Tanya Rodriguez is a philanthropist, mother and wife to morning radio personality for V-103, Frank Ski. After spending many years working in radio herself, Tanya is now dedicated to being a mom and running The Frank Ski Kids Foundation. This dynamic organization is dedicated to exposing childeren to their futures through science, technology, athletics and the arts. Read below to find out why Tanya is a woman 2 watch!
FG: Why did you feel it was important to start the The Frank Ski Foundation for Kids?
TR: Frank and I saw a need in poorer communities who had to nevertheless, compete with areas who had more money, facilities, and parental support. What began as our personal sponsorship or donation to a football or baseball team, lead to today’s FSKF.
FG: What services/programs does the foundation offer to children?
TR: We offer kids the opportunity to expose them to science, technology, the arts and athletics from our signature events and trips such as the Youth Bowl, Space Camp, Amazon trip as well as the Galapagos Islands and Italy trips. In terms of service, we adopted a group home for 5 years and gave them personalized Christmas gifts on Christmas day as well as found them sponsors and shed light to celebrity friends who sent money and spent time with the youth. We also have given out academic scholarships for the last 3 years and given our young ladies the opportunity to have lunch with Local Legends Xernona Clayton, Monica, Chilli, Monica Pearson and other outstanding women in the community.
FG: What is the most rewarding experience you’ve had in working with the foundation?
TR: There have been many rewarding moments working with my foundation but I was very moved to take 10 art winners to Florence, Italy and watch them draw Michaelangelo’s David. I hadn’t been there since I was 17 with my mom who exposed me to Europe at an early age. She passed away 2 years ago.
FG: How do you balance family life and the work you do for the foundation?
TR: We get our own children involved with “giving back” in general so they look forward to participating in the foundation’s activities. They would go with us to the group home Christmas Day and help us give out the toys before they even opened their own. They love going to Turner Field to feed the homeless on Thanksgiving, MLK day or whenever. To raise our boys with our values is how we balance our family life and foundation. We also reward ourselves with at least 2 family vacations a year for just us.
FG: How many of your business decisions are based on know how vs. your intuition?
TR: I’d like to say know how but we have a lot of love for the innocence of children who have no choice what circumstances their born into. Intuition and prayer is probably what we have relied most on in our business decisions but if we didn’t know something important, we’d find an expert to ask!
FG: What do you consider to be some of the major highlights of your career thus far?
TR: The major highlights of my career so far has been raising my kids similarly to how I was raised with exposure to travel. To watch their faces and answer questions from them in South Africa, China or where ever God blessed us to share with them is so rewarding. Also, a child in the first year we awarded space camp was a miracle story. His mom was addicted to crack when she gave birth to him. Our space camp graduating class was the only African American student group in the entire facility that year and they placed first! From his challenging beginnings to kicking his life and grades into high gear after space camp, and now at Auburn, this is the most beautiful testimony and highlight.
FG: What is a spiritual mantra or philosophy that you live by?
TR: Treat people like I want to be treated and always be honest. Also, Romans 8.
FG: What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
TR: True beauty comes from what is on the inside.
FG: What would you tell your younger-self if you knew then what you know now?
TR: My younger self in many ways gives me advice today. I was working in gospel radio which was a ministry so I MC’d events centered on church and God. I was mature spiritually for my age and didn’t deviate off the straight and narrow too much. However, I would maybe tell myself to explore the job opportunities I had in other states.
FG: Women should stop complaining about______ and start doing _____________.
TR: Women should stop complaining about their lives and start doing something about their circumstances.
FG: If your life came with a soundtrack, what would be the top three songs (and please indicate the singer or band)
TR: Going Up Yonder-Walter and Tramaine Hawkins, No Weapon-Fred Hammond, It Ain’t Over Til God Says Its Over-Maurette Brown Clark.
FG: What project(s) do you have coming up?
TR: The annual FSKF Youth Bowl Wine Tasting and Local Legend Luncheon are all coming up this November.
For more information on Tanya Rodriguez go to www.frankskikids.org