March 6, 2008

Award-Winning Girls: Norma Bonilla & Linh Le


Tammie Limoges
tlimoges@girlsincdenver.org
(303) 893-4363 x 102
Denver, CO – Local girls who attend Girls Inc. of Metro Denver are getting recognized for their hard work and determination from both local and national associations.

On February 20th, 9News and College In Colorado named the 2008 9Kid Who Cares awards, and among them 17 year old, Norma Bonilla, who volunteers regularly at Girls Inc. of Metro Denver was recognized. Seeing the face of Norma around the Girls Inc. center is common, as she regularly helps the 5th and 6th grade attendees with their homework assignments in the after school program. "I try to get them to enjoy their homework. It's not something that kids usually enjoy doing," says Norma. She knows that it is important to have a role model and hopes that she can be an example for the girls in the program, especially for those with a similar background as her own. She says she'd like to become a teacher or a lawyer one day. "I just want to do something that will help other people," Norma said.

"Norma really cares and genuinely gives of her time and talents to help these girls have the confidence to reach for their goals," said Girls Inc. of Metro Denver Volunteer Coordinator, Liz Green.

February was a busy month for girls from Girls Inc. of Metro Denver to be recognized for their efforts.

Local Denver participant and volunteer, Linh (pronounced "Lynn") Le has just been recognized by the National Girls Inc. organization and awarded a $15,000 scholarship from the Lucile Miller Wright Scholarship Program, whose goal is to make post-secondary education more accessible to young women by offsetting some of the academic expenses they face. Linh will use her scholarship while attending Colorado State University to study Chemical Engineering.

Linh joined Girls Inc. when she was in the fifth grade, and through her seven years of involvement, states that she has "seen many girls excel mentally and physically." She began volunteering in the youth center last year, spending much of her time working at the front desk so that she can see and interact with the girls and their parents. She will continue as an intern through the summer of 2008.

Linh submitted an essay to the Girls Inc. National office describing her experience as a participant at Girls Inc. of Metro Denver as well as her educational and career goals. Linh said, "This scholarship is another step toward one of my greatest goals in life. It will provide me with the most priceless gift of all, the gift of education."
The mission of Girls Inc. of Metro Denver (GIMD) is to inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold.SM GIMD delivers gender-specific programs to over 2,200 girls each year from across the Denver metro area. These programs equip girls ages 6 to 18 to navigate gender, economic, and social barriers and grow into healthy, educated and independent adults. The organization is an affiliate of the national nonprofit Girls Incorporated, whose research-based programs and expertise on girls’ issues date back to 1864. For more information, go to www.girlsincdenver.org.
The vision of Girls Incorporated is empowered girls and an equitable society. We believe that girls have the right to be themselves and to resist gender-stereotypes, to express themselves with originality and enthusiasm, to take risks, to strive freely, and to take pride in success, to accept and appreciate their bodies, to have confidence in themselves, to be safe in the world and to be prepared for interesting work and economic independence.

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