The Girls Inc. National Scholars and Awards Program was created in 1992 when Lucile Miller Wright, a long-time supporter of Girls Inc., made a bequest from her estate to fund scholarships expressly for young women members. Since 1993, Girls Inc. has awarded over $4.2 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. For more information, please contact Teen Program Coordinator, Hannah Joy Wirshing.
Girls Inc. National Scholars are outstanding young women selected for exemplifying the Girls Inc. mission of inspiring all girls to be strong, smart, and bold. For other girls, they are role models who demonstrate a commitment to achieving academically and who serve their communities.
Girls Inc. Alumnae Collegiate Scholars
Jill Barcelona was awarded a $5,000 scholarship in 2014 as a college student at the University of California, Berkeley. At Girls Inc., Jill discovered a place where girls are free to think for and be themselves, where girls form strong bonds with one another, and where girls can dream and achieve big. Jill continues to help younger girls reach new heights and success through volunteering, mentoring, and helping others.
Joan Barcelona was awarded a $5,000 scholarship in 2014 as a college student at the University of California, Berkeley. Joan's perspective about women's roles and their abilities to achieve strengthened as a volunteer at Girls Inc. As a writer and editor for Alameda's only teen magazine, Joan learned that her voice mattered and had meaning. Joan continues to give meaning to younger girls' lives by continuing to volunteer and mentor girls at Girls Inc.
Girls Inc. National Scholars
Luna Cristales was awarded a $5,000 scholarship in 2014 as an 11th grade student at Alameda High School. Luna thought her future was limited because her family struggled financially, but at Girls Inc., Luna learned that her past and current challenges could be overcome by working hard toward fulfilling her goals. Luna credits Girls Inc. with instilling in her a drive to achieve and set an example for young Latinas.
Anjuli Sastry was awarded a $15,000 scholarship in 2010 as a 12th grade student at Alameda High School. Anjuli volunteered for Girls Inc. of the Island City for several years as an editor and writer of OutLoud, a magazine published by teens of Girls Inc for teens. She also volunteered for the Red Cross and was selected as a Red Cross National Youth Council (RCNYC) member and president of the Alameda High School Red Cross Club. In addition, she was a founding member of the Alameda Youth Advisory Commission and a member of the Life in Perspective (LIP) Board for the Bay Area News Group. She currently attends the University of California, Berkeley.
Cynthia Davila was awarded a $2,500 scholarship in 2008 as a 12th grade student at Saint Joseph Notre Dame High School. At Girls Inc. of the Island City, Cynthia participated in the FacilitateHER Leadership Program and Blue Print social-action group. She also served the community through volunteer work at UCSF Medical Center at Mount Zion and as a member of the Latino Club. In 2014, she was a Graduate Student at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Sara Heaps was awarded a $15,000 scholarship in 2006 as a 12th grade student at Encinal High School. Sara was a founding member of Girls Inc.'s Blueprint social-action group, was an organizer of Girls Inc.'s first Girls Take Charge Summit, and was both an award-winner and an Honorary Chair at Girls Inc.'s annual Women Who Dare Awards. Sara attended Stanford University and is currently an 8th grade science and physics teacher.
Nicole Oliver was awarded a $15,000 scholarship in 2006 as a 12th grade student at Holy Names High School. Nicole spoke passionately about the problem of teen dating violence at Girls Inc.'s Girls Take Charge Summit. She also participated in Girls Inc.'s FacilitateHER Leadership Program and Courageous Girls program. Nicole is a current graduate student at San Francisco State University.
Natasha Walls was awarded a $2,500 scholarship in 2006 as a 12th grade student at Alameda High School. Natasha participated in Girls Inc.'s Blueprint social-action group, Girls Inc.'s Girls Take Charge Summit and Girls Inc.'s FacilitatHER Leadership and Teen Zine programs. Natasha attended City College of San Francisco.