Girls Inc. to witness historic test launch of Orion spacecraft

Six Girls Inc. representatives from across U.S. travel to launch as guests of Lockheed Martin
(PR NewsChannel) / December 1, 2014 / NEW YORK 

Girls Inc., the nonprofit that inspires girls to be strong, smart and bold, will be sending six representatives to the Dec. 4 test launch of NASA’s Orion spacecraft at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. They include Girls Inc. President and CEO Judy Vredenburgh and five leaders from Girls Inc. affiliates who partner with Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] in delivering science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programming to girls. The additional Girls Inc. representatives include:

  • Sonya Ulibarri, Girls Inc. of Metro Denver, President and CEO
  • Natasha Andrews, Girls Inc. of Greater Philadelphia/New Jersey, Interim Executive Director
  • Fanny Villarreal, Girls Inc. of Syracuse and Onondoga County, NY, Executive Director
  • Rita Kirkup, Girls Inc. of Greater Houston, CEO
  • Kristina Fortner, Girls Inc. of Pinellas, Fla., Executive Director

national logoUpon their return home, the women will educate girls on the launch and the roles that women are playing in developing Orion, NASA’s first spacecraft designed for long-duration human deep space exploration. Many Girls Inc. program participants will also be joining in the launch excitement, watching the launch remotely from their local communities.

Girls Inc. and Lockheed Martin recently announced a one-year expansion of their STEM education partnership, which will reach 500 girls ages 9-12 at ten sites nationwide. Throughout the yearlong grant period, Girls Inc. will work with the ten affiliates to offer multiple sessions of Girls Inc.’s Science, Math and Relevant Technology (SMART) Partners program. At each location, Lockheed Martin employee volunteers will act as mentors for program participants.

“Being a part of the Orion test launch with our partners at Lockheed Martin is an absolute thrill,” said Vredenburgh. “More importantly, the experience will allow these five leaders to go home and share with girls they serve how women play an integral role in space exploration today. We are proud to join with Lockheed Martin in opening girls’ eyes to all the possibilities for them in STEM fields.”

“Through the Girls Inc. partnership, Lockheed Martin employees serve as mentors exposing girls to innovative technologies and ideas that help inspire STEM careers,” said Lockheed Martin Director of Corporate Community Relations Emily Simone. “We also understand the value and importance of providing real-life STEM engagement opportunities for the adult educators who help inspire and encourage STEM excitement each day. Lockheed Martin is proud to partner with Girls Inc. and excited to provide the Girls Inc. representatives with a real-world example of science and engineering in action.”

Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor building the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle. Orion will transport humans to interplanetary destinations beyond low Earth orbit, such as asteroids, the moon and eventually Mars, and return them safely back to Earth.

About Girls Inc.

Girls Inc. inspires all girls to be strong, smart and bold, providing more than 138,000 girls across the U.S. and Canada with life-changing experiences and real solutions to the unique issues girls face. Girls Inc. gives girls the right tools and support to succeed, including trained professionals who mentor and guide them in a safe, girls-only environment, peers who share their drive and aspirations, and research-based programming. At Girls Inc., girls learn to set and achieve goals, boldly confront challenges, resist peer pressure, see college as attainable and explore nontraditional fields such as STEM. Informed by the experiences of girls and their families, Girls Inc. works with policymakers to advocate on key legislation and initiatives.

With Girls Inc. in her corner, every girl can be healthy, educated, and independent. Join us at

About Lockheed Martin
Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 113,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation’s net sales for 2013 were $45.4 billion.
Media Contacts:

Cheryl Blowers, Girls Inc.
(212) 509-2000, x237;

John Torrisi, Lockheed Martin
(301) 897-6726;

For additional information on Lockheed Martin, please visit our website:

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SOURCE:  Girls Inc.

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