NU Online News Service, Sept. 13, 2004, 1:33 p.m. EDT

The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, New York, has announced its fifth annual Girls Going Places College Scholarship Program.[@@]

The program, which is part of the Guardian’s Women’s Initiative, recognizes girls between the ages of 12 and 18 who demonstrate exceptional entrepreneurship.

Guardian will offer three top scholarship prizes for $10,000, $5,000 and $3,000, and 12 finalist prizes of $1,000 each.

Guardian is asking adults to nominate candidates by submitting essays that explain why the girls deserve the scholarships.

A panel of judges will award scholarships to nominees who have demonstrated entrepreneurship or financial acumen; have taken the first steps toward financial independence; make a difference in their schools or communities; and show potential for future success.

Entries for the 2004-2005 competition are due Feb. 25, 2005.

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

The 2003-2004 first prizewinner, Laima Tazmin, founded LAVTweb, a Web development company that has been featured in INC. magazine.

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.