Cecily M. Robbins has joined Big Sisters of the Washington Metropolitan Area as executive director. She is the former director of the D.C. Rape Crisis Center.
Robbins hopes to increase community awareness of Big Sisters, a program that pairs girls aged 6 to 17 with women 21 and older to provide guidance and role models.
"We're not a substitute for parents or guardians. But sometimes that support system is just not enough," Robbins said. The Washington office has 77 pairings between girls and women.
The organization's national office has studied girls seeking its help and found that the youngsters suffered from depression, poor self-esteem and poor social skills -- problems similar to those found in teen-agers who become pregnant. Consequently, Big Sisters will begin to have personal development workshops to help girls understand "the choices that come with you as a female," Robbins said.
Big sisters, who are asked to spend four hours a week in contact with their little sisters, demonstrate "tenacity and dedication," Robbins said. Potential big sisters are warned of the ups and downs of arranged sisterhood at orientations, she said. The first under her leadership will be held Saturday at 9:30 a.m. at the Martin Luther King Library.
"We have a one-to-one philosophy," Robbins said. We can have an impact on future generations by doing it one-to-one." Music Students Honored
The Washington Performing Arts Society has awarded prizes and scholarships to 11 District students in grades 6 through 12 for musical achievement.
Winners of the Joseph Feder Memorial String Competition are Toby Goldstone of Lafayette Elementary School; Kimberly Jones, Makisha Gary and Sherrhonda Roach of Randle Highlands; Sally Milius, John Hasenberg and Jaime Kane of Woodrow Wilson High School; Okolo Schwinn-Clanton of Deal Junior High; Jonathan Goldberg of St. Anselm's Abbey School, and Natanya Brewer of Edmund Burke.
Winners of scholarships for summer music camps are Rachel Young and Goldberg, who will study for eight weeks at the Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan, and Hasenberg and Schwinn-Clanton, who will spend two weeks at the Shenandoah College and Conservatory.
Feder was a lover of string instruments. His wife, Goldie Feder, established the award in 1972 in his honor to encourage the study of string instruments, according to Linda Horn, associate director of the Concerts in Schools program at the performing arts society. Cash prizes from $25 to $150 are awarded and must be used toward education or toward the purchase of a musical insturment.
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