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Girls Inc. Westchester & PCSB Bank Launch Girls Programming at Benjamin Turner Middle School

To kick off Women’s History Month, Girls Inc. Westchester as part of a $60,000 grant award received from the PCSB Community Foundation launched a three-year enrichment initiative, Tuesday, March 3rd, that will serve over 300 girls at Benjamin Turner Middle School.

The PCSB Community Foundation is making a major investment in the girls of Mount Vernon. Under the direction of its Chairman, President and CEO Joseph D. Roberto, a native of Mount Vernon, the PCSB Community Foundation has awarded Girls Inc. of Westchester County (GIWC) a $60,000 grant award to fund a three-year enrichment initiative at the Benjamin Turner Middle School. Benjamin Turner Middle School is located in Mount Vernon, NY and serves 360 students from 6th through 8th grade. 

“As a community-focused bank, we look forward to supporting an initiative that will give young people important tools and enrichment that will help position them for future, long-term success,” said PCSB Bank Chairman, President and CEO Joseph D. Roberto. “Having been raised in Mount Vernon, I am especially proud to provide funding for this multi-faceted Girls Inc. program, which will make such a significant difference in the lives of the students and their families for years to come.” 

The Girls Inc. programming which begins March 2020, will serve 300 girls over three years at Benjamin Turner Middle School. Led by dedicated facilitators, curriculum will be delivered through weekly, weekend, and summer sessions to include financial literacy, STEM, college & career, goal setting, healthy relationships, anti-bullying strategies, and tools for living safe and strong. The Girls Inc. experience is unique in that it is offered in an all-girl environment focused on helping young girls acquire knowledge and exposure to strategies that build confidence, promote self-esteem, engender leadership characteristics and develop skills to conquer obstacles, both social and academic, to future success. 

“It is so symbolic and meaningful for us to initiate our program in March, Women’s History Month”, said Michelle A. Nicholas, Executive Director, Girls Inc. Westchester. “We are beyond delighted to be able to bring the Girls Inc. programming to girls in the Benjamin Turner Middle School and the Mount Vernon School District at such an important stage in their development. As we all know, early adolescence is such a formative and dynamic time for all of our children, particularly girls. The support of community partners like PCSB Bank, Principal Rodney McBride, the School District, and Board of Directors speaks volumes to the overall commitment to inspiring all girls to be strong, smart, and bold.” 


Led by dedicated facilitators, curriculum will be delivered through weekly, weekend, and summer sessions to include financial literacy, STEM, college & career, goal setting, healthy relationships, bullyism, and tools for living safe and strong.

In attendance for the launch of the three-year initiative were Mount Vernon Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard, Mount Vernon School District Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Hamilton, PCSB Bank Chairman, President and CEO Joseph Roberto, Benjamin Turner Middle School Principal Mr. Rodney McBride, Girls Inc. of Westchester Executive Director Michelle A. Nicholas, and Anitra Hadley of the Girls Inc. Westchester Board of Directors

Dr. Hamilton said the school district was looking for a great program that is to girls what My Brother’s Keeper is to boys.

“We are excited to welcome Girls Inc. to the Mount Vernon City School District. Programs such as this, that support our students, particularly young women, both in and out of the classroom are critical to the success of our schools. We look forward to this partnership and the positive impact it will have on our school and students.” 

Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard who strongly supports the influential program that will help shape our young girls into future leaders gave an inspirational speech to the young girls.

“I stand on the foundation of powerful women who were strong, smart, bold and didn’t ask for permission to run. Girls Inc. is an influential program that will help shape our young girls into future leaders,” Mayor Patterson-Howard shared with Black Westchester. This program symbolizes the power of our collective impact to create powerful initiatives to propel our girls. The collaboration between, the City of Mount Vernon, PCSB Bank, the Mount Vernon City School District and our non-profits shows how much work can be accomplished when we move forward together.” 

Girls Inc. of Westchester County is a leadership development organization for girls age 9-18, which focuses on helping girls to grow up Strong, Smart, and Bold. The organization is dedicated to providing each participant with a comprehensive whole girl development approach that equips them to navigate gender, economic, and social barriers and to grow up healthy, educated, and independent. 

Girls Inc. of Westchester County teaches more than 1,000 participants in several school districts throughout Westchester County, including Port Chester, New Rochelle, Ossining, Yonkers, Mamaroneck, Mount Vernon, White Plains, and Peekskill.

About Girls Inc. of Westchester County: Girls Inc. of Westchester County (GIWC) is an affiliate of Girls Incorporated, a 156-year-old national nonprofit providing more than 140,000 girls across the U.S. and Canada with life-changing experiences and solutions to the unique challenges girls face. GIWC is a leadership development organization for girls dedicated to making a meaningful difference in the lives of girls ages 9 -18 by helping them become Strong, Smart, and Bold! (our mission). GIWC was established in 2007 and delivers girls-only programming in a safe and nurturing environment through in-school and after-school programs, in community centers, and youth bureaus throughout Westchester County. For more information about Girls Inc. go to their website, girlsincwestchester.org.

About PCSB Community Foundation: The PCSB Community Foundation provides financial support to worthy organizations operating in communities that PCSB Bank serves. The PCSB Community Foundation was formed to support not-for- profit groups, institutions, schools or other organizations that demonstrate the ability to provide exceptional services to communities throughout the Lower Hudson Valley.

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About AJ Woodson (2278 Articles)
AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief of Black Westchester and Co-Owner of Urban Soul Media Group, the parent company. AJ is a Father, Brother, Author, Writer, Journalism Fellow, Rapper, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian and A Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale, Sonicnet.com, Launch.com, Rolling Out Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine and several others.
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