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Emily Copeman email@example.com 617.510.3459
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Boston GLOW Awards $21,000 in Scholarships and Prizes to Local Teens
March 12, 2014, Boston MA - Sixty-five guests gathered at Maggiano’s in Boston on Tuesday, March 11th to award over $21,000 in educational scholarships and prizes to the ten finalists of the IGNITE Change Leadership Contest, sponsored annually by Boston GLOW.
In its fourth year, the IGNITE Change Essay Contest is the primary initiative of the organization’s Girl’s Leadership programming. The grassroots non-profit targets underfunded school systems in and around Boston where teen girls may not be receiving ample encouragement and leadership development opportunities.
Girls aged 13-19 are asked to identify what they would like to see change for girls and women in their community, city or school. Along with an essay putting forth an actionable plan for change, contestants must submit a project plan and detailed budget describing how they would use a $1,000 grant from Boston GLOW to implement their proposed plan. Ten finalists are chosen by a panel of female leaders in Boston across a range of professions and disciplines.
“We begin the contest with a series of workshops in the fall geared toward first helping Girl Leaders articulate the issues they see for women in their communities, then working with them to further develop their ideas for inspiring change,” explained AC Gaughen, Director of Girls Leadership programming for Boston GLOW. “After participants have developed a plan, we offer curricula focused on project planning, budgeting and revision. The goal of this process is to teach leadership skills through self-expression, project management, realistic financial planning and to build confidence within these aspiring leaders.”
Finalists are matched with mentors in GLOW’s Organized Women network who can further assist their journey as developing leaders. These mentoring teams give the Girl Leaders a network and support system to bolster their entrepreneurial spirit and help carry out their plans for community change. The mentoring program includes 1-1 meetings and group outings that involve activities like kayaking the Charles River, touring the Museum of Fine Arts and taking in The Tempest at the American Repertory Theater.
This year’s finalists were awarded educational scholarships, iPads and a plethora of other tools and prizes to further their development as leaders, along with copies of “I Am Malala” donated by Little Brown and gifts donated by Vera Bradley. The annual grand prize winner also received the $1,000 grant to make her plan a reality with mentoring support from GLOW’s Organized Women network and peer support from her fellow finalists.
“We work hard to target our most at-risk neighborhoods and most under-resourced schools,” explains Leah Moschella, Founder of Boston GLOW. “This year’s contest drew applicants and finalists across the age spectrum, from 13-19 years old, and from a diverse group of neighborhoods and schools systems including Codman Academy, Boston Latin, West Somerville Neighborhood School, Brighton High School, Ursuline Academy, Cambridge Rindge and Latin, Tech Boston and the Community Charter School of
Cambridge. Our goal is to create a community of powerful young female leaders from across the Boston area and provide them with the support and resources needed to positively impact the city.”
The 2014 finalists addressed a range of topics from women in STEM careers, domestic violence and the need for community mentoring programs to climate change and portrayal of women in the media.
This year’s contest winner, with a $5,000 educational scholarship, was Sylvie Stoloff, 16, of Boston;; first runner up, with a $2,500 scholarship, was Mei Mei Collins, 13, of East Somerville;; second runner up with a $2,500 scholarship was Chisty Felix , 15, of Cambridge;; the remaining finalists each received a $1,000 scholarship: Kitauna Parker, 19, of Roxbury, Eleni Haberis, 16, of Roslindale;; Akili Sundai, 14, of Cambridge;; Iliana Mendez, 17, of East Boston;; Ariana Ortiz Dixon, 14, of Jamaica Plain;; Johanna St Clair, 18, of Hyde Park;; and Lucie Sanon, 18, of Roxbury.
“This is the most thrilling night of the year for us as an organization. Many of these girls have never been recognized for expressing their individual voices or their hopes for the future,” said Crystal Torman, Associate Director of Girls Leadership Programming. “They light up when their names are called and are elated, along with their families, when the scholarship prizes are announced. Watching them then enjoy a dinner with their peers and GLOW mentors is just the icing on the cake.”
About Boston GLOW
Boston GLOW empowers girls and women to confidently use their voices and become leaders in our communities. Girls' Leadership seeks to empower teen girls in the Greater Boston area by building a community focused around educational encouragement, social discussion and cultural enrichment through mentoring, programming and other opportunities for young women aged 13-19.
Boston GLOW’s Organized Women (OW) engages and inspires a network of young professionals at monthly, topical events and in numerous service opportunities that will help them reach their full potential. This dual approach has established a nurturing support system for tomorrow’s leaders, assembled a core of enthusiastic volunteers, and has affected measurable and meaningful results throughout the Boston area.