Local Girls Inc. Teen 1 Of 9 Awarded $20,000; 8th Grader 1 Of 10 Chosen Nationally For Girls Inc. Scholarship Awards

Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Girls Inc. of Chattanooga member Diamond Jones has been selected as a 2017 scholarship winner in the competitive Girls Inc. National Scholar Program. She is among nine young women around the nation to be awarded a $20,000 college scholarship and is the most recent of four National Scholars to come out of Girls Inc. of Chattanooga in the last three years.

The Girls Inc. National Scholars Program selects outstanding young women for exemplifying the Girls Inc. mission of inspiring all girls to be strong, smart, and bold.
Recipients are role models for other girls who demonstrate a commitment to achieving academically and serving their communities.

"We are so proud of Diamond for being recognized with this well-deserved award; a recognition that we know is another step in her strong, smart and bold journey," said Toccora Johnson, Sr. director of Program Operations.  "Diamond's self-confidence, courage and resilience are only a few of the many qualities that make her the role model she is for our younger girls and we know she will continue to inspire us. I'm grateful for all our supporters who make it possible for our Girls Inc. girls to be a part of the Girls Inc. Experience."

This year, Girls Inc. awarded 19 high school girls with scholarships for educational expenses at any accredited college or university, from a competitive pool of national applicants. Of the 19 recipients, Miss Jones is one of only nine to receive the $20,000 award.

Miss Jones and three other 2017 National Scholars have also been chosen to speak and share their personal stories at the Girls Inc. National Luncheon in New York City on March 7, which will honor former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Ms. Jones commented about her selection by saying, " Receiving the Girls Inc. scholarship is still unbelievable to me. I've always wanted to represent Girls Inc. in some way like some of the other girls, so I am very honored to be representing them by receiving this award."

To top off the great news, Girls Inc. of Chattanooga was one of only seven affiliates nationwide with a 2017 Girls Inc. National Scholars at the eighth grade level. Sakinah Rashid was one of only ten Girls Inc. girls nationally to receive the recognition from a record high pool of 52 eligible applications; they were each awarded $500 in scholarships.

Ms. Rashid said of her selection, "I'm so thankful for the amazing opportunity to write a essay for a college scholarship. Most people my age aren't really thinking about college or even that far ahead, ut I've learned it's important to do so and to set goals and accomplish them. Being involved in Girls Inc. gives you chances like these that will change your life forever. I am very proud  to be a Girls Inc. girl." 

Girls Inc. Program Coordinator II, Jaleesa Brumfield, who worked closely with the girls on their applications said, "I'm so proud of Sakinah.  Over the years I have watched her blossom into the incredible teenager she is now. Winning this award for Sakinah is bigger than just a scholarship. This award showed her the importance of grit and hard work.  It also means she has bigger goals to set and meet before she applies for the scholarship as a senior. She is the perfect example of a Girls Inc. girl. I'm so excited for her future." 

Since 1993, Girls Inc. has awarded over $4.6 million in scholarships, making higher education a reality for hundreds of high school girls across the United States and Canada. Scholarships are awarded annually and are open to Girls Inc. participants in the 11th and 12th grades.


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