NU Online News Service, May 3, 2004, 12:12 p.m. EDT – Laima Tazmin, a 15-year-old from New York, has won the 2004 Girls Going Places College Scholarship competition.[@@]

Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, New York, sponsors the scholarship contest, which recognizes girls between the ages of 12 and 16 who have demonstrated exceptional entrepreneurship.

Tazmin, who will receive a $10,000 scholarship, is the founder of LAVTweb, a Web development company that has been featured in INC. magazine.

The $5,000 second-place scholarship went to Kenya Jordan James, 13, of East Point, Ga., the founder of Blackgirl Magazine, and the $3,000 third-place scholarship went to Meredith Bayse, 16, of Summit, N.J., the founder of Meredith Bayse L.L.C., an accessory design company.

Guardian also awarded $1,000 scholarships to 12 competition finalists.

Guardian says it received more than 2,000 entries for the 2003-2004 competition.

Adults nominated the competition participants by submitting essays describing the participants’ qualifications. The judges who picked the winners looked for nominees who have demonstrated entrepreneurship or financial acumen; taken the first steps toward financial independence; made a difference in their schools or communities; and shown potential for future success, according to Guardian.

The 2002-2003 first prizewinner, Kelly Drinkwater, runs the Splash store, a student-run organization that she founded during her first year of middle school. She wrote a business plan that included financial projections along with discussions of pricing, distribution and advertising strategies, Guardian says.

The 2001-2002 first prizewinner, Karalynn Forrest, founded a summer camp.