I Am Girls Empowerment Inc., a girls mentoring organization, held a banquet in celebration of their first anniversary of serving the community, according to a news release.

The banquet honored I Am Girls participants who completed the empowHer camp and community involvement events. Honorees also included volunteers, donors and those who played vital roles in the success of the program, according to a news release.

Guest speakers were state Rep. Vivian Flowers and Dr. LaCandi Spencer, “who both delivered powerful empowerment messages that left the room in awe,” according to the release.

The proceeds of the banquet went to the I Am Girls Scholarship Fund, that will sponsor a senior at Pine Bluff, Watson Chapel, White Hall and Dollarway high schools who will enroll at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff in fall 2020. Scholarship information and requirements will be available at the high schools in January.

“I Am Girls Empowerment Inc. will continue to service the community with God as their guide,” said Danniesha Murphy, chief executive officer and founder of I Am Girls.

“It isn’t about I, it is about US. We are Pine Bluff! Our goal is to flood our community with as many positive events and mentoring workshops possible to reach the youth,” she said.

I Am Girls hosted community events including neighborhood cleanups, health awareness sessions and school supply giveaways.

The cleanups, Easter Egg hunt and back-to-school drive are marked as annual events with others planned.

Also during the banquet, attorney Efrem Neely, Ivan Whitfield and the Corvette Brothers of Pine Bluff were special guests and said the event was “beautiful and the speakers’ messages left an impression on all,” according to the news release.

Mayor Shirley Washington ended the event by proclaiming Dec. 28 “I Am Girls Empowerment Day” and expressed how she was proud to be a part of such a “wow” moment.

I Am Girls President Amy Lowe said she was in tears after seeing that the fruit of their labor was manifested into a day of proclamation after what they do as a passion.

“This is just the beginning. We have more work to do,” Lowe said.

Murphy also gave remarks.

“As we sum this year up, we look forward to many years to come of providing resources and essential tools that will help empower girls and young ladies to become positive active citizens of the community. Thank you to the city of Pine Bluff for the love and support. We are Pine Bluff! Who Are You After the I Am,” Murphy said. “I Am Girls Empowerment.”