By Latanya West
Photo courtesy of Tinesia Conwright
Tinesia Conwright, founder of DETOUR and the F.A.N.C.Y. Teen Girls Expo, recently beat out more than 800 applicants to become a W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Leadership Network Fellow. She is one of only 80 people who were selected for the Foundation’s second cohort class.
The news is significant because the W.K. Kellogg Foundation is known for its innovative community programming and is one of the largest and most influential philanthropic institutions in the country.
Tinesia traveled in May to Battlecreek, Michigan to the W.K. Kellogg estate to begin the 18 month leadership program, which will meet quarterly in different parts of the U.S. She plans to inform others about the work going on here in San Diego and also learn about what others are doing and bring that knowledge back to the San Diego community.
“I’m excited because it is an opportunity for me to spread what we’re doing here locally to people all over and connect with people doing great things in different places,” Tinesia shared.
For Tinesia, her life of service began with her foster sisters years ago. Monthly meetings listening to the girls’ concerns and challenges lead to meetings at Skyline Recreation Center, which grew into DETOUR (Depositing Empowerment Through Outreach and Urban Redevelopment) and, eventually, the F.A.N.C.Y. Teen Girls Expo. F.A.N.C.Y. stands for ‘Focused and Naturally Confident Youth.’ DETOUR annually serves over 300 local girls through educational and empowerment workshops in San Diego schools, Juvenile Hall, and weekend programs, along with the Expo.
“Being able to have a plan, have a vision, and align yourself and do all the things you need to do in order to walk into that vision – that’ s what we do,” she said.
Tinesia is dedicated to developing young girls to be successful personally and professionally, with the skills to either be entrepreneurs, trade technicians, or academic scholars. “The path doesn’t matter. What matters is that you have as strong foundation as to who you are and the value that you bring into any scenario,” she said.