Barbara Goss-Gonzalez Memorial Scholarship Fund

    Empowering ambitious moms to pursue their educational goals

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  • Dear Mama

    April 25, 2015 changed my life forever. I was sleeping peacefully at my home in Los Angeles when I got the call from my brother, Deante Goss, around 11 pm telling me that you were gone. His voice was cracking and he could hardly speak. The pain was palpable as he repeated the statement: Vin, mama is gone. She died today.


    I could not believe it. I did not have words so the tears flowed. I immediately booked a flight home to be with the family. As more details emerged, I learned that you had committed suicide. It was not your first attempt. I was so confused and have been in therapy for the last 4 years to manage my mental health and cope with my grief and my guilt.


    I am ashamed that I let my pride and ego get in the way of our relationship. It had been several years since we'd had a real conversation. I was immature, prideful and I was so angry with you for reasons that seem inconsequential now. I would give anything to be able to speak to you and apologize for my behavior.


    The purpose of this letter is to show the world how amazing you were and to share the ways in which I intend to honor your memory and your legacy.


    I've established the Barbara Goss-Gonzalez Memorial Scholarship Fund to empower ambitious moms to pursue their educational and career goals. Thanks to your vision, coaching, guidance and tough love, I have done well and created the life I dreamed about as a child growing up in poverty in Racine, Wisconsin. I am investing my own money to launch this fund which will award scholarships annually to women who have at least one child and are pursuing higher education.


    All a daughter ever wants is to make her mama proud. I hope I have accomplished that. Your legacy lives on through your children and the many people you touched during your time on this Earth.


    With agape love,




  • Who was Barbara Goss-Gonzalez?

    Barbara Denise was born in Racine, Wisconsin on December 5, 1967 and graduated from William Horlick High School.


    Barbara was known affectionately as “Sassy” by her close friends and family due to her outspoken, confident nature, her fun-loving attitude, her direct style of communication, and her trend-setting fashion sense. A natural leader, Barbara was always business savvy and made a significant impression and impact wherever she went.


    She gave back to her community for several years as a certified nursing assistant and became certified as a machinist from Gateway Technical College.


    She was a dedicated mother, grandmother, and wife who loved fashion, her family and friends, and her beloved Harley Davidson motorcycle. She was an avid biker who enjoyed traveling the country’s highways on her Harley.


    Barbara is survived by her husband Louis Gonzalez of New York, her mother Martha Goss of Racine, her father Bobby Perkins of Chicago, her children: DeAnte, Kamara and Divinity, her grandchildren Kaleigh and Nyah, sisters Bessie and Shaakira, brothers Timothy and Ali, nieces Courtney and Dajsha, nephews Jamal, Isaiah, Ali Junior, and Tayshawn, uncles William and Marvin, aunts Fannie, Mary, and Della, and numerous other relatives.

    Video Credit: DeAnte Goss; Divinity Matovu

  • Scholarship Fund Details

    • The intent of this scholarship award is to enable students to attend college without accumulating burdensome debt.

    • The scholarship award amount is $1,000.

    • To be eligible, students must be attending an accredited U.S. college, university or trade school.

    • Scholarship awards are not limited to any particular degree.

    • The award is renewable for up to three years provided the student maintains a GPA of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale. 

    • Students seeking a renewal of their scholarship will be required to submit an essay describing how they used the funds the prior year.  

    • All awards will be paid directly to the student. We trust you to apply the funds to your most critical needs (i.e. tuition, books, rent, childcare, transportation, etc).

    To complete your application, please submit the following by June 30.

    1. One essay (750 words max) answering the questions: what are your career goals and how will this scholarship help you achieve them?

    2. A video (3 minutes max) answering the question: what does motherhood mean to you?

    3. Proof of enrollment in an accredited academic institution for the current school year

    4. Three photos of you and your child/children to be used for promotional purposes

    5. Two letters of recommendation

    6. One page resume

    Send all materials to: divinity@mbamama.com with the subject line "BGG Memorial Scholarship Fund" by the application deadline. Finalists will be notified by September 1.

  • Legacy

    Barbara's children and grandchildren

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    1st Born

    Divinity is a mother, serial entrepreneur and business woman who lives in Los Angeles. She is a 1st generation Magna Cum Laude graduate with a Bachelor's degree from University of Southern California and a Master's in Business Administration from University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. She is an advocate for career moms and the empowerment of women globally. Passionate about the decriminalization of cannabis, startups, social impact and community, she has lived and worked in East Africa and founded MBA Mama in 2015 to help women navigate family and career planning. Her latest company, Exodus Edibles is a health and wellness cannabis infusion brand that manufactures gourmet Southern-style desserts infused with high quality medical grade cannabis and CBD oil. Learn more about Divinity here.

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    2nd Born

    Kamara is a mother, photographer and creative designer based in Los Angeles. She realized how important it was to capture moments when she realized the earliest baby picture she'd seen of herself was at age 2; middle child, I guess. Although she felt the importance of stopping time through imagery, In 2016, Kamara made a career shift and decided to study photography at The Art Institute of CA-Hollywood. There she would learn lighting, composure, and composition while continuously challenging herself artistically. Learn more about her work here.

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    3rd Born

    DeAnte is an artist and aspiring recording artist based in Los Angeles. After graduating high school in 2008, DeAnte pursued a degree in Fashion Design and Merchandising at the Art Institutes of Atlanta/Chicago. Although he didn’t finish his fashion program, the experience opened up a new world of artistry and he was then exposed to more of his talents surrounding music and writing. He is currently still in pursuit of a successful career in the entertainment industry and hopes to bring awareness to mental health issues for underprivileged and misunderstood youth in the future. Learn more about DeAnte here.

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    Nyah and Kaleigh


    Kaleigh is a creative, thoughtful girl who loved spending time with her granny. She enjoys cheerleading and swimming.


    Nyah is an outgoing, precocious girl who inherited her granny's sassiness. She loves to dance, read, surf, climb trees, travel and have fun.

  • Advisory Board

    The Barbara Goss-Gonzalez Memorial Scholarship Fund's Advisory Board is comprised of six women who were Barbara's sisters, closest friends and confidantes. Her eldest sister, Bessie, is President of the Advisory Board and her best friend, Shaakira, is VP of the Board.

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    President of the Board

    Minneapolis, Minnesota

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    Vice President of the Board

    Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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    Board Member

    Atlanta, Georgia

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    Board Member

    Atlanta, Georgia

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    Board Member

    Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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    Board Member

    Denton, Texas