Congratulations to our 2017 Women Who Dare Awardees!
Please join us in celebrating and honoring these exceptional
women and teens that truly exemplify strong, smart, and
bold, and provide powerful role models for girls. We received
a large number of outstanding nominations and continue to
be impressed and inspired by the amazing women and teens
that do so much for youth in our community. Thank you to the
nominators and kudos to the deserving awardees.
Jeannie Graham, Business Professional and Philanthropist
Jeannie is a successful business and marketing professional and a passionate philanthropist. She is an active volunteer and extremely generous donor to a broad range of non-profits including but not limited to Alameda Family Services, Alameda Boys & Girls Club, Dreamcatcher Youth Services, Altarena Playhouse, UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Branches Inc., California Heritage Council, and Alameda Architectural Preservation Society. As an advocate of equity, education, and empowerment for young women, she mentors and promotes aspiring female entrepreneurs, artists, musicians, singers, and authors. Jeannie received a BA from UC Berkeley, an MBA from Golden Gate University, and is a member of the National Organization of Professional Women and the American Association of University Women.
Olivia Higgins, Leader and Advocate for LGBTQ Youth
Olivia is an innovative and inspiring leader who helps teachers, administrators, parents, and students navigate complex issues about gender, identity, and sexuality. She chairs the Alameda Unified School District LGBTQ Roundtable and co-leads, among other activities, a Harvey Milk Day Poster/Poetry contest for Alameda students. Olivia founded Queerly Elementary, which provides acclaimed workshops, professional development, classroom lessons, and resources to help school communities embrace and celebrate lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer diversity. She graduated magna cum laude from Temple University, won the Elementary/Early Childhood Education Award for excellence, and was inducted into Temple University’s Gallery of Success. Olivia also designed an internationally recognized poster called “Celebrate All of Us.”
Maryam Nasirova, Senior, Nea Community Learning Center
Maryam is a top student at Nea, a leader, peer tutor, and mentor. A consistent Nea Honor Roll student, she received the Nea Principal Award for Integrity and Compassion and the Award for PreCalc Bridge Building Competition. She is president of the Red Cross Club, vice president of the Interact Club, and an active member of the Alameda Library’s Book Club. Maryam immigrated from Kyrgyzstan with her parents. She is deeply committed to learning and her community. Her resilience is demonstrated in her assimilation to the customs and cultures of the US while balancing the demands of her Muslim faith and the contemporary culture around her.
Elizabeth Onibokun, Senior, Encinal High School
Elizabeth is a top student in her class having taken six AP classes while maintaining a 4.55 GPA. A three-year member of the National Honor Society, she participates and holds offices in a variety of school clubs. She received awards from the National Student Leader Conference and the National Academy of Future Scientists. Elizabeth’s passion is dance. She has participated in the Dance Arts Project since kindergarten practicing four times each week. Elizabeth has accumulated over 300 hours of community service through church, dance, and Peace Club. She is the first in her family to be born in the US making her aware of culture clash and race relations.
Kari Thompson, Alumnae Award, Banking Professional and Community Supporter
Kari, an Alameda native, is an alumnae of Alameda Girls Club, now Girls Inc. of the Island City. Kari was raised by a single mother and helped rear her three younger siblings. After graduating from high school, Kari worked in the banking industry and today she is Branch Manager for First Community Bank. Kari goes above and beyond to give back to her community and is a tireless volunteer and generous donor to a “jaw-dropping” number of non-profits, especially the Alameda Homeless Shelter and the Midway Shelter. She has served as PTA president at her daughters’ schools and has been a Girl Scout volunteer for decades, advocating for 13 Gold Award Projects.
Alice Wilson-Fried, Honorary Award, Voting and Civil Rights Advocate, and Author
Alice was raised in “the projects” in New Orleans by her mother and grandmother who emboldened her to earn a college degree while raising two children. She is a powerful advocate for social justice, with a particular passion for voting and civil rights. Alice is president of the Alameda League of Women Voters, past president of the Democratic Club of Alameda, and a former member of Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s Advisory Committee. She mentors young writers, works to register voters, educates college students about their civic duties, and recently created the Civics Debate Scholarship Program. Alice is also a nationally recognized author and screenwriter and a proud and active mother and grandmother.
Girls Incorporated of the Island City is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
Our Federal Tax Id # is 94-1581103.
Girls Inc. of the Island City
1724 Santa Clara Avenue
Alameda, CA 94501