Girls Inc. Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Girls_Inc.

Girls Inc.
Girls Inc Logo and Tagline.jpg
Formation1864; 158 years ago (1864)
TypeNon-Profit Organization
OriginsWaterbury, Connecticut
Area served
United States of America
Key people
Stephanie Hull, President & CEO[1]
8.449 million USD
Formerly called
Girls Club of America

Girls Inc. (established in 1864) is a United States 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that encourages all girls to be "Strong, Smart, and Bold" through direct service and advocacy. The organization equips girls with the skills to navigate through economic, gender, and social barriers and to grow up as independent individuals. It is one of the longest continuously operating organizations offering girls-only programming.[2]


The Girls Inc. (Girls Club of America) movement was founded in 1864 in Waterbury, Connecticut. The organization's mission was to help young women who had migrated from rural communities in search of job opportunities experiencing upheaval in the aftermath of the Civil War.[3][4] In 1945, fourteen charter Girls Clubs joined together to form a national organization.[5] In 1990 the Girls Club of America changed their name to Girls Incorporated.[5] Across the decades, they adapted to meet specific environmental challenges girls and young women faced, working in partnership with schools and communities.[5]

Founders and creator[edit]

There were many people who helped and contributed to the start of Girls Inc, but the most recognized person is Rachel Harris Johnson.[6] In 1919, she became secretary of the Worcester Girls Club, which her mother helped found.[6] She later became the club's president and in 1945 formed a national organization and served as its first president until 1952.[6] Johnson died at the age of 95 in a nursing home.[6]

Local affiliates[edit]

The first girls club opened in 1864 and has been nationally recognized since 1945. Girls Inc. has a network of local organizations in the United States and Canada. Affiliates are found across the United States and Canada.[7] Girls Inc. recently reached Chicago, launching a Girls Inc. of Chicago local organization.[8]


Girls, Inc. is governed by a dual governance structure, which is made up of the National Council and the National Board. The president and CEO of Girls, Inc. is Stephanie Hull, Prior to joining Girls, Inc., she had been Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.[1] She succeeded Judy Vredenburgh, who had been at Girls, Inc. since 2010.[9]

The National Council generally makes decisions concerning the purpose, goals, and public policies of the organization. Generally there are almost 300 voting members, but rarely do even most of them come to the meeting. They also elect the National Board, the officers of the Council and the Board Development Committee. They also vote to amend the bylaws of the organization, which requires a two-thirds majority. The council meets every two years and at least 75 delegates must be present for the meeting to be called to order 45 days before each council meeting, the agenda and items to be voted upon are sent out.[citation needed][10]

The National Board must have at least twenty but no more than forty members. The board includes five officers, eight regional representatives, and up to 27 members at-large. The President/CEO is a voting member of the board. It meets four times a year with the spring meeting being the annual meeting. Eleven members in attendance constitute a quorum. The board acts like the executive committee of a corporation.[10]

Notable supporters[edit]

In September 2006, Warren Buffett auctioned his Lincoln Town Car to support Girls Inc. The vehicle sold for $73,200 on eBay.[11] In 2015, Warren Buffett auctioned his Cadillac to support Girls Inc., which sold for $122,500.00 on Proxibid.com.[12][13]

In March 2017, Hillary Clinton was named as the "Champion for Girls" by Girls Inc. at their 2017 New York Luncheon.[14]

In February 2013 the DPR Foundation gave the Girls Inc. of Orange County a $30,000 check. The Girls Inc. organization admired the donation and explained how much of an impact it would make for further purchases.[15]

Partner companies[edit]

Girls Inc. join in efforts with partner companies that help create positive change for women. The companies do this through selling jewelry to raise money or simply giving donations. Some of Girls Inc.’s partner companies include Dove, Cummins,[16] Freeform, Business Wire, Motorola Foundation, American Chemical Society, NPower, Adventures of the Mind, Nonprofit VOTE and Space Science Laboratory.[17]

A venture with the American Girl Dolls collection in 2005 generated controversy among fundamentalist Christians. The American Family Association urged its members to demand that American Girl halt support for Girls Inc., accusing it of being "a pro-abortion, pro-lesbian advocacy group."[18]

Awards and acknowledgements[edit]

Girls Inc. has received a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator,[19] and a "Platinum" status from GuideStar.[20][21]


In 1970s, the organization developed a number of programs in six main areas: 1) careers and life planning, 2) health and sexuality, 3) leadership and community action, 4) sports and adventure, 5) self-reliance and life skills, and 6) culture and heritage.[22] As of 2019, it had the following programs:

  • National Scholars Program - offers scholarships to female high school seniors graduating from affiliate high schools located throughout the U.S. and Canada.[23]
  • Eureka! Program - combines intensive summer camp experiences in STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) with school-year seminars, field trips, speakers, and activities.[24] Launched in 2010 and funded by Clinton Foundation,[25] it is supported by several universities and corporations.[26][27]
  • Economic Literacy - teaches girls about money management and financial independence.[28]
  • Friendly PEERsuasion - helps girls ages 11 to 14 acquire knowledge, skills, and support systems to avoid substance use (harmful substances such as alcohol, tobacco, household chemicals, etc.).[29]
  • Leadership and Community Action
  • Media Literacy
  • Operation SMART
  • Preventing Adolescent Pregnancy
  • Project Bold - a violence-prevention and self-defense program.[30]
  • Bold Futures - after school mentoring program.[31]
  • Girls Inc. Sporting Champs


  1. ^ a b Prest, M.J. (March 15, 2019). "Caterpillar Foundation and Girls Inc. Announce New Presidents (Transitions)". philanthropy.com. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  2. ^ Peppler, Kylie, ed. (2017). "Girl's Programming". The SAGE Encyclopedia of Out-of-School Learning. SAGE Publications. p. 328. ISBN 978-1-4833-8521-1 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ Kimball, Gayle (2017). Brave: Young Women's Global Revolution. Vol. 2. Equality Press. p. 15. ISBN 978-0-938795-57-5 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ Austin, Michael J., ed. (2013). Organizational Histories of Nonprofit Human Service Organizations. Routledge. p. 69. ISBN 978-0-415-62179-3 – via Google Books.
  5. ^ a b c Johnston Nicholson, Heather; Maschino, Mary F. (2001). "Strong, Smart, and Bold Girls: The Girls Incorporated Approach to Education". Fordham Urban Law Journal. 29 (2). Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  6. ^ a b c d "Rachel H. Johnson, 95; Founder of Girls Clubs". The New York Times. August 10, 1983. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  7. ^ "Girls Inc.: USA and Canada | Girls Inc". www.girlsinc.org. Retrieved July 31, 2017.
  8. ^ "Newsviews: Girls Inc. coming to Chicago". ABC7 Chicago. July 1, 2017. Retrieved July 31, 2017.
  9. ^ "How Did I Get Here? Judy Vredenburgh". Retrieved July 12, 2017 – via www.bloomberg.com.
  10. ^ a b Girls Inc (October 5, 2017). "Governance Structure" (PDF).
  11. ^ "Warren Buffett, used car salesman?". NBC News. February 13, 2007. Retrieved June 25, 2010.
  12. ^ Rosenfeld, Everett. "Want to drive like a billionaire? Here's how". CNBC. CNBC. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
  13. ^ Valdez-Dapena, Peter. "Warren Buffett's Cadillac Sells for $122,500". CNN Money. CNN. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
  14. ^ "Hillary Clinton Speaks at the Girls Inc. Luncheon". Fortune. March 8, 2017. Retrieved June 14, 2017.
  15. ^ Nosler, Peter. "$30,000 Check Presented to Girls Inc. by DPR Foundation". dpr construction. Retrieved July 12, 2017.
  16. ^ "Cummins, Inc. partners with Girls Inc. to accelerate gender equality". Girls Inc. April 26, 2018. Retrieved May 1, 2019.
  17. ^ "SMD Education :: Five Stars Pathway: Engaging Girls in Science through Multigenerational Mentors". smdepo.org. Retrieved June 8, 2022.
  18. ^ "Conservative Groups Threaten to Boycott a Hit Doll's Maker". Associated Press. October 16, 2005. Retrieved April 2, 2019 – via The New York Times.
  19. ^ "Charity Navigator – Rating for Girls Inc". Charity Navigator. Retrieved July 12, 2017.
  20. ^ "Girls Incorporated - GuideStar Profile". www.guidestar.org. Retrieved June 7, 2022.
  21. ^ Noozhawk. "Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara Empowers Girls in an Equitable Society". www.noozhawk.com. Retrieved June 10, 2022.
  22. ^ Gouin, Rachel (2008). "Girl-Centered Programs". In Mitchell, Claudia; Reid-Walsh, Jacqueline (eds.). Girl Culture: An Encyclopedia. Vol. 1. Greenwood Press. p. 318. ISBN 978-0-313-33909-7 – via Google Books.
  23. ^ "National Scholar Heads to New York". Santa Barbara Independent. February 14, 2017. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  24. ^ "Girls Inc. hires new director for Lincoln expansion". Lincoln Journal Star. February 1, 2019. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  25. ^ "Girls Inc. Eureka!: STEM Career Development for Girls". Clinton Foundation. 2019. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  26. ^ Harry, Lou (February 8, 2019). "2019 Forty Under 40: Elyssa Campodonico-Barr". Indianapolis Business Journal. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  27. ^ Whitney, Lauren (December 21, 2018). "'Unique Experience': Eureka Program Gives Girls Training For STEM Careers". CBS4 Denver. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  28. ^ Axtell, Brooke Elise (August 22, 2011). "Breaking Free From Economic Abuse: How Women are Reclaiming Their Financial Freedom". Forbes. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  29. ^ Lunghofer, Lisa; Williams, Weston (2016). "Evaluation of Friendly PEERsuasion" (PDF). National Criminal Justice Reference Service. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  30. ^ Brettman, Allan (April 15, 2014). "Nike Employee Grant Fund announces $250,000 in grants for 25 local nonprofits". The Oregonian. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  31. ^ Heim, Janet (April 1, 2019). "Girls Inc. mentoring program shaping Bold Futures". The Herald-Mail. Retrieved April 2, 2019.

External links[edit]