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September 2016                                                       GirlsInAction_Logo_RGB                  
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We Motivate, Mentor, Empower, Engage and Educate 

Girls to Succeed in School and Life.

President & Founder's Note
2016 Graduate Highlights  
Alumni News- Mariah Reynolds  
2015-2016 GIA Pictures 290 (1) 2

State Representative Rena Moran; Brandi Powell, KSTP-TV anchor/reporter; Dr. Verna Price, Girls in Action President; and Kimberly Smith-Moore, Wells Fargo.

Welcome back to the 12th year for Girls in Action (GIA) program where we enrolled over 250 girls (grade 7-12) from across the Twin Cities, Minnesota.  Highlights from the 4th Annual Girls in Action “I AM” breakfast fundraiser included partnering with several corporations and organizations to celebrate the girl’s accomplishments.  

The girls presented  their Service Learning projects, participated in our new Girls in Action video, presented at the 4th Annual Girls in Action “ I AM “ breakfast, and  presented their service-learning projects and the seniors were awarded with college scholarships.  Brandi Powell, KSTP-TV anchor/reporter was the emcee and she did a great job engaging with the girls and moderating our event. 

This year’s Girls in Action (GIA) program had over 100 women volunteer as leader/mentors to our girls.  The girls represented several high schools from across the Twin Cities and they participated in hands-on-learning projects and tasks that impact their future.   A woman leader helps the girls succeed in school by sharing their leadership stories, develop their career plans and mentor them to succeed in school and life.  

Thank you to our event sponsors:  BMO, CHS, General Mills, 3M, Virtual Offices, and Wells-Fargo. We thank our volunteers, students, parents, leaders, corporations, community partners, and the Minnesota State legislation that supported girls of color.

Girls in Action should receive $1.5 million in 2017 from the State of Minnesota to continue to provide and to expand Twin Cities’ school and community-based programs that encourage and support low-income girls, including girls of color, to graduate from high school on time, complete a post secondary preparation program, become community leaders and participate in service learning.


From left to right, Jericka Cooper, a 2016 graduate of Washington Tech, will attend Augsburg College located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Zandrea Shaw, a 2016 graduate of Washington Tech, will attend Saint Paul College located in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Dr. Verna Cornelia Price, Founder and President, Girls in Action, recognizing the seniors with  Natalie Johnson Lee, Director, Girls in Action on June 15th.

Over 220 supporters celebrated at the “I AM” Breakfast fundraiser event on May 6, 2016 including 80 women leaders/mentors from the Twin Cities metro area, who volunteered as weekly mentors, career coaches, leadership speakers, and community partners.  Every table was joined by one of our students who shared her story. 


We partnered with high schools, corporations, community groups and other non-profit groups that support students who are struggling in school and at home to help them succeed through education.

Executive Women International (EWI) of Minneapolis partnered with Girls in Action (GIA) to offer Executive Women International Scholarships (EWISP) to high school seniors planning to continue their education to get a four year degree. 

Both Niara Keyes and Tania McLaughlin were awarded EWISP scholarships on June 15th.  Niara Keyes, a 2016 graduate of Patrick Henry, will attend Spelman College located in Atlanta, Georgia.  Tamia McLaughlin, a 2016 graduate of Patrick Henry, will attend Spelman College located in Atlanta, Georgia.



Natalia Ayala, GIA Advisory Board; Tamia McLaughlin, Patrick Henry graduate; Dr. Verna Cornelia Price, Founder and President, GIA, Niara Keyes,  Patrick Henry graduate; and Natalie Johnson Lee, Director, GIA. Tamia and Nirara were awarded EWISP scholarships on June 15th.


Jen Baltrusch, Dr. Verna Cornelia Price, and Jean Worrell of Executive Women International.

Mariah Reynolds

Mariah Reynolds is a sophomore at Minnesota State University majoring in psychology and elementary education in Fergus Falls, MINN.

“I have learned about my personal power to make positive choices in my life from my mentor, Ms. Natalie Johnson Lee, a Girls in Action Director and leader, that by being a part of GIA program for two years at Henry High School has empowered me to be independent, find a part-time job, and manage my time and money, “said Reynolds.

“I have participated in field trips, taken college tours, attended plays, and volunteered in a service project.  My parents taught me life lessons that when you work hard and earn money for items that you need for school you value your money more. “said Reynolds.

Reynolds stated that she felt honored to have the opportunity to participate in the GIA program.

What she has learned on her GIA journey is having confidence in herself that she has accomplished her goal to finish high school and attend college. 

“One of the lessons that I learned from a workshop was that words are very powerful and I wrote a letter to my future self, a vision of what I saw myself doing, and a plan of how to get there, “ said Reynolds

She is a GIA alumni who have returned this summer to mentor a group of high school girls sharing her experiences and guiding them. 



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