MICHIGAN NWIAA CHAIRPERSON
Rodnesha Ross, Born in Detroit, MI, was very blessed to start her journey of success at a very young age, after graduating from high school she moved to Chicago to attend Columbia College to chase her dreams! Shortly after college and a few internships, Ms. Ross traveled back to Detroit to establish her business in the area of arts and nonprofit. Inspired by her mother to duplicate community advocacy, Ms. Ross launched a nonprofit in 2013, called Artist Venue NPO that soon was reestablished as Youth Community Agency. Artist Venue NPO originally started as an artistry program to bring out the art in the inner city youth located in the community where Ms. Ross was raised in the Osborn high school community. During one of the program classes that Ms. Ross and her team were facilitating, there was one student that was in class one day participating and shortly after the student was dismissed from class for the remainder of the year because the student then had become a teenage mom. The disparity Ms. Ross felt when she was released from school because she had become an expectant mom was a disheartening experience and it was then, Ms. Ross redirected the focus of the nonprofit to mentor, empower and uplift teen mothers. It was her perspective that the amount of resources for teen moms during 2013 was very few and not publicized at all. So it was her desire to change the dynamics
and offer second chances to an unspoken population. In 2013 was the inception of the Youth Community Agency, founded by Rodnesha Ross. Her organization's primary focus is
empowering young WOMEN, with a focus on teenage mothers and IMPROVING her
community! Youth Community Agency was created to remind people about the teenage
mothers that go forgotten about and to encourage other entrepreneurs/organizations to give
back to the Detroit community, to show the importance of giving back! "If we plant seeds on
solid soil this gives us a great chance at a wonderful harvest for the future. It was only right for me to create this organization because I am a success from my community and I didn't gain it alone....It was with the help of my parents and my community, says, Founder, Rodnesha Ross."
We at YCA believe everyone deserves a second chance and support when we need a shoulder to lean on. We will never disregard another human being's chance to succeed so let’s extend our hand and help another in need.” During the pandemic YCA was able to launch a 3 tier housing program to support young girls and teen moms with temporary housing, independent, and single family home. In the year 2022 YCA was able to launch alternative education opportunities to disadvantaged youth by way of Queens Small Business Career Academy. As Ms. Ross is a serial entrepreneur she has other businesses located in the Metro Detroit Area to offer internships and also employ teen moms for career opportunities to create stability for their families.
MICHIGAN NWIAA CHAIRPERSON
Wendy Bahr was born and raised in Grand Ledge, MI where she hiked and climbed the cliffs and "Ledges" along the St Joe River at every opportunity. Her mother was instrumental in teaching her to live athletically, eat healthy, and value the beauty and wonder of nature. She possess a strong sense of self and and innate need to protect and nurture those in need. She graduated nursing school with honors in 2005 and spent many years gaining experience as a nurse and mother until her love of science and quest for learning sparked an interest in Self Sustainability and in 2019 she started building her Hobby Farm Homestead which is an ongoing plan to create her own idea of the "Garden of Eden" that would include plants, animals, and humans living harmoniously in a small community without needing assistance of "industry". Her search for knowledge lead her to the NWIAA where she is now the National Coordinator of the Coldwater Michigan chapter and is thankful for the opportunity to help all women be more self sufficient thru agriculture and education.