Founded in 2016 by Attorney Wayne L. Thornhill, and his wife, Michelle, the Thornhill Rites of Passage Foundation
is rooted in the value and "strategic parenting" approach they use to raise their two sons, and program cohorts,
to deepen their knowledge in areas aligned their individual interests. Ensuring they had a yearlong Rites of
Passage experience when they turned twelve, the year-long grounding was the impetus for the
HūMan Rites Of Passage Program (HūROP).
This has become a family affair with each of the Thornhill's leveraging their gifts for the benefit of the Foundation.
Wayne is the visionary for the program and facilitates the monthly sessions. Michelle provides back-end
support and works with the volunteers. Kwasi designed and trademarked the crest, is an alumni of 2018-2019
HūROP Cohort, and serves as a student advisor on the Foundation Board of Directors. Kwame is an alumni
of the 2016-2017 HūROP Cohort, participated in the CEO Forum for the 2018-2019 Cohort inspiring
the next generation of entrepreneurs, and serves as a peer mentor.
Empowering young men of color to navigate the unique cultural challenges - social, economic and developmental
by building the Core4 - Character, Competence, Competitiveness, and Citizenship
to secure access to a future without limits.
Eighteen years ago, Wayne and Michelle experienced a devastating loss when their triplets died. While the loss seemed unbearable, they held strong to their faith, their love for each other, and desire to not give up on the possibility of having children that they would raise. A year later Michelle gave birth to their first son, Kwame and then 23 months later, their second son, Kwasi. They held an African Naming Ceremony for both of their sons thirty days after each of them were born to officially give them their name - Kwame Wayne Leonardo'latunde Thornhill, IV (Kwame is Ghanian for Saturday or Wisdom; Wayne Leonard is his father's name: O'latunde, a Yoruba word meaning “Joy has returned;" and the IV represents him being the fourth child) and Kwasi Wayne Efo-Ekundayo Thornhill, V( Kwasi is Ghanian for Sunday or Born Under the Sun; Wayne is his father's name to keep them connected; Efo means brother and Ekundayo is a Yoruba word meaning from "Sorrow to Joy"; and the V represents him being the fifth child).
From the moment their sons were born, Wayne and Michelle stayed committed to their love for each other, balancing their careers, and most importantly, raising their sons. This continues to be an amazing journey that has included raising their sons as global citizens traveling to six continents and over 50 countries; a year of creating a hybrid school program for each of their sons to deepen their knowledge in areas aligned to their individual interests; and ensuring that their sons would have a year-long Rites of Passage program when they turned twelve. Thus the impetus for the HūMan Rites of Passage Program.