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Girls Inc. awarded

By   /   November 24, 2009  /   Comments

Girls Inc. members (left to right) Destiny Holmes, Destiny Davis and Jada Cowart work to
build their robot – Electra Girl – in preparation for the national Robotics Challenge next month.

Girls Inc. Albany gained national recognition this week when it was named Affiliate of the Year for the second year in a row.

Staff, board members and Girls Inc. members were on hand for the announcement Monday afternoon. The award follows an intense application process and judging by a non-Girls Inc. panel, said LaKisha Bryant, executive director.

“This is a very big deal because it’s such a competitive process,” said Bryant. Affiliates are judged on categories including trustee involvement and governance, advocacy and programming.

“We work hard every day to implement programming for the girls, but the board makes sure we have what we need to do that,” said Bryant.

While all Girls Inc. affiliates operate under the same quality standards set by the organization, individual affiliates are charged with providing programming and having impact on the communities in which they operate.

Last year Girls Inc. Albany served about 2,300 girls in Dougherty and Terrell counties in summer, afterschool and outreach programs. During the afterschool program, the girls rotate through classes that focus on science, math, technology, economic and financial literacy, health and sexuality, sports skills, leadership and advocacy and character building.

“This is the best of behavior change, role modeling and benchmark setting when it comes to the lives of these girls in Dougherty and Terrell Counties,” said Karen Wakeford, board member and past president.

Girls Inc. serves girls ages 7 to 18. Those who attend the afterschool program in Albany may qualify for transportation. Fees for the five-day program are about $15 per week per girl. Currently, the two Albany centers serve about 125 girls, while another 65 girls attend Girls Inc. programming offered in Terrell County about four times each month.

“The staff here works ever so hard and are committed to making a difference in the lives of these young ladies,” said Wendy Wilson, board president. “To be recognized for the second year in a row speaks volumes about this affiliate.”

The “Be a Friend” campaign encourages donors to financially support girls enrolled in Girls Inc. Albany. While any donation amount is accepted, Bryant estimates the cost per girl to be about $500 per year.

Girls Inc.is a nonprofit organization that inspires girls to be strong, smart and bold. Girls Inc. has responded to the changing needs of girls through research-based programs and public education efforts that empower girls to understand, value and assert their rights. Girls Inc. Albany began serving girls in Southwest Georgia in 1974.

K.K. Snyder is a freelance writer and editor based in the Albany area. With over 20 years
in the industry, she writes for a number of magazines and newspapers around the country and
has published hundreds of articles, with topics ranging from travel and real estate to art
and personality profiles. In addition, she is the author of Frommer’s Atlanta travel guidebook,
which she rewrites every two years.

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