Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.

You are here

W.O.C.H.A.: Women of Color, Honor and Ambition

  • W.O.C.H.A.: Women of Color, Honor and Ambition
  • W.O.C.H.A.: Women of Color, Honor and Ambition
  • W.O.C.H.A.: Women of Color, Honor and Ambition
  • W.O.C.H.A.: Women of Color, Honor and Ambition

Women of Color, Honor and Ambition, is a one year program open to all women who are in their second- through fifth-years of study at the university, with an emphasis on women of color. The WOCHA program aims to create an inspiring vision of the future by enhancing leadership ability, building sisterhood, accessing professional mentorship and open networking opportunities.

The program will consist of a series of monthly workshops offered by faculty, staff and community professionals focusing on leadership development, healthy lifestyles, financial literacy, Self-E (self-esteem and empowerment), and community engagement. 

Program Goals

  • Create an inspiring vision of the future by developing lifelong learning where women will explore, develop and share their skills, experiences, and resources.
  • Encourage a healthy lifestyle in mind, body and spirit which promotes meaningful dialogue and self reflection.
  • Build a set of skills and knowledge that allows an individual to make informed and effective decisions with their financial resources.
  • Create and sustain positive self-esteem and self-empowerment by proving opportunities to acknowledge overall self-worth and awareness.
  • Increase community engagement where students are immersed in the Rochester community.

Five Foundational Pillars of W.O.C.H.A.

  • Community Engagement
  • Financial Literacy
  • Healthy Lifestyles
  • Leadership Development
  • Self-E (Self-Esteem and Self-Empowerment)

How we Engage

Mentorship and support are key drivers of success, yet women can have a harder time finding mentors, especially ones with influence. In the WOCHA program each participant is partnered with an external and internal mentor. The external mentor is one that is within or close to the field in which the participant would like to go into. The internal mentor provides an opportunity for each woman to have an additional layer of support to navigate RIT resources. We recruit internal and external partners to come and present workshops that tie into WOCHA’s 5 Pillars.

WOCHA Success

  • Retention: 97% retention rate over the course of 3 years among women in years 2-5.
  • Graduation: 100% of the seniors have graduated each year over 3 years
  • Mentoring: 93% of participants report having a productive relationship with their mentors. 
  • Leadership development: 97% of participants report growing as a leader and being able 
    to speak in public confidently after the program.
  • Fourth Cohort launched for 2018-2019

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Grade Point Average: 2.5 minimum required
  • Complete ALL sections of the WOCHA application
  • A personal commitment to attend ALL WOCHA sessions 
  • Required to connect with their Mentor/s "at least TWO times" during the duration of the program

WOCHA in the News

WOCHA: New Women of Color, Honor and Ambition program opens nominations for first class

Donor Spotlight - WOCHA Advisory Board Members

RIT launches new diversity leadership program

RIT Launches USEED Campaign for New Women’s Leadership Program

WOCHA Aims To Help Underrepresented Women On And Off Campus

WOCHA visits Many Voices, Many Visions with Norma Holland, Part 1

WOCHA visits Many Voices, Many Visions with Norma Holland, Part 2



Contact our WOW Council

Candi Boston
Assistant Director of Diversity & Family Programs
Alumni & Parents Annual Giving Programs

Pamela Christopher
Employment Advisor
NTID Center on Employment
Video Phone: 585.475.6433

Janette Frank
College Alumni Relations, Program Assistant
Alumni & Parents Annual Giving Programs

Von Murphy
Senior Staff Accountant
Sponsored Program Accounting

Natasha Rogers Dailey
Controller's Office, College Partnerships
Payroll and Accounts Payable Dept.
Accounts Payable Specialist

Stephanie Paredes
Assistant Director, Multicultural Programs
Diversity & Inclusion, Center for Campus Life

Tomicka Wagstaff Ed.D
Assistant Vice President for Academic Access & Success

Venessa Mitchell Ed.D
Director Engineering Diversity Office/ECCO Center
Kate Gleason College of Engineering