Lead Scientist and Researcher of the Moderna Vaccine Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett Serves as Keynote Speaker at The Foundation of Hope’s Annual Fundraiser Luncheon
On a crisp Saturday afternoon in December 2021, The Foundation of Hope’s Annual Fundraiser Luncheon was held at the beautiful Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Resort in Cambridge, Maryland, located in Dorchester County, Maryland, the birthplace of renowned African American Abolitionist and Political Activist Harriet Tubman.
The ballroom was filled with many influential guests from all walks of life, including business owners, educators, and political representatives Maryland State Senators Adelaide C. Eckardt of District 37 and Johnny Mautz of the Maryland House of Delegates, District 37B. The Foundation also received the Maryland Governor’s Citation for their outstanding work with empowering young girls. Fellow students, who are now highschoolers and former participants of the program gave testimonials about how the Foundation helped them manage their self-esteem during their middle school years.
The luncheon’s keynote speaker was Harvard University’s Assistant Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, lead scientist and researcher responsible for the development of Moderna’s mRNA vaccine for COVID-19. Attendees were astonished to learn about Dr. Corbett’s role as the key scientist behind the vaccine. She shared that she’s often asked what she wants to be remembered by. She stated not only does she want to be remembered as a lead member of the team that created one of the vaccines that’s helping to protect humans against the deadly Coronavirus, but she also wants to be remembered for championing young black and brown women as they pursue their dreams and fight for their voices to be heard just like she had to fight for survival (and has the scars to show it) as she was raised in the small town of Hurdle Mills in North Carolina. She also praised her parents for pushing her to follow her dreams. She also credits them for playing a major role in her life and is why she is the woman she is today. Other luncheon speakers included Freeman Hrabowski, President of the University of Maryland Baltimore County, who also happens to be one of Dr. Corbett’s former instructors.
A silent auction was also held as a part of the luncheon and included items that attendees could bid on. With an 18-year background in economic development, Ms. Keasha Haythe founded the organization in 2018. Not only is she a certified economic development professional and small business owner, she’s also the Past President of the Maryland Economic Development Association Board of Directors. The Maryland-based nonprofit organization’s mission is to empower young girls and women to become successful leaders. During the luncheon, Ms. Haythe announced that in August 2021 the organization purchased land that was paid in full through donations and community sponsorships for the new headquarters that will be located at 52 South Washington Street in Easton, Maryland. Proceeds from the silent auction are also being donated toward their future expansion efforts. The community has rallied around this organization and its leader and believes in their vision and mission.
To learn more about The Foundation of Hope, please visit their website at