Charitable Organization Services Young Women
By Ellie Leeper
Photography By Greg Harrison
Girls Inc. of San Antonio hosted their seventh annual Strong, Smart and Bold luncheon at the San Antonio Country Club recently. With the combined efforts of Melissa Zuniga, Debbie Serot, Emilie Petty, Amelita Mauze, Kyle Burns, Rhonda Williamson, and many others, the luncheon was a soaring success. Presented by Luther King Capital Management, the event honored Texas Secretary of State Esperanza “Hope” Andrade, marking a pivotal turning point for the organization. With a mission to “Inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold,” Girls Inc. provides various services for girls ages 6 to 18 to prevent adolescent pregnancy, provide an avenue to gain access to pursue a secondary education, and to emphasize the importance of educational attainment. Girls Inc. is now expanding to service young ladies in all four quadrants of San Antonio, which is an exciting expansion for the organization.
Among the young ladies whose life Girls Inc. has impacted is Joi Stevens. Honored at the luncheon for being the only Texas award winner of “Girl Up Teen Advisor” from the United Nations Foundation, and a Junior at Saint Mary’s Hall school, Stevens has availed herself of every opportunity imaginable to give back to her female peers locally, nationally (and eventually worldwide). Known as a “philanthroteen” for her service to educate and empower teen females across the United States, she aspires to attend Harvard University, and is involved in dozens of clubs and organizations, both at school and in the community. Among a few of her activities are: SMH Drama Club, SMH Varsity Cheerleaders, SMH Varsity Field Hockey, Senior Girls Scout of Southwest Texas, Top Teens of America River City Chapter, and the UT Health Science Center Voelcker Biomedical Research Academy where she has also won an incredibly impressive amount of awards from various local and national organizations, such as being named a Top Teens of America Amazing Teen Icon, receiving the President’s Volunteer Service Gold Award, and is a Featured Teen in the Who’s Who in Black San Antonio Book. Girls may wanna have fun, yet they are working hard as well to make their dreams come true with the help of Girls Inc.