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Ivy Prep girls to see inauguration
Founder to use grant for field trip to Washington

NORCROSS - The founder of an all-girls charter school said she plans to use a $10,000 grant to help fund the school's first out-of-state field trip to the inauguration of the 44th president.

Nina Gilbert, the head of Ivy Preparatory Academy, is one of 10 national recipients of the 2008 Maybelline New York Beauty of Education Awards, which recognizes women who use education to motivate, mentor and make a difference in their communities, according to a news release.

Although Ivy Prep has many operational and instructional financial needs, Gilbert said she wants the girls to have real-life experiences that have long-lasting educational and historical significance. That's why she plans to use the grant to help take the sixth-graders to Washington, D.C., in January.

"We don't know how close we can get the girls to see the actual swearing-in ceremony, but we felt that it was important to do whatever we could to get them as close as possible, so that when students read about this inauguration years from now, they can say, 'I was there,'" Gilbert said.

Ivy Prep opened in August in Norcross with about 160 sixth-graders. The school plans to offer sixth through 12th grades, with subsequent grade levels being added a year at a time.

"Every day that I work with my students, teachers, staff and parents, I feel truly blessed," Gilbert said. "It is so humbling and exciting to be rewarded and recognized for the work that I know I was created to do."

In addition to the $10,000 grant, Ivy Prep will have the opportunity to be showcased in a national advertisement in Essence magazine.

"Maybelline New York knows that education opens eyes - and doors," said David Greenberg, president of Maybelline New York-Garnier. "I am impressed with our Beauty of Education award winner Nina Gilbert for her commitment to pushing more of those doors open through her work with Ivy Preparatory Academy. As a company, we couldn't be more proud to honor Nina and support her efforts."

Gilbert will be honored Dec. 4 at a gala awards dinner at the New York Public Library in New York City.