By Gayle Converse
Anne Ball McCarthy (McCarty) was 21 years old when she married one of Alexandria’s founding fathers, William Ramsay, in 1743. Anne would go on to become one of the most effective and revered financial supporters of the American Revolution.
In 1796, Ona Judge, an enslaved personal maid to Martha Washington, was only in her early 20s when she made a daring and successful escape to freedom.
After attending the Arlington Institute for Girls in Alexandria, Katherine Waller, at age 19, married Rev. Robert Barrett in 1876. Among her many accomplishments, Kate Waller Barrett would eventually be asked to run for Governor of Virginia, an honor she turned down.
Throughout the past three centuries, Alexandria’s young women have been making their mark.
According to the 2020 United States Census, almost 52% of our city’s population is female. Today 18% of Alexandria’s residents are under 18 years of age.
To recognize Alexandria’s present and future female leaders, Alexandria Celebrates Women will honor six deserving young women with its 2023 Alexandria Celebrates Women Awards.
This year’s ceremony will be held June 28 at the Athenaeum. All proceeds will benefit the Alexandria Domestic Violence Safehouse.
“We are so proud to show- case these young future leaders. Each is extraordinary in their own amazing personal contributions,” ACW President Pat Miller said.
“We have a very special night planned to honor these six young ladies. Metro Voices, the women’s choir affiliated with the Alexandria Harmonizers, will be perform- ing. Delegate Elizabeth Bennett-Parker will honor the girls by serving as emcee for the event,” Miller added.
Alexandria Celebrates Women empowers women of the past, present and future. From the following resumes, it appears to be an easy task this year.
Alexandria Celebrates Women 2023 Award Winners
Betty is a student at Alexandria City High School with a GPA greater than 4.4 and membership in four honor societies. She serves as co-president of the Alexandria Art Honor Society, captain of the field hockey team and is an active member of GirlUp. She has served as the Alexandria Commission for the Arts student representation and is an accomplished artist.
Eliza is a student at Alexandria City High School and has a passion for music and song writing. She founded an all- girl band named Indigo. Eliza is a member of the National Honor Society, the French Honor Society and the Musicians Club. She has donated her time to Volunteer Alexandria and helped provide meals for the Carpenter’s Shelter.
Elizabeth is a recipient of the Alexandria Library Love of Country award. At school, she is an admissions advisor, a theater critic, a leader of the performing arts board and serves as a tutor to younger students. Elizabeth has organized summer camps with a concentration on the arts for neighborhood children. Among other contributions to her community, she donates her babysitting money to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.
Zahra Rahimi serves on Alexandria’s Children, Youth, and Families Collaborative Commission, where she has produced and led training on youth-adult partnerships. She was appointed as the first student representative of the Alexandria School Board by the International Academy. She has partnered with the Sub- stance Abuse Prevention Coalition for a recent messaging campaign. Zahra volunteers with the Afghan community.
Ariana excels academically and volunteers her time and resources to organizations that serve those in need. She mentors younger members and helps to plan and organize events for the Boys and Girls Club. Through her commitment to community service, Ariana has proven to be a role model making a significant impact in her community.
Sarah is the student representative on the Alexandria Commission for Women where she has been a member of the Commission’s Reproductive Rights Subcommittee. She developed a resource hand out regarding sexual and reproductive health services for the Teen Wellness Center. Sarah worked with ACPS to ensure the free menstrual product dispensers were filled at Alexandria City High School.