundamentals needed in being recruited and hired in organizations in addition to personal branding. There are simple elements that continue to need reinforcement in our everyday action and how we do things.
She has a deep passion for teaching girls how to think big and think different. She currently teaches in the Etiquette workshop series Dress for "Success from the Inside Out" and "Manners"
Teri looks forward to learning from each other in every session and providing your Chocolate Girl a "jewel"or two that was given to her throughout her journey.
Lisa Williams-Locklear holds an Associate's degree in Applied Science with a concentration in Mental Health , Cuyahoga Community College ,a Bachelor's degree in Social Work ,Capital University, and a Master's Degree in Education and Administration, Cleveland State University.
Lisa has worked for Cleveland Metropolitan School District for the last 14 years as an Administrator. She has a background in Social Worker with a focus on Addiction and Prevention. Prior to her work as Administrator in Cleveland she held the position as Director of Expulsion at the Shaker Heights Youth Center.
Lisa is a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister , friend and child of God. She loves providing service for others,cooking, reading and spending time with family and friends.