Chamber honors Miamis top non-profits

admin | 5/10/2012, 5:40 a.m.

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NOVO winners: Posse Miami, Strong Women Strong Girls

Two of the citys leading non-profit organizations were presented with the NOVO Award by the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce last week during the Chambers annual trustee luncheon. The Posse Foundation was chosen over Miami Jewish Health Systems and The Foundation for New Education Initiatives, Inc. in the $2 million and above in revenue category. Strong Women, Strong Gils was selected in the under $2 million in revenue category, beating two strong competitors: Miami Art Museum and URGENT Inc. The six finalists we have chosen all bring light, love and hope to the Miami community and go where others will not, said Sam Tidwell, CEO, American Red Cross, South Florida Region. And while they operate as businesses, they exist for one reason: their specific and particular missions. The NOVO Award gives considerable bragging rights to those businesses chosen as finalists and winners. A cash award is also given to the winner in each category. A closer look at the winners Posse Miami is a part of a nationwide foundation established in 1989 that identifies public high school students with academic and leadership potential that may be overlooked by traditional college selection processes. Posse started because of one student who said he would never have dropped out of college if he had [had] his posse with him, said Nadine Dalrymple, Posse Miami director. That simple idea, of sending a group of students to college together so they can support one another, became the impetus for a program that now has chapters in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York City and Washington, D.C. This year, Posses partner colleges and universities awarded $9 million in scholarships to Miami students. The Posse Miami scholars are high school seniors who have demonstrated extraordinary academic and leadership potential. Strong Women, Strong Girls is a South Florida-based mentoring program that works to empower low-income, at-risk girls in grades 3 5, helping them develop skills that they will need to ensure lifelong success. Their mentors come from colleges located throughout the state. Executive Director Rhea Beck says its all about helping the next generation of women. We are honored to be this years recipient of the NOVO Award, she said. This is really a testament to the dedication and commitment of the college women who dedicate over 12,000 hours of volunteer [service] annually to elementary school girls in Miami-Dade County. They are the backbone of the work that we do. By D. Kevin McNeir kmcneir@miamitimesonline.com