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  Bernell Hooker  

Growing up during the start of Title IX, Hooker has seen the importance of sports for girls and what it has done for her. She remembers how the pioneering women from that era took women’s sports to a higher level and made it exciting for her. Hooker wants to continue the HERSTORY efforts and pass it on to the next generation of female athletes and those who want a career in sports.

In 2002, Hooker founded IOU Sports, a nonprofit organization established to empower girls to achieve their best through education and sports. After more than 25 years of coaching girl's and women’s basketball, Hooker retired from coaching and her role as the senior woman administrator at Mount Mary College.

Hooker brings her perspective as an athlete and coach to the topic of social change. She knows the struggles girls in Milwaukee and beyond face in achieving their dreams through sports. She gives them the tools and inspiration they need: from internships and employment opportunities, to skill and leadership development through sport, to talks about following your dreams from other professional female athletes and women leaders in the sports world. Hooker's leadership skills of not giving in and not giving up show her effectiveness and dedication to her work.  

Hooker has received numerous community awards; Women who put their stamp on Milwaukee, Woman of Influence and the National Association for Girls and Women in Sports Presidential Award for her accomplishments as a leader and developer of girls programming in the manner that promotes social justice and change for girls and women in sports.