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Alumnae & Past Board
Member Spotlights

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Lynn Newman

 

One of the founders of the original Girls Club of Morristown (now Girls Inc. of Hamblen County,) Lynn helped bring the program to life for girls in 1972. Through the next 50 years, she would stay involved with Girls Inc., serving numerous terms on the Board of Directors as a member, committee chair and President, and in 2012, she entered the Girls Inc. Women’s Hall of Fame. Lynn was instrumental in designing the November Celebration of Women event, a fun and intimate gathering spotlighting food, fellowship, and raising funds.

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“Lynn always felt there was equal need for her voice on our Board and for her presence as a volunteer in our program,” said Bender. “Even if that meant riding a bus daily as a chaperone, she valued any time spent with girls, and as a retired educator she knew the value of a sympathetic adult at the end of a rough school day.” In fact, Lynn often worked as a polling volunteer on local election days and loved talking to girls about the meaning of giving back through civic service to their community and by voting.

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Rhea Evans

 

Rhea Evans, known then as Rachel Gaines, attended the educational enrichment program from 2nd grade in 1990 until she graduated high school in 2004.

 

During her time enrolled in Girls Inc., Rhea was the 1993 and the 1999 recipient of the Leadership Award. This award is reserved for Girls Inc. members who exhibit qualities that make a good leader: teamwork, patience, a helpful spirit, and motivation. While Rhea was in high school, she could often be found helping in the office and at the front desk. Her attributes in leadership even allowed her to lead some programming with the other members. 

 In 2004, Rhea was one of 15 recipients of the National Scholar Program, a Girls Inc. National scholarship that 

makes college accessible for girls. “I remember sitting in the Girls Inc. office with Ms. Frankie (Cox) working on the essay for the scholarship application,” said Evans. “When we got word back that I was one of the winners, I remember running up to her after school and hugging her neck. It meant I could go to college.”

 

After graduating college, Rhea worked as a Teacher’s Aid and Special Education Teacher before working at an adolescent drug treatment facility. Currently, Rhea works as a Student Minister at Mt. Calvary Church in Kingstown, NC.

 

When asked about her favorite Girls Inc. memory, Rhea shared, “I felt part of a sisterhood during my time here. Having positive female mentors made me want to be a positive influence on other young women.”

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Pictured is Alex Haley, author of Roots and The Autobiography of Malcolm X speaking with former Girls Inc. director Diana Steinfield-Hicks and Board Members at the Girls Inc. Annual Meeting in 1989.

Peter Barile

Pete is the President of Daniel Paul Chairs in Morristown and served on the Girls Incorporated, known then as the Girls Club, board in the late 80s-early 90s.

When asked why he got involved with Girls Incorporated, Pete shared, “Well, I have a daughter and as a father, I wanted the girls in our community to have access to opportunities like my daughter had. This was the only place for young

women to gather and I wanted to help the organization be successful so that the girls could grow up to be successful.”

Pete served as Finance Chair before serving as the Board Chair and was responsible for bringing the critically acclaimed author Alex Haley to our 1988 annual meeting. Haley authored Roots: The Saga of an American Family and The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley.

 

We are thankful for past and present Board members who have given girls opportunities to meet people like Alex Haley, author Crystal Senter-Brown (who also happens to be a Girls Inc. Hamblen Alumna), Edie Wadsworth, Pat Summit, and so many other inspiring women and men.

If you are a past Board member or president, please contact Lauren at lauren_girlsinc@musfiber.com or 423-581-4430. We would love to extend our gratitude in person at an upcoming Founder's event.