Photo: Fifth Annual Women LEAD Scholarship Program Awards $40,000 to 10 Local Students
The Junior League of Dallas, presenting sponsor Mary Kay Inc. and Dr Pepper Snapple Group today announced that they held the fifth annual Women LEAD (Learn · Excel · Achieve · Dream) Scholarship Program Awards, granting $40,000 in scholarship funding to 10 college-bound women.
The annual program aids female high school students in pursuing their dreams of higher education and creates opportunities for future women leaders. Competitors had a chance at the grand prize of a $15,000 college scholarship, a second place $10,000 scholarship, a third place $5,000 scholarship, a fourth place $4,000 scholarship or one of six $1,000 scholarships for fifth through tenth place winners. From the applications received, 10 finalists were selected to compete in a speech competition and awards ceremony, which was held Thursday, March 22, at the Junior League of Dallas Headquarters.
Established in 2013 in collaboration with Mary Kay Inc. and inspired by its founder Mary Kay Ash, the Women LEAD Scholarship Program has awarded $25,000 in funding each year to four deserving college-bound women. With the support of Dr Pepper Snapple Group, in 2017 funds increased by $15,000 making it possible to award four college-bound women with a sum of $40,000 in scholarships. Now, the Women LEAD program has been restructured so that all 10 finalists will be awarded a scholarship. Applicants must possess a 3.0 GPA at the end of their junior year, plan to attend a two- or four-year college or university and have a record of service to both their school and community.
At the prior year’s event, Alejandra Landa from Thomas Jefferson High School was named the 2017 First Place winner. Landa gave an inspiring speech on finding balance between school and her enormous responsibility of helping to care for her family at home. She is now attending a Dallas County Community College with the goal of transferring to The University of North Texas to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Biology.
Junior League of Dallas President Jennifer Tobin said, “It’s our honor that in partnership with Mary Kay Inc. and Dr Pepper Snapple Group, we can support the growth and development of these young women leaders. We are so excited to be able to award all 10 finalists with scholarship money and represent how each and every one of them truly are winners. Alejandra is a shining example of how these scholarship funds impact smart, hardworking students who are eager to pursue their dreams.”
The 2018 program included three Dallas high schools—Emmett J. Conrad High School, Thomas Jefferson High School and South Oak Cliff High School. Judges of the 2018 program included Jennifer Tobin, Junior League of Dallas president; Julia A. Simon, Mary Kay Inc. chief legal officer; Judge Amber Givens-Davis, 282nd judicial district court judge; and Nisha Shah, Dr Pepper Snapple Group associate brand manager. WFAA TV Anchor Kara Sewell served as the emcee.
“Mary Kay Ash was an iconic woman with a huge heart, incredible determination and unforgettable success story, and it is an important part of our philanthropic mission to inspire future generations with her legacy,” said Kirsten Gappelberg, Mary Kay director of corporate social responsibility and sustainability. “Mary Kay’s partnership with the Junior League of Dallas and the development of the Women LEAD program has provided a platform for sharing our founder’s story with not only the young scholarship candidates but also the professional women who are a part of the Junior League’s varied membership. Mary Kay Ash’s story is one of inspiration, hope, shattering glass ceilings and female empowerment; in today’s society, this is a message that can connect women of all ages and walks of life.”