Augusta, Ga. (WJBF)- A group of girls at Glenn Hills Middle School Saturday were honored as Ladies of Excellence for their time in an after school course to help them become leaders in their community.
Fifteen girls were honored for their commitment to the program throughout the year, which they say has taught them some valuable life skills.
Glen Hills Middle Assistant Principle Andrea Baugh created the Ladies of Excellence program three years ago because she said she saw that young women in particular need extra support.
“As they come to the middle school there is some parental involvement, but not as much as we’d like to see and not as much as we see at the elementary level,” Baugh said. “We know that they suffer from low self-esteem. We know nationally we have issues with bullying, harassment, suicides.”
To combat these problems, the Ladies of Excellence meet twice a month after school to learn life skills, hear from guest speakers, and give back to the community.
“Self-esteem, confidence, future planning, when I say future planning I mean what are your plans after school- after high school,” she said. “We address business, leadership,fine arts. We talked about entrepreneurship and owning your own business. How to make money.”
Eighth-grader Imani Harvey says being a Lady of Excellence will help her achieve her goal of being on Good Morning America one day.
“If I want to be on Good Morning America…I would know what to wear and what not to wear, how to talk to people, how to place myself when I’m talking, and how to be nice to everyone,” she said.
Now, they’re celebrating a year’s worth of hard work with a special semi-formal ceremony that featured Glenn Hills’ string orchestra, inspirational speakers, awards and a dinner.
“It’s just showing all we have learned this year and how hard we have worked as Ladies of Excellence,” Harvey said.
Baugh says she hopes to expand the group beyond Glenn Hills Middle in the future.