DSCN1549OWENSBORO, Ky. (2/26/14) – A retired Kentucky Wesleyan College professor, who “encouraged women and challenged women to set high standards," who  helped promote the importance of equity issues among college  administrators, and worked for the development and use of a women’s  center for non-traditional women students was honored for her life-long  service to women’s issues at the annual Girls Inc. Athena awards ceremony today.

Margaret Britton was the latest in a series of honorees of the  non-profit after school program serving young girls, many of whom are  considered at-risk.

Following a series of Girls Inc. participants’ testimonials about how  the program is helping shape them into role models and leaders, guests  at the ceremony heard from guest speaker First Lady Jane Beshear.

Beshear called on every one in attendance to do more to encourage women  to further their educations in pursuit of professional careers, pointing  out that more than half of Kentucky’s population is made up of women.

“Could you imagine what would happen if over half of Kentucky’s  population wasn’t educated?” she asked.

She said addressing education challenges in 2015 is a top concern for  her husband as he develops the next fiscal year budget, noting plans to  increase per-pupil funding SEEK money, salary increases for school
personnel, and reinstatement of textbook funding, which has been  stripped from the state’s budget for the last seven years.

That’s just the start of the process for helping encourage women, she said.

“Many don’t know secondary education and careers are in the realm of  possibility,” she said, suggesting hosting book drives, sponsoring field  trips, and becoming a mentor as great ways to provide what she called
“personal responsibility.”

“Let’s every one of us be the role model we want to see young girls  emulate,” she said.

Britton wasn’t the only person honored at today’s event. Also recognized  was Danyeille Deer, who was told during the ceremony she had earned a  $20,000 Girls Inc. national scholarship. Deer, a junior who joined the
program when she was 6, was one of only 28 in the U.S. to receive the  Lucille Miller Wright scholarship.

Dennis Beard
SurfKY News

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