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Inspiring all girls to be strong, smart, and bold sm

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.

National Scholars

Girls Inc. Lucile Miller Wright Scholars Program

The Scholars Program was created when Lucile Miller Wright, a long-time supporter of Girls Inc. and a pioneer aviator, made a bequest from her estate to fund scholarships expressly for young women members.

Since 1993, Girls Inc. has awarded over $3.3 million in scholarships to hundreds of high school girls. Multiple scholarships ($5,000 and $20,000) are awarded each year and may be applied to tuition and expenses at any accredited 2- or 4-year college or university. This is a private scholarship, open only to young women who are in the 11th or 12th grade and who are members of a Girls Inc. affiliate.

Meet the 2012 Girls Inc. National Scholars

Alexandra Aguirre
Girls Inc. of Tarrant County
High School Senior
$15,000 Scholarship

“My involvement with Girls Inc. has changed my life, and has made me a better friend, daughter, student and overall human being.”

Her Story: Alex benefitted most from unique opportunities like Girls Inc. Corporate Camp for EntrepreneursSM, where she learned organization, time management, teamwork, business planning, marketing, and financial strategy from corporate executives. This experience also gave her skills to listen and communicate better in her own life, including with her parents.

Her Future: Alex is studying to become an emergency room nurse at Texas State University.

Jourdann Borksi
Girls Inc. of Greater Indianapolis   
High School Junior
$2500 Scholarship

"Girls Inc. helped to positively motivate me into the young woman I wanted to be, not the girl society expected and limited me to be.”

Her Story: At Girls Inc., Jourdann strengthened her self-confidence, was encouraged to try new sports like karate, learned to set career goals, and was researching colleges at age 10. Serving as a Junior member of the local Girls Inc. Board of Directors and a member of their speakers bureau inspired Jourdann to seek out other community involvement and leadership roles.  

Her Future: Jourdann plans to attend Syracuse University and pursue a career in architecture or interior design.

Malica Bracy
Girls Inc. of New York City   
High School Junior
$15,000 Scholarship

“Girls Inc. reinforced the message that it is okay to be who you are despite your challenges and background. I felt empowered to not allow society to define or shape the young leader I was becoming.”

Her Story: Growing up in the projects of the South Bronx, Malica saw little chance of breaking the cycle of teen pregnancy, limited education, and drug addiction around her. Girls Inc. provided the support she needed to realize that she could succeed and that violence was not the solution to problems . A Girls Inc. weekend college tour boosted Malica’s determination to make higher education a reality.

Her Future: Malica is an undergrad pre-med student at City College of New York.

Lauren Burling
Girls Inc. of Owensboro-Daviess County   
High School Senior
$2500 Scholarship

“I credit my continued involvement with Girls Incorporated with giving me the confidence to be able to stand up for myself and against the peer pressure most high school students face.”

Her Story: Growing up, Lauren saw adults who struggled with substance abuse and poor decisions, and credits Girls Inc. with giving her a safe space and confidence to make good choices. There she was also given opportunities like shadowing a Congresswoman on Capitol Hill. A true role model, Lauren now helps create a support system for younger girls.   

Her Future: Lauren plans to obtain a degree in Occupational Therapy.

Dion Campbell
Girls Inc. of Alameda County    
High School Senior
$2500 Scholarship

“As I have gone from being a young child to being a young woman, I now know that being ‘Strong, Smart and Bold’ guided me through a lot of hardships.”

Her Story: From the first day she joined the Girls Inc. Eureka! program, Dion felt the support of her new friends and the staff to help her overcome challenges in her family life. Through Girls Inc., Dion had the opportunity to attend the Young Teen Women’s Ethical Leadership Retreat, where she got tips on public speaking, turning obstacles into accomplishments, and how to be a positive part of her community.

Her Future: Dion is studying Psychology at the University of California, Davis.

Marissa Chavez
Girls Inc. of Orange County   
High School Senior
$2500 Scholarship

“Girls Inc. was like a mentor; every day I was there I learned valuable lessons that would better me, and prepare me for my future.”

Her Story: Marissa participated in Girls Inc. for eight years, where the emotional support and safe environment to help her deal with a stressful home life. She relished the caring staff and learning about healthy relationships. Her participation in the EUREKA! program led to an externship where she discovered her passion for counseling young children who had experienced childhood issues similar to her own.

Her Future: Marissa is studying Psychology at California State University, Fullerton.

Mykeal Crawford
Girls Inc. of Lakeland 
High School Senior
$15,000 Scholarship

“At Girls Inc., I was taught the importance of setting my own paths and achieving my own goals.”

Her Story: Mykeal attended Girls Inc. for 12 years. The daughter of a single, teenage mother, Mykeal witnessed her mother’s struggles and others’ low expectations. She credits Girls Inc. with helping her to be comfortable in her own body and believe in herself.  At Girls Inc., she was taught the importance of setting her own path, achieving goals, and having the power to determine her own success.

Her Future: Mykeal is currently studying biochemistry at Florida State University.

Andrea Sofia Delgado
Girls Inc. of Carpinteria  
High School Junior
$15,000 Scholarship

“Girls Inc. has shaped my past, helped make the person I am presently, and has prepared me for the future.” 

Her Story: Since kindergarten, Girls Inc. has played a major role in Andrea’s life. Here, Andrea loved in science and theatre activities, in addition to playing Jr. WNBA basketball and volleyball, both sports not offered to girls anywhere else in her community. She credits Girls Inc. activities with boosting her self-confidence, teamwork, goal setting, physical fitness and mental strength. As an adult, Andrea plans on giving back to the youth in her community, just like Girls Inc. has done for her.

Her Future: Andrea plans to get a pre-medical degree and specialize in pediatrics.

Nephtalie Dorceus
Girls Inc. of Lynn   
High School Senior
$15,000 Scholarship

“Girls Inc. programming provided the extra support system that encouraged me to grow into a well informed individual at a critical time, when it was easy to get lost in the crowd.”

Her Story: Nephtalie began participating in Girls Inc. in the fifth grade. At Girls Inc., Nephtalie was exposed to substance abuse prevention, health education, and hands –on science and math activities, which  increased her self-confidence, problem solving skills, and ability to avoid peer pressure.  She says Girls Inc. has helped her make healthy decisions about her own life choices, and as a teen, she became Teen Health Ambassador who educates her peers about sexuality health, risky behaviors, contraceptives, and STDs.

Her Future: Nephtalie will attend the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth.

Adriana Embus
Girls Inc. of Columbus & Phenix-Russell   
High School Junior
$15,000 Scholarship

“Girls Inc. has inspired me in ways unimaginable by driving me to defy boundaries and inspiring me to achieve above and beyond.”

Her Story: Adriana has been a member of Girls Inc.for over nine years, participating in a myriad of programs, from saving lives as a Junior lifeguard to facilitating presentations to other youth via the Girls Inc. Preventing Adolescent Pregnancy program. Adriana also served as teen coach to the Girls Inc. Robotics team, leading them through the mechanics and technology to best spirit and teamwork awards at a local university competition.  

Her Future: Adriana plans to attend Yale University with the goal of studying Anthropology or Neurology.

Edith Esparza
Girls Inc. of Orange County
High School Senior
$15,000 Scholarship

“Girls Inc. encourages me to continue trying new things and to never give up on my goals and dreams.”

Her Story: When Edith first started attending Girls Inc. and the EUREKA! program, she was incredibly shy, but quickly let go of her insecurities and learned how to express herself with confidence. Exposure to a college campus, internship experience, and close, supportive relationships she had with staff and other girls also helped her learn about herself and see college and a professional career as a reality.  In high school, Edith and began volunteering for leadership roles, including the Hispanas Organized for Political Equality Youth Leadership Program.

Her Future: After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Edith’s career goal is open her own restaurant focused on providing top quality Mexican, Italian, and American fusion food.

Melanie Gonzalez
Girls Inc. of New York City
High School Junior
$2500 Scholarship

“Girls Inc. has given me the encouragement to go the extra mile, to never quit even when life places obstacles and stumbling blocks in my path.”

Her Story: At Girls Inc., Melanie learned about overcoming body image issues, relationship struggles, and sexual health. Girls Inc. created opportunities she would never have otherwise had to learn both in and out of the classroom, through hands-on activities, communication exercises and field trips. Melanie received a “Collegeship” award which provided an all expense paid college tour to Boston and was one of several graduating High School Seniors recognized for academic excellence.

Her Future: Melanie is a student at Marymount Manhattan College where she is pursuing a B.S. degree in Communications.

Cheryl Goodney
Girls Inc. of Worcester
High School Senior
$2500 Scholarship

“It was at Girls Inc. that I learned that it is 100% alright to voice my own opinion.”

Her Story: Cheryl began her attendance at Girls Inc. as a shy eight year old. Over the next ten years, she developed social skills, self-confidence, and developed into a leader who now works giving back to the younger girls by encouraging them to achieve academically.  Her leadership and academic success has resulted in her being a finalist for the Posse Scholarship which awards $140,000 toward tuition at one of six specific schools.

Her Future: Cheryl is a student at Salem State University where she is studying Education.

D’Anshanique Gregory
Girls Inc. of Omaha
High School Senior
$2500 Scholarship

“I walked into Girls Inc.  unsure of myself and uncomfortable in my own skin. I am now leaving Girls Inc. a totally different person. I am sure of myself and my potential.”

Her Story: Growing up, D’Anshanique was shy and felt neglected by her own family. Over 12 years, the positive environment and supportive Girls Inc. staff and other girls helped D’Anshanique change her attitude from negative to positive, improve academically, and be motivated to reach her full potential.  Her involvement grew so much, she was invited to serve on the Board of Directors and share her voice on the leadership of the organization as a teen.

Her Future: D’Anshanique is enrolled as a Pre-Nursing student at the University of Nebraska in Omaha.

Sara Justice
Girls Inc. of Pinellas
High School Senior
$2500 Scholarship

“Girls Inc. taught me that I can be anything that I want to be and I can do anything that I want to do with my life.”

Her Story: As a member of Girls Inc. for 12 years, Sara grew up at Girls Inc. and learned skills ranging from money management to negotiation, self-defense, and teamwork, .  At 13, she started volunteered with the younger girls in areas like chemistry and marine biology activities and literacy tutoring. Sara and credits this experience as inspiring her career goal of teaching.

Her Future: Sara plans to attend St. Petersburg College and become a preschool or elementary school teacher.

Tessa Lee-Thomas
Girls Inc. of New York City
High School Junior
$2500 Scholarship

“I can now make the best of my life because women, like the ones at Girls Inc., have taught me ways to overcome adversity, to appreciate myself and my body, and to take care of myself.”

Her Story: Tessa was emotionally impacted by bullying as young girl and coped by keeping to herself and not interacting with others.  In middle school, she joined Girls Inc. and participated in activities about stereotypes, relationships, sexual health, and the media’s view of women.  She shared her own experiences of being bullied and found her voice to speak up and not be victimized by others.  Tessa gained a new sense of self-confidence and a boldness to try different activities offered by Girls Inc., her favorite being theatre.

Her Future: Tessa plans to attend Sophie Davis School of Bio Medical Education at City College of New York and complete the seven-year program combining a Bachelor’s Degree with a Medical Degree. Her goal is to be a Pediatrician.

Atarah Lockett
Girls Inc. of Memphis
High School Senior
$2500 Scholarship

“I found that participating in Girls Inc. programs has given me the tools to be a more productive citizen in life and has shaped my thoughts into the young woman that I am today.”

Her Story: Through 12 years at Girls Inc., Atarah has gained self-confidence, social skills, academic success, and job preparation skills, and the awareness of how these are preparing her for success as an adult. One of the most important programs she participated in taught her to resist pressure to use alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. She credits this experience with helping her stick with positive decisions when friends made other choices and in being seen as a role model for other girls.

Her Future: Atarah plans to attend Austin Peay State University and become an attorney specializing in family law.

Cindy Ma  
Girls Inc. of Alameda County
High School Senior
$2500 Scholarship

“Girls Inc. provides me a loving, friendly alternative from the solitude of home through the sisterly bond it provides .”

Her Story: Cindy credits her involvement with Girls Inc. with providing her a strong network of supportive friends as well as helping her to learn about issues impacting teens in her community.  Through the weekly peer education program, she learned about health and sexuality, drug and alcohol abuse, and other teen issues. As a trained peer facilitator, she learned to be open-minded and accepting, while maturing into the extroverted, friendly, and knowledgeable person.

Her Future: Cindy is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Society & Environment at the University of California, Berkeley.

Alicia Marquez  
Girls Inc. of Orange County
High School Senior
$2500 Scholarship

“Girls Inc. has taught me how important I am to the world and the people around me.”

Her Story: A childhood of abuse led Alicia to develop into a young teen with low self-esteem and limited trust for others. Staff and peer support at Girls Inc. helped her learn to take positive risks, share her feelings, and rid herself of the emotional baggage from her youth.  Through college preparation, introduction to women mentors, pregnancy prevention programs, and externships at Girls Inc., Alicia gained the confidence to know if she should ever fall, she can get right back up and try again.

Her Future: Alicia plans to attend the University of California, Fullerton.

Cristiam Marquez  
Girls Inc. of Orange County
High School Senior
$2500 Scholarship

“Girls Inc. taught me that I have the right to have confidence in myself and to be safe in the world.”

Her Story: Cristiam began her involvement with Girls Inc. at a time when she was struggling with an abusive past. Through Girls Inc. programs that addressed the importance of physically and emotionally healthy relationships, Cristiam began to understand and accept that the abuse she suffered was not her fault. She then learned to focus on of her future through programs on a college campus, externship opportunities, health and nutrition education, and college preparation in a supportive environment.

Her Future: Cristiam plans to pursue her education at the University of California, Fullerton.

Reid Moss  
Girls Inc. of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey
High School Senior
$2500 Scholarship

“I love coming to Girls Inc., it’s like an adventure - I always wonder what will we learn today?”

Her Story: Reid credits Girls Inc. with increasing her self-confidence, improving her comfort with in public speaking, and giving her a safe environment in which to share issues impacting her personal life. To give back to the organization that helped her so much, she became a volunteer facilitator to help share the same lessons with the younger girls about money, health, and college readiness.

Her Future: Reid is currently a student at Spelman College.

Treasure Pascal
Girls Inc. of Omaha
High School Junior
$2500 Scholarship

“Girls Inc. has made me become more strong-willed, successful in all that I do, and love myself for who I am, and what all young women aspire to be: Strong, Smart, and Bold.”

Her Story: Since joining Girls Inc. in the sixth grade, Treasure has had many new experiences, including exposure to new cultures and activities taking her out of her comfort zone. She has had the opportunity to meet influential women, including U.S. Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright. Treasure credits Girls Inc. for helping her learn to accept and be proud of her looks, accomplishments, and dreams. The supportive staff and environment have encouraged her to always strive for the best.

Her Future: Treasure is considering the medical field, including becoming a doctor, a nurse, or an anesthesiologist.

Adwoa Poku
Girls Inc. of Worcester
High School Senior
$15,000 Scholarship

“With support of the encouraging staff at Girls Inc, I have matured … and have learned to accept who I am, speak my mind, and always work to my full potential.”

Her Story: Adwoa moved to the United States from Ghana in middle school and experienced the challenges of acclimating to a new culture and the difficulty of making new friends. She began her involvement with Girls Inc. as a volunteer working with younger girls and soon realized personal benefits from participating in various Girls Inc. programs and activities. Incorporating the values of being strong, smart and bold, Adwoa began her freshman year with a renewed sense of pride and determination to be an active part of her new school.

Her Future: Adwoa is currently a student at Emmanuel College in Boston where she is pursuing a degree in Finance & Economics.

Dianese Rivera
Girls Inc. of Holyoke
High School Senior
$15,000 Scholarship

“Being a member of the Girls Inc. community is great; being given the opportunity to be a peer leader is wonderful.”

Her Story: Growing up, Dianese often felt that she didn’t have a voice worth sharing. At Girls Inc., Dianese became a Peer Leader and learned to communicate with other girls about problems they faced as teens, how to develop healthy relationships, and the importance of identifying and avoiding risky situations.  She decided to take a risk and join the ING-Girls Inc. Investment Challenge, where she gained understanding of the stock market through hands-on investing and accumulated real earnings to be applied toward her college expenses. Dianese was selected to represent her team at an ING Symposium to speak about her experience.

Her Future: Dianese is currently a student at Holyoke Community College.

Azalia Salazar
Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas
High School Junior
$2500 Scholarship

“Growing up in the Girls Inc. environment molded me into the person I am today - a very hard worker who tries my best to achieve things not only for myself, but for my family and community.”

Her Story: In middle school, Azalia struggled with self-esteem and confidence issues. She found inspiration in the Girls Inc. Bill of Rights as she learned to appreciate her own inner and outer beauty. She also valued having a support system of otehr girls that were going through the same conflicts. While Azalia was growing her self-esteem, she also had many new opportunities, like running a Girls Inc. store and attending a U.S. Space Academy program.

Her Future: Azalia plans to attend the University of Texas at Dallas and become a Neuroscientist.

Vanessa Singh
Girls Inc. of Orange County
High School Senior
$15,000 Scholarship

“All of the experiences I have had through Girls Inc., whether bonding with other teens or facing my fears, have made me develop into the Strong, Smart, and Bold young woman I am today.”

Her Story: Thanks to her experience with Girls Inc. Eureka! and college preparation, Vanessa felt prepared for meeting new people as well tackling the challenges of high school and preparing for college. The assertiveness and confidence she gained at Girls Inc. helped prepare Vanessa to join Fire Explorers and to pursue her career goal of being a firefighter/paramedic, even when others doubted her abilities. She credits her Girls Inc. staff and peers with giving her the confidence to succeed in a male dominated environment and career.

Her Future: Vanessa is currently a student at Orange Coast College where she is studying Communications.

Jamie Walker
Girls Inc. of the Central Coast
High School Senior
$2500 Scholarship

“Girls Inc. has given me a safe place, somewhere where I was listened to and felt like I belonged.”

Her Story: Jamie joined Girls Inc. as a way to try something new and find a supportive space lacking in her life, and her involvement quickly became much more than one leadership/mentoring program. Jamie explored topics such as career options and how to prepare for college, personal health, self-defense, public speaking, and how to prepare for a job interview. As a Youth Leader, she worked with younger girls by facilitating programs around substance abuse prevention and tackling peer pressure.

Her Future: Jamie is a student at California State University where she is studying Criminology.

Makay Weliyo
Girls Inc. of Omaha
High School Senior
$2500 Scholarship

“Girls Inc. has opened my eyes to so many opportunities …it has shown me that I can be a successful person.”

Her Story: Born in Didab, an African refugee camp in Kenya, Makay moved to America at the age of 11, where she had many responsibilities helping her family adapt. Three years later, she joined Girls Inc. and has had many eye opening experiences. Staff encouraged Makay to participate in several classes at a nearby college, helping her overcome her inhibitions about attending college. Based on her grades and attendance at Girls Inc., she was selected to meet Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. In 2011, Makay was part of a Girls Inc. team selected to visit New York City to learn about business ownership.

Her Future: Makay plans to attend college and become a teacher.