Lavine Dandridge says her favorite memorable moment at Girls Inc. came during one of the many talent shows held in the gym at the Lucille Devore Tucker Center when she and her sister won with a dance routine. Lavine, who started at Girls Inc. (then Girls Club) at age 9, has lots of positive memories from her seven years as a participant—time in the gym and jumping on the trampoline, time in the library and when she and her sister won with a dance routine.
She sums it all up like this:
“It was an unforgettable childhood experience,” she said. “The positive environment, program structure, and upbeat encouragement inspired me to believe in myself and my ability to do anything I chose.”
After graduating high school in 1975, she went on to study accounting and math at Memphis Area Vocational Technical College. After college, she worked for Sears, then for Regions Bank before landing a job as a collection counselor for the Shelby County Tax Collection office. She ended her career at Memphis Area Teachers Credit Union/Orion.
Lavine, whose maiden name is Lee, says her Girls Inc. experiences shaped who she became as an adult. She’s especially grateful for her mentoring relationships with Fannie Belle Burnett, Patricia Howard, and Sherry Burnett Watts. Today, she is proud of the fact that she has been a good mentor to her granddaughter, who graduated Magna Cum Laude from Middle Tennessee State University.
“My time at Girls Inc. helped me to become well-rounded and to not give up when challenged,” she said. “In both my personal and professional life, I have mentored others not to give up on their goals and I try to be a good listener who can provide sound advice.”
During this year of celebrating the 75th anniversary of Girls Inc. of Memphis, stories like Lavine’s highlight just how powerful the Girls Inc. Experience can be—and how grateful we are for supporters like you who make it all possible.
“I am thankful for the staff and leaders at Girls Inc. who provided a safe haven and structured programs and activities,” Lavine said. “The environment at Girls Inc. allowed me to meet new friends and make lasting friendships.”
Girls Inc. Alumna
Participant from 1967 to 1974