Applications open for program connecting women to mentors, paying for prom

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Applications are now open for “Annie’s Girls,” a local mentorship and scholarship program that aims to cover the cost of prom and connect young women with leading mentors in Peoria.

As part of the program, young women will be paired with community mentors, as well as have their prom costs taken care of. One girl from each of the Peoria high schools in Illinois’ 92nd District will be selected from the program.

State Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth (D-Peoria) started the program five years ago and named it after her mother, Annie Jo Gordon.

“My mom instilled in me a love for service, community, and family,” Gordon-Booth said. “That’s why I created a program in her memory that shines a light on our passionate, confident, and ambitious young women who are the future of our community. With prom season approaching, I also want to make sure these amazing girls feel special. I did not go to prom, so I was unable to have a quintessential dress-up moment with my mom. That’s why I want to make sure the girls in our community get that special moment without worrying about the cost during these trying times.”

Those with any questions or who are looking for a mailed application are encouraged to email AnniesGirlForever@gmail.com or call 309-681-1992. Applications can be downloaded by clicking the link below:

Those applications must be submitted to that email by Feb. 28. Winners will be announced on International Women’s Day, which is March 8.

Over the last few years, young women have connected with mentors of the program, including Peoria Mayor Dr. Rita Ali, Pink Sugar CEO Kristin Kern Snider, Real Estate Developer Katie Kim, Peoria County Superintendent Ronda Guyton, and many other successful women in the community.

“These girls are the future of Peoria, and I want to help them take the next step in their path to becoming strong leaders,” Gordon-Booth said. “I’m incredibly excited to meet this year’s Annie’s Girls, and look forward to seeing how our area youth are helping others in the same way my mom always did.”

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