I am strong because I can lift my own weight. I am smart not just because I get As. I am bold because I am not afraid to stick up for my rights.
According to recent analysis by the Pew Research Center, last year over 76% of Hispanics ages 18 to 24 completed high school and over half of those students continued their education in college. Those figures represent record landmarks among Hispanics and Girls Inc. celebrates their achievements during Hispanic Heritage Month.
In 2005, with funding from the Goizueta Foundation, Girls Inc. launched the Latina Initiative to reach and effectively serve more Latinas. As a result, Latinas who participate in Girls Inc. have access to tools to help them build confidence, achieve goals, become leaders, and learn to avoid issues they may face.
Adriana, a high school senior in a Georgia suburb where teen pregnancy and high dropout rates are familiar topics, is one Latina whose life story could have been drastically different than what it is today if she had not been exposed to Girls Inc. and immersed in the Latina Initiative. She is a nine-year Girls Inc. participant, a leader on her Girls Inc. Robotics Team and, a Girls Inc. National Scholarship winner. Adriana is using the skills she gained throughout her Girls Inc. experience to make her Columbus, Georgia community stronger by teaching teens about healthy decision-making and by working closely with the mayor of her hometown as the president of the Youth Advisory Council.
One of the top students in her high school, Adriana uses her bilingual skills to tutor fellow Hispanic students so they can reach the same level of academic success that she has achieved. After graduating, Adriana plans to attend college and become a surgeon; a career she has wanted to pursue since childhood.
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