The Weekly WRAG

Viewpoint: Region’s income gaps can also lead to perception gap

Feb 7, 2020, 6:00am EST
By Tonia Wellons – Contributing Writer | Source

During my sophomore year at North Carolina A&T in the early 1990s, I learned an important lesson about money.

My parents and I had managed to afford my first year of college, but we were struggling to make the numbers work for my second year. After tapping every dollar we could spare — and every scholarship and loan I could qualify for — we were $2,000 short. My parents both had solid blue-collar jobs with great benefits but earned too much to qualify for grants and too little to afford to pay the full cost of tuition.

If we couldn’t bridge that gap, I would have to withdraw and — at best — pause my pursuit of a college degree. Not surprisingly, I was worried. And I told my dorm mother about my dilemma.

Expecting a sympathetic ear, I was surprised when she offered to do much more. She wrote a check to cover the difference. That was all the help I needed. The next year, I secured a job as a resident assistant, which covered my room and board costs — and gave me the financial breathing room I needed to graduate on time. >Read More

Registration is now open for HIF’s four-part nonprofit partner Webinar Series. 

Healthcare Initiative Foundation is making a commitment to Montgomery County, its residents, and our partners to build a community with a foundation based on the principles of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI).  We are not on this journey alone!  So, in an effort to share the amazing work happening in Montgomery County towards Equity, we have developed the ‘Building Equity’ series to highlight community partners who are on this journey of innovation, too.  

Can’t attend all sessions? No big deal. Each session will be independent of the others so join us when you can!  All sessions will be from 12pm to 1pm. Information on each session, including the partners who will be sharing their experiences, is available in each registration link below. 

If you have questions about this series or need assistance with registration, email 

Welcome New WRAG Members:



  • The Bainum Family Foundation’s initiatives reflect growing research that shows the first three years of a child’s life are most critical for brain development. Reaching children during these early years with high-quality early learning and a continuum of vital wrap-around supports gives them the best chance of success in both school and life. The Foundation’s investments focus their investments in three areas — Early Learning, Wrap-Around Support and Knowledge Building. Their initiatives — developed and delivered in collaboration with highly skilled and carefully selected partners — are intended to improve the quality and availability of resources for children living in poverty, closing the persistent educational achievement gap that limits their possibilities.


  • RWJF works alongside others to build a national Culture of Health. Their goal is to help raise the health of everyone in the United States to the level that a great nation deserves, by placing well-being at the center of every aspect of life.  RWJF is very aware that achieving this will take unprecedented collaboration—a movement for better health. At the same time, they also know they are far from alone in their belief that everyone should have the opportunity to lead a healthier life. And by working alongside many others, they can bring about meaningful change, now and for generations to come.

Register for the upcoming Cafritz Lecture on Philanthropy

The Cafritz Lecture on Philanthropy is an annual event that brings national philanthropic leaders to the Greater Washington region to highlight trends, challenges, and opportunities that will affect our work in the years ahead.

The Transformational Power of Investing in Women of Color
Registration: This event is open to members of the Greater Washington region’s philanthropic community.
Free. Please login to register online.
Non-Member Funders: $100/person. Email Rebekah Seder, seder(at), to register.
Non-Member PSO staff: $50/person. Email Rebekah Seder,, to register.