I am a Girls Inc. of Lynn alumna. I am one of the many girls they have inspired to become a strong, smart and bold woman. My family and I moved to Lynn, Massachusetts from the Dominican Republic when I was nine. My parents worked long hours at multiple jobs to create a better life for our family. There were many challenging and isolating times. Knowing very little English and with few friends, I was timid and unsure about the future. However, the sense of isolation was gone when I walked into Girls Inc. The staff and the friends I made allowed me to believe that I have the right and the potential to pursue my dreams and achieve my goals. I did not have to be another statistic or another stereotype. I was an individual. I was a girl with ambitions and the abilities to make them reality. I had a sisterhood of girls in my corner who encouraged each other to set positive goals for and to not cave into peer pressure. With the support of Girls Inc., I gained confidence to speak in public and the power to obtain a college education. I attended college with a full scholarship and was even the student commencement speaker at my graduation. All the important lessons I learned at Girls Inc. are still with me today in my personal and professional life. Today I am pursuing a PhD in sociology at Rutgers University with a special focus on helping immigrants achieve higher education. Girls Inc. of Lynn believed in me and supported me. I now inspire others to achieve their goals.