A’Dorian Murray-Thomas


2018 Honoree

Focus Area:

Youth Mentoring & Education

Organizational Affiliation:


A’Dorian Murray-Thomas of Newark lost her father to gun violence at the age of seven. Out of that tragedy, she learned the importance of having a support system to help navigate life after an immense loss. When she was just a college sophomore, A’Dorian created SHE WINS to reach other young women from Newark who have been affected by violence. Focusing on social justice, mentorship, and leadership development, SHE WINS equips girls with the skills needed to not only excel academically, but to help solve the issues that most affect their lives and communities. Since founding SHE WINS in 2015, A’Dorian has helped more than 200 girls between the ages of 10 and 15 through summer, after-school, workshop, and conference programs. A’Dorian’s passion is to empower the next generation of young women leaders from the City of Newark to be agents of positive change.

SHE Wins offers free leadership and social action organization for middle and high school girls in Newark, primarily those affected by inner city violence. SHE Wins is a trauma informed program that combines social and emotional learning along with rigorous college and career readiness training in order to be put in a better position for educational success. The program includes a summer and afterschool leadership academy where girls develop leadership, literacy and self-regulatory skills through mentorship, project-based learning and service-learning projects. A’Dorian is a member of the Newark Board of Education.