June 1, 2006

Girls Inc. of Metro Denver To Award $55,000 In Scholarships

Bonnie Trowbridge
(303) 893-4363 x 102
Denver, CO - Girls Incorporated of Metro Denver will honor seven outstanding young women tomorrow as the recipients of scholarships awarded through the Girls Inc. Helen McLoraine Scholarship Fund. The announcement and presentations will be part of the organization's annual Celebration Luncheon, held at the Girls Inc. west Denver campus on June 2nd from noon to 1:30p.m.

The Estate of Helen McLoraine endowed the organization with a $1 million scholarship fund in 2004. Earmarked for girls who have participated in Girls Inc. of Metro Denver programs, the awards will provide a total of $45,000 in scholarships each year, providing six girls with resources to achieve or continue higher education. However, this year, a total of $55,000 in seven scholarships will be awarded because there were funds left over from last year's awards.

Three $5,000 Teen Leadership Scholarships will be awarded to high school students who exhibit leadership in Girls Inc. programs and in their communities. This year's winners are Crystina Anderson (George Washington High School), Burke Luerssen (Denver School of the Arts), and Linh Le (Career Education Center - DPS).

Typically there are two $10,000 Strong, Smart, and Bold Scholarships awarded each year, however this year, there was extra funding due to left over funds from last year. As a result, three $10,000 scholarships will be given out to outstanding high school girls who have participated in Girls Inc. programs. The recipients are Danielle Barksdale (Overland High School), Jessica Obi (George Washington High School), and Amber Wilson (Ridge View Academy).

The Helen McLoraine Scholarship is awarded to a former Girls Inc. participant who is currently enrolled as a full-time student at an accredited post-secondary educational institution. This year's $10,000 award will be presented to Ameila Martinez, who just completed her freshman year at the University of Denver.

"We are enormously proud of these young women, their accomplishments, and the futures they have planned for themselves," said Colleen Colarelli, president and CEO of Girls Incorporated of Metro Denver. "It is gratifying for our organization to be able to make a significant contribution toward turning their educational dreams into reality."

The keynote speaker for the Celebration Luncheon will be Aisha Douaidary, 18. Active at Girls Inc. since the age of six, Aisha graduated from the Career Education Center (DPS) last month. She received a Strong, Smart and Bold Scholarship last year and will talk about what Girls Inc. has meant to her over the years and what her hopes for the future are.
Established in 1983, Girls Inc. of Metro Denver is an affiliate of Girls Incorporated, a national non-profit youth organization working to advance the rights of girls and women and to inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold TM. To date, our programs have touched the lives of more than 25,000 girls, particularly those from at-risk, underserved neighborhoods. We have prevention programs in teen pregnancy, substance abuse, and sexual abuse that give girls tools to avoid these risks and overcome peer pressure. We have educational enrichment programs that inspire girls to harness their innate curiosity and creativity and succeed in academics. We have leadership programs that prepare girls to be active participants in their communities. All of these programs create a safe place for girls and help them to confront gender stereotypes and cultural barriers, and prepare them to lead economically independent and successful lives. For more information, go to www.girlsincdenver.org.
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The vision of Girls Incorporated is empowered girls and an equitable society. We believe that girls have the right to bethemselves 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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