Girls Inc. names its 2011 girls of the year

Photo by Casey Dixon

Photo by Casey Dixon

ALBANY, Ga. -- The non-profit agency that works to keep young girls on the path to becoming responsible, goal-driven women honored two of its hardest-working participants Thursday.

Girls Inc.'s awards night ceremony Thursday was a fitting end to Girls Inc. Week, according to Executive Director LaKisha Bryant.

During the ceremony, Bryant and the other organizers of the group named Derricka Calhoun and Ciara James as "Girls of the Year" for the two Albany centers.

Derricka was named as the Park Place Center's Girl of the Year and is a student at Robert Cross Middle School.

Ciara was named the East Albany Center's Girl of the Year and is a student at Radium Middle School.

"The girls are selected by staff members and the selection criteria includes participation, exhibiting a positive attitude, leadership skills and being an all around strong, smart and bold young lady," Bryant said.

According to Bryant, Girls Inc. is a non-profit organization that inspires girls to be "strong, smart and bold," working with school districts and community leaders to have the tools they need to succeed.

In Albany, Girls Inc. of Albany served more than 1,800 girls in Albany and Terrell County in 2010, and offered a variety of research-based programs that focused on science, math and technology, health and sexuality, economic and financial literacy, sports skills, leadership and advocacy and media literacy for girls six to 18.

Girls Inc. of Albany was first founded in 1974 and has worked with thousands of girls since then, Bryant said.