top of page

Meet the Nominees

March Q1 2023 Nominees

Girls on the Run RI

Higher Ground Int'l.

Swim for All


Girls on the Run RI

EIN: 45-3061488



Address: PO Box 72787, Providence, RI 02907 



Mission Statement

Girls on the Run has fun, evidence-based programs that inspire all girls to build their confidence, kindness and decision making skills. Dynamic lessons instill valuable life skills including the important connection between physical and emotional health.


Who They Serve

Girls ages 8-11 in Rhode Island and Bristol County, MA. GOTRRI serves approximately 200 girls each year.

Program: Girls on the Run, Grades 3-5

Girls on the Run inspires girls of all abilities to recognize their individual strengths, while building a sense of connection in a team setting. Volunteer coaches facilitate lessons that blend physical activity with life skill development to enable girls to adapt to whatever comes their way. At the end of the season, the team completes a 5K together, which provides a tangible sense of accomplishment and sets a confident mindset into motion.



How Would Funds Be Used 

Funds would be used as financial aid for participants who cannot pay the $170 program fee.


Annual Budget

Annual Operating Budget: $237,000     Annual Operating Costs: $231,000

Sources of Funding: grants, fundraisers, individual donations, corporate sponsorships, program fees


From their Application

GOTRRI is working hard at broadening its community reach and the diversity of participants, coaches, and board members. Removing financial barriers to participation is a significant piece of this process. Now more than ever, as we assess the impact of the pandemic years on children, GOTRRI can be an important component of our girls’ successful development into their teen years.

Higher Ground International

EIN: 11-3842652


Address: 250 Prairie Avenue, Providence, RI, 02905



Higher Ground International (HGI) is a forward-thinking and culturally grounded social impact nonprofit organization dedicated to advocating for, empowering, and providing life-changing services to Liberian and West African immigrants, refugees, and other marginalized communities. 

HGI seeks to restore dignity, empower lives, and keep peace through work that centers and celebrates the cultural heritage and unique individuality of those we serve. HGI provides basic needs supplies, literacy and language classes, clinical therapy, job skills training, immigration assistance, transportation, the Sweetie Care program for elderly West African Women, and case management services to ensure that those who come from marginalized communities have the tools they need to thrive. 

Additionally, HGI offers a monthly culturally appropriate food pantry and is the only organization in Rhode Island that provides food that meets the cultural and dietary needs of African immigrants and refugees. Staple foods provided by HGI include rice, beans, plantains, yucca, fresh fish, fufu, spices, and other produce and nonperishable food. Their goal is to ensure that African immigrants, refugees, and other marginalized communities have access to the tools and resources they need to thrive in their community. Since 2020, HGI has distributed 61,000+ bags of food to 40,000+ individuals.


How Would Funds Be Used 

Funds will be used to purchase food and supplies for our monthly Culturally Appropriate Food Pantry.  

Each month, HGI purchases culturally appropriate food, including fruits, vegetables, fish, and nonperishable essentials.  HGI bags and packages all of the food for distribution to over 300 families in need once a month. $20,000 covers the cost to purchase the food and purchase the materials needed to package everything up (bags, boxes, packaging material, etc.) for one month.


Annual Budget 

Annual operating budget: $680,000  /  Annual Operating costs: $680,000


Sources of Funding 

HGI receives financial and volunteer support for our programs from the City of Providence, the Papitto Opportunity Foundation, the Rhode Island Foundation, Tufts Foundation, Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island, the United Way of Rhode Island, and Marasco & Nesselbush. The food packaging and delivery for the monthly food pantry is mostly completed by volunteers.


Who They Serve

The individuals served have experienced various forms of violence, much of which stemmed from decades of war, living as refugees, and the sociocultural influences of living in a patriarchal society in Africa. Seeking help is considered taboo and financial problems are not talked about in many African communities.  HGI was founded specifically in recognition of these unique barriers and the understanding that receiving services from organizations that represent the cultures in the community is critical.  As the first and only full-time resource of its kind in RI, HGI meets the multi-faceted needs of immigrant/refugee adults by providing a safe, understanding, empowering, culturally relevant space to socialize, learn, and receive health and social services. 

The founder and Executive Director of HGI, Henrietta White-Holder, is a West African immigrant and a well-respected leader in the Rhode Island community. 100% of HGI staff represent the community, making it more comfortable for community members to reach out for help.  

Swim for All

EIN: 05-0258878

Website: (no website)


Address: c/o YMCA East Side/Mt Hope, 438 Hope St, Providence, RI 02906


Mission Statement 

Swim for All, in partnership with the YMCA (Providence East Side/Mt Hope branch), was started in 2018 to make swimming more available and accessible to underserved neighbors in need. Free swim lessons  and swim team fellowships are offered to children in Providence who qualify for free school lunch, with an emphasis on serving qualifying residents of the East Side’s Mt. Hope neighborhood.



How Would Funds Be Used 

Funds from the 100 Women Who Care will be used to create a second summer swim program for 35 financial-aid students plus fund 3 fellowships of $500 each for children who show talent but have limited means to participate in the swim team.  



Annual Budget  

$25,000 (budget for swim for all, operates outside of the budget of the ymca)



Sources of Funding 

Swim for All is funded by private donations from individuals and business sponsors.


Who They Serve 

Young children who qualify for free and reduced lunch from underserved neighborhoods in Providence; of the 181 swimmers in 2019, 167 were children of color. With funding from 100 Women, 5 children would receive fellowships allowing them to participate on the swim team; and up to 35 children would be able to participate in the summer 10 week swim session. Currently Swim for All funds four 10 week sessions, with 35 children in each session (total of 140 children), and sponsors 5 children on the swim team. 


From their nomination application:

Swim for All offers swimming lessons to over 100 children in Providence who would otherwise be unable to participate in the lessons due to their inability to pay. These participant swimmers are encouraged to continue to improve their swimming skills in this program year round and go on to Swim Team participation. All funded through Swim for All donations. Too many children drown in our state each year, and children of color drown at a rate three times higher than white children. This program saves lives. And it provides children with life long skills that could turn into future employment opportunities as lifeguards, swim instructors and even YMCA directors!


Steven Cabrera Jr. is a 14-year-old 8th grader at Del Sesto Middle School. He started swimming at the YMCA in March 2018 through the East Side/Mt. Hope YMCA’s Swim for All Program. He said, “I wanted to take the classes because I’ve always liked swimming at the beach but I never really knew how to swim. 


After taking the swim classes for a few months, Meg O’Connor, the Y’s Aquatic Director, asked Steven to try out for the Swim Team. Steven recalls, “I was excited for the try outs but was a little nervous because I wasn’t sure I was going to make it.” Right after the tryouts, Meg told Steven he made the team.


“I was excited because it was something new.” These days, Steven practices with the Sea Lions Swim Team up to five times a week and he has even inspired his two younger siblings to take weekly swim lessons. Steven says, “I feel happy when I come to the YMCA.” Steven’s dad, Steven Cabrera says that “Swim for All is a wonderful program. It 

gives kids opportunities to try new things.” He has noticed that since Steven Jr. has joined the Sea Lions Swim Team, he has improved in school and is able to sustain his focus. “Swim practice reminds me of school,” Steven Jr. says, “every day when I come to practice, I have a goal and I always try to get it done. “


Steven’s long-term goal is to become a lawyer but, in the near future, he dreams of becoming a lifeguard at the Y. Steven’s advice to the YMCA community is: “Do not give up. Keep trying until you get there!”

bottom of page