Girls Inc. gets honor

Photo by Avan Clark

Photo by Avan Clark

ALBANY -- Girls Inc. of Albany has been named the national organization's affiliate of the year for a second year in a row.

LaKisha Bryant, executive director of the Albany Girls Inc. chapter, described the organization's recent award as one of the highest achievements an affiliate can obtain in the organization.

"When you are selected as a winner, it is a very big deal," she said. "It is a very competitive process, and we were up against affiliates from across the nation."

Bryant said Girls Inc. of Albany was officially named the affiliate of the year at the organization's regional conference on Nov. 6 in Kingsport, Tenn.

The award is presented annually to Girls Inc. affiliates based on judging in several categories, including trustee involvement and governance, and advocacy and programming.

"The biggest part is programming," said Bryant. "That is where the competition really stands out."

The executive director said the application process is a lengthy one that takes at least two weeks to complete.

"We submit information about our trustees and what our programs for the girls are," she said. "We are also judged on our community involvement and whether we are the go-to organization that the community reaches out to in times of need."

Bryant said each Girls Inc. affiliate is judged by officials in Indiana who are not affiliated with the organization in any way.

She said the Albany chapter has competed for the award for only the past two years and has won both times.

"We are already gearing up for next year," said Bryant. "We are very proud. This award means a lot to the staff and board and to the girls.

"We see the rewards and progress in the girls every day, but for someone else to recognize it is a wonderful feeling."

At a news conference Monday afternoon, Bryant presented the Affiliate of the Year plaque to Girls Inc. of Albany President Wendy Wilson and Past President Karen Wakeford. Members of the Board of Trustees and local government officials were also given tours of Girls Inc.'s Park Place facility.

Girls Inc. in a nonprofit organization whose staff works with girls ages 7-18 through research-based programs and public education efforts that empower and educate the girls. In 2008, Girls Inc. of Albany served more than 2,300 girls in Dougherty and Terrell County.