August 7, 2014 10:53:16 AM
Lynn Phillips-Gaines, founder and former President of the Board of Starkville Bridges Out of Poverty in Starkville, Mississippi, has been announced as one of the 15 finalists in the eighth annual Invest in Others Community Leadership Awards. She is one of three finalists in the Volunteer of the Year Award category. The Invest in Others Charitable Foundation established the Community Leadership Awards to support the philanthropic and volunteer activities of financial advisors. Financial advisors from across the nation are nominated by their peers for exemplifying outstanding leadership qualities in the industry and actively volunteering to improve their communities and make a difference in the lives of others.
The mission of Starkville Bridges Out of Poverty (Starkville Bridges) is to eradicate poverty in Oktibbeha County by providing education and resources for people in poverty to transition into the middle-class. Programs include a 16-session class called Getting Ahead in a Just Gettin' By World, and Building Bridges for Kids, where college students are trained to act as volunteer mentors to children between the ages of 3 and 15. Ms. Phillips-Gaines is a Certified Trainer of the Bridges Out of Poverty program and volunteered approximately 4,700 hours to develop the program in Starkville, establishing a Board of Directors, obtaining 501(c)(3) status, holding two major fundraisers, adding a full-time administrator and several part-time employees to her payroll, and providing a suite of offices, telephones, office supplies and computers for the nonprofit's use. As Starkville's Bridges has matured, Ms. Phillips-Gaines also has inspired four other Mississippi communities to launch Bridges Out of Poverty programs.
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