Seventy young women ages 13 to 18 from Philadelphia and Los Angeles, were presented to an audience of more than five hundred guests during Teenshop’s Cotillion-style Gala.

Teenshop is one of the nation’s longest running volunteer-based programs dedicated exclusively to the positive development of adolescent females. The guest speaker was Dr. Arlene C. Ackerman, Superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia, who delivered an inspiring message that challenged the girls to always strive for excellence.

More than three thousand girls have been enrolled and while participating in the program, no girls dropped out of school or became a teen parent, and all graduates enrolled into college or professional schools. The curriculum is an innovative series of life skills workshops that include social graces, character development, financial literacy, health and fitness, arts and culture, community service, and college tours.

For more African American people and issues making headlines throughout the country see Across Black America.