County Girls Inc. wins outstanding affiliate award

With programs built on enriched academics, healthy choices and strong life skills, leaders from Girls Inc. of Johnson County see success in every girl that they help in the community.

Now, their efforts has earned the acclaim of their national officials.

Girls Inc. of Johnson County was named one of five outstanding affiliates of the year chosen out of 82 chapters in the U.S. and Canada. The distinction recognizes sustained and significant growth in the number of girls served as well as revenue.

“It’s a huge honor, so we’re all humbled by it,” said Sonya Ware-Meguiar, CEO of the local chapter.

“But I think that it shows national how committed and invested we are, and that we’re trying to provide the highest quality experience for girls in Johnson County.”

The award was given to the Johnson County affiliate during the Girl’s Inc. annual conference conducted from Oct. 14 to 17 in Newport Beach, California. Ware-Meguiar was able to attend the conference with some of her staff members. When it was announced that they had won as outstanding affiliate, it was a complete shock.

“We didn’t know we were getting it, we didn’t even know we were being considered. We’ve been doing everything we were supposed to be doing, but this was a surprise,” Ware-Meguiar said.

Long-term strategic planning has become an organizational focus for Girls Inc. nationally. In Johnson County, that has meant setting goals on how to grow the number of girls served and the impact they have with them.

In 2016, the organization served 535 girls. That number is expected to be between 550 and 600 this year.

“Girls Inc. of Johnson County has demonstrated excellence in strengthening and expanding their services to support the unique, ever-changing needs of girls,” said Judy Vredenburgh, president and CEO of Girls Inc., in a statement. “They have built a strong business foundation and effective organizational leadership, critical for any organization looking to have a long-term impact.”

New programs have been added to form a core of identity programs spotlighting health, education and self-sufficiency.

“The things we’re doing all ties back to that. The fact that we’re offering some good, quality programming for girls, and that we’re able to do that in our own center is what got us this,” Ware-Meguiar said.

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Ryan Trares is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at or 317-736-2727.