strong, smart, bold honoreesGirls Inc. of Delaware will be honoring three outstanding women who have been chosen as the 2016 Strong, Smart, and Bold honorees. Chosen for both their accomplishments and the example they set for young girls, this year’s recipients will be recognized at our annual luncheon on Friday, May 20th to be held at the DuPont Country Club in Wilmington, Delaware. At the event, these outstanding women will be honored for living the Girls Inc. mission: Inspiring all girls to be strong, smart & bold.

Girls Inc“Girls Incorporated encourages girls to take risks and to master physical, intellectual and emotional challenges in a nurturing environment surrounded by a sisterhood of support,” said Vernita Dorsey, Board President and Chair of the 2016 Strong, Smart, and Bold Awards. “Girls throughout Delaware need strong female role models who demonstrate that it’s possible to set big goals and to achieve them. This year’s honorees are living examples of what it really means to be strong, smart, and bold.”

The luncheon will also highlight the many ways our programs are helping to shape the female leaders of tomorrow while also raising critical funds to enable Girls Inc. to reach more girls now.


Girls Inc Luncheon


The Girls Inc. Experience equips girls to navigate gender, economic, and social barriers through hands on programs provided in a girls-only environment. Focused on three key areas – healthy living, academic enrichment, and life skills instruction – girls have new opportunities to develop their inherent strengths, take on healthy decision-making, boldly face challenges, persevere over obstacles, and thrive. Through research-based programs delivered by trained and caring professionals, girls are mentored and guided to set bold goals and to set a path to achieve them.

girls inc“At Girls Inc., we know and understand the many challenges faced by girls growing up today,” states Holly Maddams, MPA, CFRE, Executive Director of Girls Inc. of Delaware. “Our dedicated staff and volunteers target girls in some of Delaware’s most under-resourced communities to ensure they have the same opportunities as other girls (and boys). We support our girls to achieve academically, to make healthy decisions, and to be able to advocate for themselves and others.”

girls incGirls Inc. of Delaware is an affiliate of Girls Incorporated, an international organization dedicated to ensuring that all girls master intellectual, emotional, and physical challenges through research-based programs delivered by trained staff and volunteers who serve as both teachers and mentors. With two branches and numerous outreach programs throughout the state, Girls Inc. of Delaware provides more than 475 girls between the ages of 6-18 with an average of 30 hours a week of intensive programming. In addition, the organization reaches an additional 1,000+ girls through introductory activities. Individuals interested in attending the luncheon or learning more about Girls Inc. of Delaware’s many programs can visit

About the 2016 Honorees

Bridget Buckaloo, MSN, RN

Bridget BuckalooExecutive Director, Women’s Health Services – Beebe Healthcare

Bridget Buckaloo currently serves as the Executive Director for Women’s Health Services for Beebe Healthcare. Prior to this, she worked for Delaware Perinatal Cooperative as well as serving as the Perinatal Project Coordinator for the March of Dimes Delaware Chapter. As an active member of both the Education and Prevention and the Standards of Care committees of the Delaware Healthy Mother and Infant Consortium (DHMIC), Ms. Buckaloo has worked with the members of the Child Death, Near death, and Stillbirth Commission (CDNDSC), as well as the Delaware Division of Public Health. She serves on the Board of Directors for the March of Dimes, Delaware Chapter, and was recently appointed by the Governor to serve on the Executive Board for the Delaware Healthy Mother and Infant Consortium. Ms. Buckaloo earned both her BSN and MSN as a Perinatal Clinical Specialist from the University of Delaware, College of Nursing.

Patrice Gilliam-Johnson, PhD

Patrice GilliamSecretary of Labor, State of Delaware

Dr. Patrice Gilliam-Johnson, was recently appointed by Governor Jack Markell to serve as the Secretary of Labor for the State of Delaware. In this role, she lead’s the department’s primary efforts to connect Delawareans to employment, training resources, monetary benefits, workplace protections, and labor market information to promote financial independence. Her commitment to the State of Delaware is evident by the range of organizations she has chosen to serve on including the Delaware Workforce Development Board, Jobs for Delaware Graduates, and the Human Trafficking Coordinating Council. Dr. Gilliam-Johnson is a graduate of Morgan State University (BS) and University of Maryland at College Park (MA/Ph.D.). She has both a Masters degree and a Doctoral degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology.

Lieutenant Amy Rausch

AmyPolice Department, City of Wilmington

Lieutenant Amy Rausch is a 27-year veteran of the Wilmington Police Department. Currently serving as a Watch Commander in the Uniformed Services Division, she is responsible for four Sergeants and thirty officers. During her tenure she has served as a patrol officer in the Uniformed Services Division, an investigator in the Criminal Investigations Division, an officer in the Community Policing Unit, and an investigator in the Drug, Organized Crime and Vice Division. Recently honored with the Fraternal Order of Police Member of the Year Award, Lieutenant Rausch has also been nominated to receive the Lifetime Award from the Mid-Atlantic association of Women in Law Enforcement. She is also a recipient of the Jefferson Award for public service. Lieutenant Rausch is proud to say that she got her start in Wilmington’s Browntown and credits her self-confidence to the many hours she spent at Girls Inc. of Delaware’s former Browntown location.

About Girls Inc. of Delaware

Girls Inc Strong, Smart and BoldGirls Inc. of Delaware is a nonprofit organization providing programming and advocacy services to girls age 6 to 18. Research-based informal education programs are provided throughout the state of Delaware to empower girls to reach their full potential and to understand, value, and assert their rights while encouraging them to take risks and master physical, intellectual, and emotional challenges. Major programs address math and science education; pregnancy and drug abuse prevention; media literacy; economic literacy; adolescent health; violence prevention; and sports participation. Our organization targets underserved girls and places a strong emphasis on providing STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs.