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Over 500 community leaders elected officials, business men and women, girls and supporters of girls came out to celebrate at the Girls Inc. 30th Annual Celebration Luncheon held at the Doubletree Hilton in Danvers on April 5.

Highlights of the afternoon included the acceptance of the Strong, Smart, and Bold Award by Robert F. Rivers, president and CEO of Eastern Bank on behalf of Eastern Bank; a heartfelt speech by alumna Jomaira Salas Pujols, a third-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Sociology at Rutgers University and National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program fellow; and the presentation of Girl Hero Awards to Adedunmola Praise Adewale,  Lia Funicella, and Aryana Richardson.

Award-winning anchor on NBC 10 Boston and NECN Latoyia Edwards emceed the event, which was co-chaired by Jen Hardy Thornton of Marblehead and Chris Meninno of Swampscott. National Scholars Chisom Amadi, Jessica Hernandez, and Leslie Mercedes Sanchez were recognized, and the crowd was treated to a performance by The Girls Inc. Chorus.

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