JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (NNS) -- Rear Adm. Bette Bolivar, commander, Navy Region Southeast, provided remarks as the keynote speaker during the second annual Women of Vision Celebration Luncheon, sponsored by Girls Inc., at the WJCT television studio, March 8.
The luncheon helped raise awareness regarding the challenges affecting at-risk girls throughout the Jacksonville and Duval County areas.
During her speech, Bolivar praised the work that the Girls Inc. nonprofit organization has done to empower young females to lead fulfilling and productive lives.
"You are part of a program that is focused on helping girls," said Bolivar. "You are helping girls avoid risky behaviors, graduate from high school and have the best success of stepping into their own power to achieve their goals and dreams."
Robin Rose, the chief executive officer of Girls Inc., emphasized the importance of her organization's mission, and the impact that the organization has on both the local and national level.
"Girls Inc. is the game changer for so many girls here in Jacksonville and at the 85 affiliates within the United States and in Canada. We give them the hope, confidence, and the knowledge and skills to beat the odds, and to overcome any obstacle in their lives that could derail them from achieving the life they want to claim for themselves," said Rose.
Bolivar used her experience as a female leader to advise the girls in attendance.
"As young people, it is so important to become leaders in your own lives," Bolivar said. "What I'm saying is, if any of us cannot become powerful leaders in our own lives first, then how can we ever think we can lead other people and organizations successfully? Being involved with Girls Inc., you already have a good start."
Bolivar also emphasized the importance of mentorship in molding these at-risk girls to become strong, smart and bold.
"It is so important to invest in a girl's future," said Bolivar. "When one makes that investment, the rewards can go beyond your wildest dreams."
Emphasizing the importance of strong leadership, Bolivar said, "Each one of you here can be a leader. You can be that leader with self-awareness, passion and purpose. It is a choice that only you can make. As females, we have definitely contributed to making this country a better place to be."
The network of Girls Inc. nonprofit organizations serves girls 6-10 years old in more than 1,400 cities across the United States and Canada. Its research-based programming is delivered by trained professionals who focus on the development of the whole girl, supporting, mentoring and guiding girls in an affirming pro-girl environment.
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