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Harrison Teen Earns Recognition From Tarrytown's Volunteer Center

Harrison's Mary Grace Henry an award from The Volunteer Center of United Way on April 24.
Harrison's Mary Grace Henry an award from The Volunteer Center of United Way on April 24. Photo Credit: Contributed

HARRISON, N.Y. – Mary Grace Henry of Harrison will receive the New York Life Youth Leader Award at The Volunteer Center’s 34th annual Volunteer Spirit Awards on Thursday, April 24, at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel in Tarrytown.

The Volunteer Center of United Way will honor nine individuals and groups at the dinner.  Broadcast journalist Lou Young will emcee the event, which begins at 8 a.m.

Henry will be recognized for volunteerism with Reverse the Course Foundation. Henry makes hair accessories, sells them online and donates the proceeds to Reverse the Course. The charity helps girls in under-developed communities attend schools. Since starting the charity in 2009, Henry has funded 94 years of tuition, board, uniforms and textbooks for 35 girls.

“Buy a ribbon and change a life” is the tagline for Reverse the Course. Henry  learned to sew a reversible headband and, with around 50 of them, she first tried to sell them at her school bookstore.  Finding a real market for them and her goal to use sales towards her foundation, Mary Grace now has over 300 different hair accessories which she sells at boutiques, sidewalk sales and in stores in seven states as well as online.  T

Aided by her school’s emphasis on community service, Henry says that is where she learned about the barriers to education experienced by girls in Uganda.  “Knowing that you can help at least one person who will, hopefully, inspire other girls to go to school is really what Reverse the Course is about,” Henry said. Having surpassed her original goal to finance one girl’s education, her next goal is to sponsor 100 girls through all of secondary school. 

The complete list of honorees at the annual breakfast is The Volunteer Center's website.

Individual ticket prices for the 2014 Volunteer Spirit Awards are $75 per person ($150 for a Friend ticket, with journal recognition), and sponsorship packages and journal advertising rates are available.  All proceeds benefit The Volunteer Center’s work to promote volunteerism. 

For further information about reservations or to place a congratulatory ad in the souvenir journal, contact Allison Chader at The Volunteer Center by phone at 914-227-9307, e-mail or visit

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