Girls Inc. Announces Recipients of 6th Annual Strong, Smart, and Bold Awards

Girls Inc. Announces Recipients of 6th Annual Strong, Smart, and Bold Awards
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Girls Inc. has selected The Home Depot and the Curie-osity Project as recipients of the 6th Annual Strong, Smart, and Bold Awards. The awards will be presented at the upcoming 16th Annual Celebration Luncheon, on Thursday, September 28th at the Fess Parker Doubletree. The luncheon theme is The Power of One: the Role YOU Can Play in Educating and Empowering Girls, and will feature international women’s rights activist, author, and co-founder of Everywoman Everywhere, Lisa Shannon.

The Strong, Smart, and Bold Award is presented annually to one Girls Inc. local corporate partner and one program partner that each embody the mission, vision, and values of Girls Inc. Honorees demonstrate an ongoing commitment to inspiring girls through their leadership, service, and support, and have a significant impact on the lives of girls, women, and our community as a whole. Philanthropist Stina Hans and the Raintree Foundation were honored in 2016.

The Home Depot

In March of this year, The Home Depot provided grant funding, paint, & over 50 volunteers from District 224 stores (Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, Camarillo, Oxnard, Goleta, Lompoc, Santa Maria, San Luis Obispo and Atascadero) to help “refresh” the Santa Barbara Center interior. Each day, the center is home to over 150 girls in the Girls Inc. after-school and summer camp programs. Providing the Girls Inc. Experience means providing a safe, secure, and nurturing physical environment for girls, and The Home Depot, in collaboration with other generous funders, painted the entire facility and gave the girls and the staff a renewed sense of pride in the center.

“Giving back is one of the core values of The Home Depot and a passion for our associates,” said Marcy L. Merzigian, district human resources manager for The Home Depot / Central Coast. “Thousands of our store associates spend their time off volunteering their talents as members of Team Depot, including locally in Santa Barbara at Girl’s Inc. We love when we can take our skills and knowledge out of the aisles and into the community. It is especially exciting for our District to engage with Girl’s Inc. in mutual support of the development of “Strong, Smart, and Bold” women of all ages. We look forward to the continuation of a great partnership.”

The Girls Inc. Goleta Valley Center hosted The Home Depot’s Women in Leadership day-long training and development for female employees representing the District 224 stores.

The Curie-osity Project

Led by Diana J. Arya, an assistant professor of literacy at UC Santa Barbara, the Curie-osity Project launched in 2017 as a collaborative Literacy & STEM program between Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara and the McEnroe Reading and Language Arts Clinic at the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education at UCSB. Arya is the Director of the McEnroe Clinic, and is a core researcher on the Lifespan Project, which explores the developmental processes of scientific and technical reading, writing, thinking, and doing. The Curie-osity pilot program engaged girls in grades 4-6 in research and inquiry-based activities with women scientists and engineers within the Santa Barbra community. The girls were led by UCSB undergraduate students who facilitated the hands-on, minds-on activities at the university, all focused on the ultimate, collaborative goal of publishing a book about the interviewed women that have made significant contributions to their respective fields.

“It was thrilling to work with my colleagues Danielle and Jasmine in the creation of a program that empowers young female students to imagine themselves as part of a scientific community,” said Arya.

Arya was joined by Danielle Harlow, associate professor of science education at UC Santa Barbara, and Jasmine McBeath, a doctoral student at UC Santa Barbara, studying education with an emphasis in Learning, Culture, and Technology.

The project will resume with its second cohort of Girls Inc. girls in September of this year.

For more information on the Strong, Smart, Bold award honorees and to reserve tickets to the 2017 Celebration Luncheon, please visit

About Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara

Girls Inc. inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold, providing more than 140,000 girls across the U.S. and Canada with life-changing experiences and solutions to the unique challenges girls face. The Girls Inc. Experience consists of people, an environment, and programming that, together, empower girls to succeed, overcoming gender, economic, and social barriers to develop leadership and teamwork skills, to set career goals and to adopt healthy lifestyles, nurturing their growth into healthy, educated, independent adults. In 2016 Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara served nearly 1,500 girls through after-school, summer camp, outreach, teen, and gymnastics programs.

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