Award Recipients

Past Years' Recipients:

Haleemat Adekoya


2018-19 Grace Erline Memorial
Girls Gone Great Scholarship Recipient

Class of 2019, Milford Mill Academy

"In September 2017, I created a mentoring Organization called Dare2Bee that sought to empower, inspire and encourage young girls in the Baltimore area aged 9-18…We are able to foster an environment where young girls feel safe to voice their needs, and wants as well as now succeed at a higher rate academically with less behavioral problems, as well as are charged with the mission of discovering what they Dare2Bee. As the owner, and founder, I have been able to work behind the scenes in creating the organization and implementing its plan into the schools all while watching the members grow from 10 mentors and mentees, to 30 and into the community. …
I decided I needed to be who I needed when I was younger…making sure it grows into a program where young girls receive that mentoring that they need. Upon receiving motivation from my own experience, as I progressed in my educational career I discovered that there were plenty of young women who has experienced similar and differing situations that shaped who they were, all wishing they had someone to help them as they grew and experience. Knowing about these injustices, further motivated me to be charged with a heart for change. I wanted a change for the young women I had met, and those to come after. I felt it was important to start Dare2Bee to be able to empower other young women to rise above their circumstances and know that them being under does not mean they are over. Dare2Bee all began with the hope that I can inspire one person, who can inspire another, who can start the domino effect for change in our Baltimore community." 

Velinda Sibrian Duarte


2018-19 Grace Erline Memorial
Girls Gone Great Scholarship Recipient

Class of 2019, Meade Senior High School

" I was born in a small town located in the northern part of El Salvador. Growing up, I witnessed how violence, corruption, and a broken justice system made every family in my home country hopeless. Now, as a young girl who grew up poor in an immigrant household, who did not speak English when I started school, and who felt first hand what injustice means, I am very proud to be the first Latina in my extended family to graduate from high school and to attend college.

When I first came to the United States things were not easy at all. I quickly had to adapt myself to a new culture, a different social environment, and my new home, the U.S. Twice a week, my family and I attend Canaan Baptist Church in Montgomery County, MD. Here, young teens like me are gathered and split into different groups based on our age. After sharing my life experiences with my brothers and sisters at church I realized how inspiring my journey is to many people around me. Although, negative people around me argue that at my age I should be working two jobs to support my parents, like many teen Latinos and Latinas, I strongly believe that higher education will not just bring a better future for me but also for others following my footsteps. "