GLOW Academy’s Graduating Class Earns $1.7M in Merit Scholarships

2023 marks first graduating class for North Carolina’s only single gender charter school

Wilmington, NC – January 12, 2023 -- The first graduating class of the Girls Leadership Academy of Wilmington, GLOW Academy, has set a high bar for North Carolina’s only single gender charter school earning $1.7 million, and counting, in merit scholarships. The achievement, announced today at the school’s inaugural senior breakfast, was celebrated as an important measure of success for the school that opened in 2016 with a mission to provide a rigorous college preparatory curriculum for students from diverse backgrounds who are generally the first in their family to attend college. Seventy-two percent of GLOW’s Class of 2023, most of whom started at GLOW in the 6th grade, are first generation college attendees. The event was attended by GLOW’s senior class, GLOW Founder Judy Girard, GLOW faculty, student families, and supporters of the school. The announcement was made by Jahleese Hadley, GLOW Academy’s Director of College Access.

“The vision for GLOW has always been ‘She will graduate, go to college and succeed in life’,” said Ms. Hadley. “Our students have worked so hard; this is a tremendous moment and measure of their commitment and potential. We are so proud of them.” Ms. Hadley leads GLOW’s College Access program which includes college tours, visits from college admissions counselors, and one-on-one guidance throughout the middle and high school years to help students build a competitive college application. Importantly, GLOW’s College Access staff will continue to connect with graduates and offer support to assure social, emotional and academic achievement into their college years.

Financial need-based scholarships are still to be awarded; GLOW Academy’s enrollment is weighted for underserved communities, so this figure will be important for determining college attendance. Other measures of achievement thus far for GLOW’s Class of 2023 include:

  • 94% students have applied for college
  • 84% have received acceptance to at least 1 college
  • 363 applications have been submitted to 136 colleges
  • On average, students have applied to approximately 7 schools
  • 126 acceptances to 45 colleges
  • Highest award: $116,000 (29K a year)
  • Average award: $50,000 ($12.5K a year)
  • 1 Student admitted to UNC Pembroke Honors College 
  • 4 East Carolina University admitted applicants have been invited to apply for ECU Honors College based on their competitive record. 
  • 1 Louisiana State University admitted applicant has been invited to apply for Ogden Honors College based on her competitive record.
  • 1 Applicant awaiting decision for Park Scholarship (full scholarship to NC State)
  • PEO International Star Scholarship National Finalists


GLOW Academy is now accepting applications for the 2023-2024 school year, for rising sixth through ninth grades. A free summer leadership camp will be available for a limited number of rising fifth grade girls in June. Breakfast, lunch, snacks and transportation are provided for free for GLOW Academy and its summer leadership camp. For more information about school enrollment or summer camp applications, visit or call 910-338-5258. 

ABOUT GLOW ACADEMY: The Girls Leadership Academy of Wilmington is North Carolina's only single gender public charter school. The school opened in August 2016, with its inaugural sixth grade class, adding a new sixth grade each successive academic year.  With a focus on providing a single-sex educational choice for students from predominately underserved communities who are often the first in their families to attend college, the 6th thru 12th grade school is part of a nationwide network of 21 groundbreaking and successful single-gender schools.  This Young Women’s Leadership Network is guided by a proven educational model focused on academic rigor, personal responsibility, leadership and college preparedness.   At GLOW Academy, she will: graduate, go to college and succeed in life. For more information about GLOW Academy, visit or on Facebook at

4100 Sunglow Drive, Wilmington, NC 28405
910.338.5258 x105
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