Irene Lewis, a junior at Runnels High School, attended the recent 2014 Cinderella Project Leadership Academy, an intensive three-day college preparation workshop for girls in 10th through 12th grades.

Twenty of the 60 applicants from across the state were chosen to participate in the workshop, a news release from the school said.

Hosted by the Cinderella Project and the LSU Office of Equity, Diversity and Community Outreach, the workshop, on Oct. 15-17, taught students how to complete applications correctly. Sessions focused on applying for college, securing financial aid and scholarships and preparing for the ACTs, the release said.

Students stayed on the LSU campus, visited the LSU Admissions Office, met college-aged student mentors and learned about campus clubs, organizations and activities.

They also toured the state capitol and had lunch at the Governor’s Mansion, where students met Louisiana legislators and representatives of Red River Bank.

“The legislators told us how important we are in the legislative process,” Lewis said. The bankers, she added, shared insights about the financial aspects of college and money management.

Students also met with ExxonMobil representatives to learn about career opportunities in science.

The workshop ended with a graduation ceremony. Each student received a $500 college scholarship and a $38 stipend to cover the cost of an ACT test, the release said.

Lewis, who plans to use the insights she gained at the workshop to apply to Tuskegee University and Florida A&M, said she enjoyed the workshop and felt it was worthwhile. A bonus, she said, was getting to meet so many new people: “I made some great friends,” she said.