Olivia Stinson, a sophomore at Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina was recognized as a 2012 L’Oreal Paris International Woman of Worth. Stinson, a business administration major from Charlotte, was honored for creating the Peers Engaged and Networking (PEN) Pals Book Club for the children of incarcerated parents. At age 13, Stinson used a $500 grant to start the project for children aged 12 to 19. The PEN Pals Book Club has evolved into a full support group for the children of parents who are in prison. She has now added a Be a Reader (BEAR) Book club for children aged 2 to 11. The clubs now not only provide books and other school supplies, but also food and other support. Since the program was established, more than 4,000 children have received benefits from the program.
For winning the Woman of Worth distinction, Stinson’s book clubs will receive a $10,000 contribution from L’Oreal Paris.