Since 1993, Girls Inc. has awarded over $4.2 million in scholarships for Girls Inc. National Scholars. These 11th and 12th grade girls who were selected from throughout the Girls Inc. network, demonstrate a strong commitment to academic success, serving their communities, and inspiring others to do the same.
In 2014, Girls Inc. was proud to award scholarships to 28 high school girls whose future aspirations range from working in STEM fields to social work, but all share one common goal - attaining their college degree.
Meet the 2014 Girls Inc. National Scholars:
Isha Abdullahi, Girls Inc. of Omaha
Participating in a mentoring program at Girls Inc., Isha received guidance to help her pursue her goal of attending college. Through the Girls Inc. theater program, Isha gained experience addressing large groups of people, which boosted her confidence and awakened a passion for public speaking.
Victoria Adinkra, Girls Inc. of Lynn
Victoria’s natural leadership abilities were heightened by the lessons she learned at Girls Inc., giving her the skills to become a role model to younger girls. The all-girl environment allowed her to focus on bettering herself, overcoming challenges and showing other Girls Inc. girls that they can make a difference in the lives of others.
Gabriela Aguilar-Perez, Girls Inc. of Omaha
Through Girls Inc., Gabriela learned to love herself, and she developed the financial skills to create a successful business. At Girls Inc. of Omaha, she received the tutoring and support that helped her improve academically, inspiring her to be the first in her family to attend college.
In 2014, Gabriela spoke at the Girls Inc. New York Luncheon. Click here to see her remarks about how Girls Inc. helped her overcome the challenges she faced.
Brianna Alleyne, Girls Inc. of West Contra Costa County
Brianna initially thought an advanced degree was out of reach, but her involvement in Girls Inc. helped her see the potential she had to succeed in college and beyond. From her Girls Inc. experience, Brianna was motivated to move out of her comfort zone and tackle the obstacles that stood in her way. As a result, she became more positive and determined to make college a reality.
NiCarra Bailey, Girls Inc. of Memphis
Girls Inc. was a second home and family for NiCarra and a place where she learned important lessons that every young girl should know. As a young girl, she turned to Girls Inc. for guidance on dealing with pressure from her boyfriend and getting the facts on teenage pregnancies. Through Girls Inc., NiCarra received vital information and facts about how adolescent pregnancies often impact mothers, which opened her eyes to a different avenue; education. Today, NiCarra sees a different future for herself and one that includes college and mentoring other girls.
Luna Cristales, Girls Inc. of the Island City
Luna thought her future was limited because her family struggled financially, but at Girls Inc., Luna learned that her past and current challenges could be overcome by working hard toward fulfilling her goals. Luna credits Girls Inc. with instilling in her a drive to achieve and set an example for young Latinas.
Shawn Culpepper, Girls Inc. of West Contra Costa County
A shy girl, Shawn had a speech impediment and was uncomfortable speaking in front of others. At Girls Inc., she took every opportunity to overcome her stutter, including joining a group of singers performing at a celebratory event. Alongside Girls Inc. staff, Shawn worked to turn her nervousness into excitement. Shawn continued to use this positive experience to overcome her speech impediment and today she embraces other opportunities to address large crowds.
Danyeille Deer, Girls Inc. of Owensboro-Daviess County
At Girls Inc., Danyeille learned to make informed, healthy decisions regarding her body, to feel safe in her community and confident with the financial literacy skills she gained. Danyeille believes that Girls Inc. helped her live up to her potential and avoid the path of many of her peers who became teen parents.
Alicia De Jesus Gaitan, Girls Inc. of Alameda County
Before joining Girls Inc., Alicia was painfully shy and spoke almost no English. Through a Girls Inc. literacy program, she received tutoring and support to give her the confidence she needed to communicate effectively. In addition to her language skills, Alicia later drew upon the skills she learned at Girls Inc. to help her avoid the peer pressure of gang involvement.
Amber Gibson, Girls Inc. of Orange County
Struggling with autism and often feeling overlooked, Amber was ostracized and bullied. Girls Inc. provided an encouraging and welcoming environment where she felt welcomed and accepted for one of the first times in her life. Here, Amber learned to value her individuality and celebrate the qualities that made her unique.
Samantha Guillen, Girls Inc. of Westchester
The all-girl environment and supportive staff helped Samantha become a more positive person, boosting her self-confidence and social skills. In turn, Samantha's academic performance improved, which propelled her to become the first person in her family to attend college.
In 2014, Samantha spoke at the Girls Inc.New York Luncheon. Click here to see Samantha describe how Girls Inc. was in her corner.
Melanie Hercules, Girls Inc. of Orange County
Melanie sought refuge at Girls Inc. after suffering verbal abuse about her appearance from a family member and discouraging remarks about her potential. She knew she would rise above the negative picture that others had of her, but the all-girl environment and encouraging staff gave Melanie the support she knew she deserved. In addition to learning to love her body, Melanie began reaching out to girls who have endured similar verbal insults. Today she is a trusted role model among her Girls Inc. peers with a solid understanding of what it means to be strong, smart and bold.
Anna Hofer, Girls Inc. of Jackson County
Anna’s long-term involvement with Girls Inc. has resulted in her becoming an independent and confident young woman, steadfast in building new friendships and sharing her leadership skills as a role model to younger girls. The lessons she learned about alcohol and drug usage, decision making and peer pressure have helped her avoid challenges faced by many of her peers.
Jeannie Lee, Girls Inc. of West Contra Costa County
Jeannie's involvement in a college prep program at Girls Inc. drastically boosted her social skills while also giving her the tools to prepare for college. At Girls Inc., Jeannie also learned to advocate for herself and to not be afraid to share her thoughts or opinions at Girls Inc.