Humility and wisdom focus of Girls Inc. event

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 71 views 

The Girls Inc. of Fort Smith “Women of Vision” 2013 luncheon was held on Thursday (June 26) with about 300 program supporters attending to hear guest speaker Crosby Cromwell talk about her work with the Wal-Mart Foundation.

The event included lunch, a silent auction, and a 50/50 drawing. The Youth Leadership Program also performed "cups” – a song that included the tapping of red cups.  

The theme of this year's luncheon was to inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold.

"Girls Inc follows through with this mission by providing hands-on programs and horizon-expanding experiences, delivered by professionals in a supportive, all-girl setting, equipping girls to set goals, take on new challenges, and achieve their goals,” said Amanda Daniels, executive director of Girls Inc. of Fort Smith.

She said the aspiration of Girls Inc. is for girls to not only graduate from high school, without getting in trouble, but be prepared to begin post-secondary education and complete their degrees.

“Our scholarship programs help with this initiative and since 1980 we have given out over $250,000 in local scholarships to help fulfill these dreams,” Daniels said.

Statistics highlighted during the event were that more than 80% of girls served live in families earning $30,000 or less a year. More than half of the girls served come from single family homes or homes where they do not live with a birth parent.

"At Girls Inc., we have a vision of a world where every girl values her whole self and her inherent strengths, has opportunities to develop her potential, breaks past serious obstacles, and leads a healthy, educated, and successful life," Daniels said.

Cromwell, a Fort Smith native, leads giving for Women's Giving under the Wal-Mart Foundation's U.S. and International Giving Team. Her main focus is on building a platform focused on workforce opportunities and career pathways for women. She also sits on the Board of Directors of the ADAP Advocacy Association and Ozark Literacy Council.

After graduating with a law degree, Cromwell worked with her father in a law firm. She decided she could "focus and fight on justice outside the courtroom." She worked for about seven years in a non-profit sector focused on improving employment and equal opportunities for adults with disabilities before joining Wal-Mart.  

Through light laughter and a few tears, Cromwell told the audience she had witnessed the attributes of strength and humility in her grandmother and mother. Cromwell advised the attendees to use strong power words such as "I think" and "I know." She advised them to be bold, but added that "bold doesn't do well unless it comes alongside humility and wisdom."