top of page

Highlights from the 2024 Lifting Girls Up Gala and College Shower

What an inspiring evening! 


Congratulations to our honorees Academy Award Nominated Actress Annette Bening, Donna Vieira of Sallie Mae, Doris Meister of Wilmington Trust Company, and Priscilla Sims Brown of Amalgamated Bank. Thank you for sharing your words of wisdom with our College Shower student honorees and for modeling what strong, smart, and bold leadership looks like.


Thank you for making this our largest and most successful gala yet, raising more support than ever for our programs in mental health, financial literacy, STEM, leadership, and college and career readiness.

Remarks from the 2024 Gala Honorees

Priscilla Sims Brown, President and CEO of Amalgamated Bank, emphasized the important role we all play in supporting our students to succeed in their academic and professional pursuits. 


Doris Meister, Chairman and CEO of Wilmington Trust Company, conveyed, "As organizations like Girls Inc. of NYC provide girls with the knowledge, confidence, and education they deserve, they can do all the great things we’ve done and go on to make even greater strides to change the world.”


Donna Vieira, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer of Sallie Mae, announced that the Sallie Mae Fund is contributing a $25,000 scholarship to the College Shower student honorees. “Be bold," she said to the students. "Be authentically you, be unapologetically you. Know that you are enough.” 


Annette Bening, Academy Award Nominated Actress and Activist, said she “imagine[s] a world that accelerates the investment in women and girls and pursues their fundamental rights. A world that won’t accept glaring inequities, division, and demonizing the other. A world that embraces differences, looks for what unites us, and seeks peace and prosperity for everyone.” 

Annette Bening's long time friend, actor and composer Dr. Brian Stokes Mitchell, performed soulful versions of “Impossible Dream (The Quest)” from the Broadway show Man of La Mancha and “Feeling Good."

Congratulations to the 2024 College Shower Student Honorees!

During the College Shower, we applauded 25 student honorees who received scholarships ranging from $1,500 to $5,000 and gifts from Lo & Sons, Queen Marie Candles, and Luminary. The students, 20 of whom are first generation, announced the colleges they will attend this fall, which included Princeton, NYU, Howard, Wesleyan, Northwestern, Syracuse, Williams, and Smith. 

During the College Shower, Student Honoree Sally Niu gave the keynote speech. She described how Girls Inc. of NYC provided her a space to develop her identity through continuing mentorship and programs in mental health, healthy sexuality, financial literacy, and college preparation.


Her sister, a source of inspiration, was the first in her family to go to college and was a College Shower honoree like her 12 years ago.


"It was because of her incredible experience with Girls Inc. that I knew this program would set me up for success," Sally said.

Moments from the Evening


bottom of page