Out & About: Women LEAD Speech Competition

Junior League of Dallas (JLD) awarded $40,000 in collegiate scholarships to 10 college-bound women from Dallas ISD during its 11th annual Women LEAD Speech Competition and Awards Ceremony on March 23 at JLD Headquarters.

The Women LEAD (Learn. Excel. Achieve. Dream.) scholarship program was founded by JLD in 2013 to assist female high school students in pursuing their dreams of higher education and to create opportunities for future women leaders. Since the program began, the league has awarded 72 scholarships totaling $345,000 to female seniors from Dallas high schools.

This year’s 10 finalists from Emmett J. Conrad High School, Thomas Jefferson High School, and South Oak Cliff High School were selected based on their academic performance, resume, letters of recommendation, transcript, and an essay. 

At the March 23 event, each finalist spoke about a time when she had to make an unpopular choice that was in her best interest, described her passions, and told how receiving a Women LEAD scholarship would help her achieve her goals.  

This year’s judges included JLD President Christina Eubanks, Nordstrom Stylist Program Manager Jessica Tennison, and Senior Philanthropy Officer of Communities Foundation of Texas Ashley McIver. They tallied the votes and determined the winners based on the merits of their scholarship application and speech presentation. 

The winner of the $15,000 Women LEAD Scholarship Program was Naimat Rabiu. Second place winner Amy Lopez received a $10,000 scholarship; third place winner Anatupenda Daphrose received a $5,000 scholarship; fourth place winner Lidiya Gebrehiwot received a $3,000 scholarship; and fifth place winner Miranda Castillo received a $2,000 scholarship. Honorable mention winners Liliana Aguirre, Genesis Stephanie Contreras, Jazmin Martinez, Prava Pokhrel, and Tosminara Shamsuddin each received a $1,000 scholarship. 

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