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Inspiring all girls to be strong, smart, and bold

Girls Inc.: Inspiring all girls to be strong, smart and bold.

It's good to be a girl in this world today. I like being a girl because I can speak for myself. I can stand up for myself. Being a girl makes me strong.

Girls Inc. 2017 National Scholars

Chisom Amadi, Girls Inc. of Lynn
Chisom experienced challenges at home and struggled with separation from her mother. At Girls Inc., she found a safe place to discuss her difficulties and deal with stress and anxiety. Being surrounded by strong women provided Chisom with the support she needed and showed her that she could do anything she set her mind to. Chisom hopes to study at Northeastern University to pursue a career as a physician.  

Naomi Carter, Girls Inc. of Wayne County
Growing up in a single parent household, Naomi’s mother often worked two jobs to keep their family afloat. Girls Inc. provided Naomi opportunities to be a role model and peer mentor helping other girls overcome their own challenges. In addition to building her leadership skills, Naomi also discovered and nurtured her passion for storytelling. After High School, Naomi hopes to attend Ball State University to study Communications.  

Ana Delgado, Girls Inc. of Carpinteria
At Girls Inc., Ana gained the confidence to overcome self-doubt and insecurities about her body. She also developed the confidence to advocate for herself and others. Through constant support and guidance, Ana has blossomed from a shy girl into an empowered young woman passionate about advocacy and the political system. Ana hopes to attend Brown University to study political science so she can advocate for women, LGBT+ rights, and racial equality.

Leslie Erwin, Girls Inc. of Tarrant County
Over the last 7 years, Leslie has found strong role models and meaningful connections at Girls Inc., both with her mentors and her fellow Girls Inc. sisters. These relationships have empowered her to face personal fears, including vulnerability, discover her talents and set goals for her future. Leslie hopes to study at Austin College where she will pursue her dream of becoming a teacher.

Elizabeth Esquivel, Girls Inc. of Orange County
As a child, Elizabeth witnessed the impact of abusive relationships. Learning about healthy and unhealthy relationships at Girls Inc. inspired her to talk openly about this important topic, increasing awareness within her family and within her culture. Through the girls-only environment, Elizabeth was also able to overcome insecurities surrounding body image. Elizabeth hopes to attend Cal State Long Beach, studying Forensic Psychology and Criminal Justice.

Daniela Garcia, Girls Inc. of Alameda County
Growing up, Daniela struggled with racism and bullying from her peers. Girls Inc. provided Daniela a place of acceptance, openness and encouragement to set and achieve her goals. Daniela has made impact within her community as a mentor and tutor for ESL and immigrant youth. Daniela hopes to study Sociology and Chicano studies, pursuing a career that will help her advocate for her community.  

Asma Hadi, Girls Inc. of Tarrant County
After moving to the U.S. from Yemen, Asma encountered discrimination and intolerance due to her race and religion. At Girls Inc., Asa found a safe space where she learned to love who she is and embrace her heritage. Asma is passionate about education and hopes to attend the University of Texas to become a nurse.

Moziqe Howard, Girls Inc. of Washington D.C. Metro Area
At Girls Inc., Moziqe found the confidence and tools to set and achieve goals for her education and future. Girls Inc. provided Moziqe with various networking opportunities, helping her to discover her interest in business and entrepreneurship. Moziqe hopes to attend North Carolina Central University to study Business Management and Childhood Development, later using her degree to help youth achieve their own business and career objectives.

Gabriela Jimenez, Girls Inc. of Orange County
At Girls Inc., Gabriela received the support and guidance to face and deal with a debilitating eating disorder and the emotional pain that stemmed from the absence of her father. Gabriela plans to attend University of Southern California to study Economics and Computer Science and hopes to encourage other girls to pursue careers in finance and technology.

Diamond Jones, Girls Inc. of Chattanooga
Girls Inc. has been an anchor for Diamond, providing her with a safe, consistent place filled with positive experiences to support her through personal difficulty and loss. Growing up, Diamond experienced significant hardship, including the death of her mother, but with the support of Girls Inc., discovered how to advocate for herself and issues she cares most about. Diamond is attending North Carolina A&T University and will pursue a degree in social work with a minor in psychology.   

Janet Kalu, Girls Inc. of Lynn
Girls Inc. helped Janet cope during a difficult period of time in which she was separated from her mother. Janet struggled with the separation and as a result her grades dropped. Girls Inc. provided Janet with a place of comfort and support, to help her remain optimistic despite her obstacles. Janet would like to become  a midwife one day to support women and children.    

Rachel Mallett, Girls Inc. of Sarasota County
At an early age, Rachel was exposed to the devastating impact mental health can have on a family. At a young age, Rachel lost her mother but through Girls Inc. was able to find guidance and strong female role models who have shaped her into the young woman she is today. Rachel hopes to apply her love for public speaking and her faith to join the ministry and pursue a career as a pastor.

Olumeka Mejeidu, Girls Inc. of Central Alabama
At Girls Inc., Olumeka received the knowledge and tools to prepare for college and the support she needed to build her self confidence and believe that she too can be strong, smart and bold. Olumeka wants to study Forensic Psychology at Tiffin University in Ohio and later hopes to empower young girls in Nigeria through the development of her own nonprofit organization.

Emily Olvera, Girls inc. of Orange County
For 10 years, Girls Inc. has provided Emily with a supportive and consistent environment. After her father’s abrupt departure, Emily’s family struggled emotionally and financially as a single-parent home. Emily was able to heal from this pain at Girls Inc. and became empowered through access to economic literacy programming. Emily plans to attend Oregon State University to study Animal Sciences.

Yvonne Padilla, Girls Inc. of Oranga County
From a young age, Yvonne felt ostracized and unsupported by her family. Girls Inc. provided Yvonne with the support and encouragement needed to succeed, as well as the tools to be independent and self-reliant. Yvonne will attend University of California, Berkeley to study International Business Management and Communications in hopes of developing her own business focused on managing women in sports and entertainment.

Phiona Raffington, Girls Inc. of Monroe County
Phiona struggled to find her identity, feeling limited by gender and racial stereotypes. While at Girls Inc., Phiona broke through those barriers and was empowered to look beyond the limits both she and society had placed on her. Girls Inc. allowed Phiona to gain exposure to STEM programs, where she discovered her interest in Science. Phiona plans to pursue a degree in business and eventually earn an MBA at Indiana University in Bloomington.

Mary Carmen Reid, Girls Inc. of Alameda County
Strong mentors and enriching experiences at Girls Inc. helped Mary Carmen become a confident leader and role model for younger girls. With the support of Girls Inc. Mary Carmen was able to break out of her shell and discover her voice through public speaking and creative writing. She hopes to attend Stanford or UC Berkeley to study nutritional sciences and public health to pursue a career as a physician.

Adriana Santiago, Girls Inc. of Westchester County
Growing up, Adriana remembers looking in the mirror and being unhappy with who she saw. But at Girls Inc., she found the support and encouragement to develop self-love and was pushed to step outside her comfort zone, facing her anxiety head on. Adriana has diverse interests and is considering a career in Biomedical engineering.

Donna Wong, Girls Inc. of Alameda County
Donna grew up in a family where girls were not as valued and celebrated as boys. At Girls Inc., she was able to discover her love for math and her affinity for golf. Donna found the space to discover her voice and embrace her individuality, while learning she too could break through the glass ceiling. She hopes to study medicine, pursuing a career as a pediatrician.