By Mieasha Harris,
Executive Director –
Girls Inc. WCCC
Shoppers at the JCPenny store at Hilltop in Richmond are helping Girls Inc. raise $1 million for college scholarships. At mid-month, donations to the nonprofit have already reached nearly $500,000.
Girls Inc. of West Contra Costa County has been designated by the Hilltop JCPenny in Richmond to be the store the company is partnering with to promote the Round Up Initiative. Every Saturday during the month of April, Girls Inc. staff, volunteers and girls have committed to be on site, to talk about organization’s programs and the Roundup.
Working with local high schools, Girls Inc. of West Contra Costa is reaching out to girls ages 14-18 to inform them about college readiness and the Girls Inc. National Scholars Program. As a result of the outreach efforts, nine participants have been recognized as national scholars and have received scholarships ranging from $10,000 to $15,000.
During 2006, Girls Inc. of WCCC had three $10,000 scholarship recipients, more than any other Girls Inc. affiliate in the nation.
This year, Girls Inc. of West Contra Costa is honoring five high school seniors who are the first graduating class of the College Bound Girls program on Saturday, May 11 at the Richmond Recreation Complex.
With local roots dating back to 1864 and national status in the U.S. since 1945, Girls Inc. responds to the changing needs of girls and their communities through research-based programs and advocacy that empower girls to reach their full potential and to understand, value, and assert their rights.
The majority of Girls Inc. centers are located in low–income areas and provide a weekly average of 30 hours of after-school, weekend and summer activities. Girls Inc. informs policymakers about girls’ needs locally and nationally. West Contra Costa County has a large population of Latino and African American youth — our agency tailors programs to assist in developing life skills.
Support Girls Inc. on securing college scholarships for girls by shopping JCPenny during the month of April. For more information, contact 510-232-5440.
Mieasha Harris is executive director of Girls Inc. of West Contra Costa County.