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Mansfield Magazine

Girls Inc. of Tarrant County Sends Girls to Washington D.C.

Apr 28, 2015 02:50PM ● By Kevin

Mariela Gomez and Ceci Hernandez.

Girls Inc. of Tarrant County Girls, Mariela Gomez and Ceci Hernandez, spent Thursday, April 23rd at the Nation’s Capital in Washington D.C. as participants in “Take Your Daughter to Congress Day.” A total of 18 Girls Inc. girls from across the country participated in this opportunity.

Mariela and Ceci arrived at the Capital on Wednesday and took the opportunity to leave their footprints on the Nation’s Capital by touring the National Mall. The girls were in awe to see the monuments that they learned about in person. This was the first time for both girls to leave home, fly on an airplane, and stay in a hotel.

Mariela Gomez and the Honorable Ileana Ros-Lehtinen

Mariela, a junior at Castleberry High School, attends the Girls Inc. program in Northside Fort Worth. She is also a member of Youth Advisory Committee. Mariela spent the day with Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the first elected Latina Congresswoman. "Congresswoman Ileana made me feel important when she introduced me as her 'daughter' for the day.  She told me, ‘even though you aren’t really my daughter or grand-daughter I would be proud if you were.’" She made me feel comfortable and I enjoyed when she would speak to me in Spanish and say funny phrases that I would sometimes hear my mom say. I learned that with hard work and dedication I can succeed and break barriers the way Congresswoman Ileana did.”

Ceci, a Sophomore at Diamond Hill High School, participates in Girls Inc. at her school. She spent the day with the Honorable Sheila Jackson Lee of the 18th Congressional District of Texas. "I have never felt so proud and special before to be chosen out of all the girls at Diamond Hills to come on this trip. This trip meant the world to me and to be able to experience it with another Girls Inc. girl was even better. Everything was a first for me and I felt honored to be walking the streets of Washington D.C. My Congresswoman, Sheila Jackson Lee, made me feel important by the way she treated me and talked to me. It was amazing to be on the voting floor. I was even given a copy of the amendment that was passed. The way she took charge and led, left me in awe. It was surprising to see how her staff respected her. I was able to see first-hand how a woman was able to beat the odds and become an influential leader in the congress."

Mariela and Ceci agreed that both of their Congresswomen were definitely Strong, Smart, and Bold role models. Both girls were thankful that Girls Inc. of Tarrant County chose them as the agency representatives and wanted to take full advantage of the opportunities they were getting from this trip.

Both girls intend to apply for the Girls Inc. National Scholarship in the future and will continue on to postsecondary education. This life-changing experience was a step on their path to bright futures. 

The mission of Girls Inc. is to inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold. Girls Inc. of Tarrant County equips girls to navigate gender, economic, and social barriers and grow up healthy, educated, and independent. Girls build confidence and embrace positive decision-making to take charge of their health and wellbeing, and achieve academic, personal, and career goals.

The Girls Inc. Experience consists of people, and environment, and programming that, together, empower girls to succeed. The people are trained staff and volunteers who build lasting, mentoring relationships, and peers who share their drive and aspirations. The environment is girls-only, physically and emotionally safe; there is a sisterhood of support, high expectations, and respect. The research-based programming is hands-on, minds-on, and meets the needs of today’s girls to provide the age-appropriate information and knowledge so girls make decisions leading to healthy lives, succeed academically; and develop life skills to prepare for adulthood.

Information courtesy of Amy Rasor.

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