Congratulations to our 2021 Girl Effect Scholarship winners!
Sonoma Valley High School
University of California Santa Barbara
Elsa's Girl Effect:
Elsa has multifaceted passions in art, nature and social justice. She has accomplished multiple community centered projects. She raised $800 for the Innocence Project by designing and selling BLM T-shirts to promote advocacy. She joined the Sonoma Valley Arts Task Force and distributed 600 hearts for kids to paint and display in the midst of the pandemic. She independently designed & proposed an 800 square foot mural for SVHS. And she co-founded the Sonoma Ecology Center’s Earthlings Club (community based group fostering sustainability in Sonoma) where she led weekly educational hikes, local creek cleanups, and started “Heal the Valley Initiative” by working with businesses to promote eco-friendly practices.
Essay Quote: “My artistic pursuits and community advocacy are continuously teaching me the importance of welcoming challenges to foster personal growth. Fusing my different interests together has shown me that by embodying the role of an agent of change within the classroom, workplace, and greater global community, I can merge the gap between art and science to elevate the future.”
What The Girl Effect scholarship means to her: “Receiving this scholarship confirms my belief in the power of solidarity and feminine leadership in the face of the future! I cannot wait to explore creative approaches to environmental and social justice in both the educational realm and in my growing community, and am deeply honored by your support in pursuing my passions for people and the planet.”
Healdsburg High School
University of Southern California
Emersyn's Girl Effect:
Emersyn took her entrepreneurial passion for the environment and sustainability and started a company called "Simply Bee Better." Honey bees, being crucial to our ecosystem, were her inspiration. She took a beekeeping class, purchased hives, and sells honey and lip balms using only environmentally friendly packaging. She also educates others about the importance of bees and how to raise them, by giving presentations to high schools and preschools.
Essay Quote: “I have always had a passion for sustainability and creating an environmentally friendly world. These fields of study were seeded from my honey bee business, following the most sustainable and environmentally friendly practices possible. Business and environmental sciences appeal to me because I want to make a positive impact in the world and our practices as humans.”
What The Girl Effect scholarship means to her:
“My academic goal is to study business and sustainability. I plan to someday own a company in which I help others become better stewards of the land in agricultural practices. This scholarship will aid me in pursuing a higher education, which will help me towards my goals by providing me with the proper knowledge, tools, and connections to attain them.”
Maria Carrillo High School
University of California Berkeley
Rituja's Girl Effect:
Rituja has a goal to create safe, healthy and sustainable communities. She is the founder of "Seniors 4 Change", a self-run program that provides disaster readiness technology services for seniors 65+. For 3 years she has given in-home appointments to ensure local seniors have Nixle installed and that they know how to use it. She has also created advertisements for monthly newsletters and published and distributed pamphlets about emergency readiness for 4 mobile home parks in Santa Rosa.
Essay Quote: After losing her own home in the Tubbs fire, Rituja says, “What affected me the most was not losing the materials we owned, but the shock of how grossly unprepared we were. There were no county alerts, door knocks, or sirens. It also struck me how an overwhelming majority of the people affected were elderly and lived alone. Lack of knowledge of technology was the first root cause I thought of. I saw a dire need for outreach to increase emergency readiness, yet no one seemed to be working on this particular issue. That's why I made the first call to Valley Vista Mobile Estates and pitched my service idea to their management team.” Since that date, Rituja has assisted over 250 seniors.
What The Girl Effect scholarship means to her: “During this journey, I have become more confident and stronger, and realized my passion for community outreach. My work with seniors was a huge learning curve, but it was also empowering and healing. Especially when you see the impact, when people feel acknowledged and appreciated by you or your work, those connections and moments are priceless. I am incredibly privileged to have worked with the folks in these communities, because they inspire me and teach me how to be a better human being. Thank you to the Girl Effect panel, I look forward to investing what you have given me back into our community!”
Roseland University Prep
University of California San Diego
Annabell's Girl Effect:
Annabell is an avid sewer and she has created multiple full sized quilts. As president of her school's quilting club, when Covid hit, she mobilized to acquire donated fabric and started sewing custom face masks to donate to the community and also sell through social media.
Essay Quote: “I believe I'm a person who has many interests, it was always so hard to decide when asked to pick just one. I like school, it's something that comes naturally to me, but I also like it because I get to interact with other people during classes and in clubs. It's something that I've really missed through COVID. I also really enjoy art. Art is my way of expressing myself, there are many different forms I see myself doing. I draw, bullet journal, scrapbook, paint, digitally draw, but most importantly I sew.”
What The Girl Effect scholarship means to her: “This scholarship means a great deal to me. This opportunity of winning something that I earned, allowed me to have exponential stress relief. I am extremely grateful that my hard work and skills have paid off and that I was acknowledged for it, which I know doesn't come for everyone. The Community First Credit Union Girl Effect Team has allowed the stress of payment of some books and classes to disappear, and I am grateful. I will not need to overwork myself with school and a job and I will be able to focus on school more. Thank you!”