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Thirty-One Gifts and its founder and CEO, Cindy Monroe, have not forgotten where they came from.

Now a $516 million business headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Thirty-One got its start in the basement of Monroe’s Chattanooga, Tennessee, home. Through its philanthropic fund, Thirty-One Gives, the company gives back to Chattanooga and the wider community of Hamilton County with an annual academic scholarship for girls.

Thirty-One Gives is now accepting applications for the 2016 Cindy Monroe Values & Vision Scholarship, a $12,400 award distributed in $3,100 increments over four years. The scholarship goes to one local high school junior or senior who embodies Monroe’s core values of building relationships, leadership and community involvement.

“We offer the scholarship in Hamilton County because that’s the community where we got our start and spent our first five years, which for me was a critical time to test the survival of the new business,” Monroe told DSN. “We’re a company with a heart for giving back and sharing the many blessings we’ve received, and we have great gratitude for our hometown community.”

A Chattanooga native, Monroe graduated from the local Hixson High School and was inducted into its Alumni Hall of Fame in 2014. Thirty-One Gifts, known for its fashionable and functional accessories and home products, was based in the area from its inception in 2003 to 2008. The company established the Cindy Monroe Values & Vision Scholarship in 2013, to celebrate 10 years in business.

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