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QC Teenager Awarded by USA Network for Empowering Girls

A young woman from the Quad Cities is now part of a national media campaign to promote tolerance. Today, USA Network and Mediacom awarded 19-year-old Rock Island native, Jasmine Babers, with its 2014 Characters Unite Award.

The award recognizes people who are promoting acceptance in their communities. Project director, Fred Haug, calls Babers a "role model" for founding Love, GIRLS Magazine to empower girls ages 13 to 19.
The non-profit, quarterly magazine has expanded to Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Washington, and now has over 5,000 readers and 125 contributors.

Babers, now a freshman at Western Illinois University, says the magazine's success has been a community effort.

"Whenever I put a girl on the cover and she says thank you or whenever a parent says 'Thank you,' or whenever you just see a girl open it up and read it and know she's going to get good information, it just makes it all worthwhile."

Babers received a $5,000 grant to continue the magazine. She will also be featured in a Characters Unite public service announcement on USA Network.

She is one of ten recipients across the country, and the second Rock Island resident to receive the award since the program started four years ago. 

Renata Sago is WMFE's general assignment reporter and occasional Morning Edition anchor. She covers everything from major political campaigns and unemployment to civil rights legislation and the performing arts for WMFE and NPR.