Top Row: Linda Boessenecker, CEO, Lois De Domenico, Board Member, Kristin Pace, Board Member, Mayor Jean Quan; Middle row: Zakiya Makie, D. Charlene Harlan-Ogbeode, Linda Boessenecker, CEO, Mieasha L. Harris.
Girls Inc., an organization designed to inspire young girls through programs like Leadership and Community Action and Prevention Adolescent Pregnancy, held a groundbreaking ceremony June 29 for the agency’s new location in Oakland, set to open next summer.
The ceremony celebrated the group’s decision to move one of its centers from San Leandro to Oakland.
“We had a strategic goal – we knew Oakland would be a better location,” said Girls Inc. CEO Linda Brossenecker.
“One of the problems we had was transportation, but now we have so many buses that run around here and even BART. Now, we are closer to the community we actually serve. We have many more opportunities to interact with other organizations, and most of all we have a lot more space,” she said.
About 200 people attended the ceremony, including Oakland Mayor Jean Quan. “This is an amazing project. They have been working with these young girls and doing a fantastic job. I am very proud that this is in Oakland. What Oakland needs are more programs like this that give confidence and encouragement that young girls need,” said Quan.
“This group shows young girls that they are a part of the dreams of Oakland,” she said.
Girls Inc. has served young girls all over the US and Canada, inspiring millions of young women each year.
Dion Campbell, a Girls Inc. participant and a recipient of the National Scholarship, was one of the speakers at the groundbreaking ceremony. She just graduated from MetWest high school in Oakland and is headed to UC Davis in the fall.
A member of Girls Inc. since the seventh grade, she said it has given her a voice. “For me and other girls in my community, this program will create and has created a space for support,” she said.