Aug 20, 2021

Girls Inc. Update: Your Investment at Work

Our family fled war-torn Syria when we were eight, first moving to Egypt and then arriving in the United States when we were 13. As refugees, we often felt like outsiders at school. However, thanks to Girls Inc. and supporters like you, we found a supportive community where we were embraced for who we are and could share our cultural background.

Sisters Hala (left) and Zena (right)

We have always shared an interest in the medical fields, and Girls Inc.’s career exploration opportunities helped us decide to pursue careers in dentistry. This fall, we will attend Monterey Peninsula College and major in biological sciences as a pre-dental pathway, with the goal of one day earning Doctorates in Dental Medicine. We want to help alleviate the health issues of refugees and to treat patients in low-income communities.

Zena: Girls Inc. was a game changer. In the welcoming all-girls environment at Girls Inc., I felt engaged and encouraged to ask questions. Girls Inc. taught me that my voice is powerful and can inspire change.

Hala: At Girls Inc., I developed curiosity and a craving for independence that allowed me to set ambitious goals. I realized that being a woman is a blessing.

Thanks to your continued support, Girls Inc. is a game changer for us both, and for tens of thousands of other girls.


Zena & Hala
2021 Girls Inc. National Scholars

Apr 26, 2021

Girls Inc. Update: Your Investment at Work

As a student attending Girls Inc. of New York City’s programs at my high school, I dreamed of becoming a nurse like my aunt. My Girls Inc. experience—made possible by supporters like you—affirmed that all girls are strong, smart, and bold. Twenty years later, I’m proud and grateful to be a Nurse Practitioner on my way to earning my doctorate in nursing while helping with the COVID-19 response.

Thanks to scholarships from Girls Inc. and Syracuse University, I was the first in my family to go to college. My mom and grandma worked extremely hard to provide for our family, and I like to think I inherited their go-getter attitudes. For example, I went back to school for my Masters of Science in Nursing from New York University while working 12-hour hospital shifts and planning my wedding. 

When the pandemic hit New York City last year, I was assigned to a unit for patients who needed either palliative or rehabilitative care. This combination meant that, alongside the grief of delivering painful news to families, I also cried happy tears with our recovering patients as they regained the ability to eat, walk, and reunite with their loved ones. We held ribbon-cuttings each time a patient went home. 

Nothing could have prepared my colleagues and me for the past year’s losses, but as medical professionals, we relied on our training in collaboration and leadership to care for our patients. To prepare the next generation for tomorrow’s challenges, we need to invest in their leadership capacity. It is vital that girls who dream of going into healthcare—or any field—have the skills and mentoring relationships that Girls Inc. builds. Thank you for making this possible through your ongoing support of Girls Inc.

To the next generations of Girls Inc. girls: never let someone else set limits on who you can become and never give up on your dreams. To our loyal supporters like you, I want to say thank you for believing in us, and for helping Girls Inc. inspire us to believe in ourselves.




Nurse Practitioner

Girls Inc. National Scholar & Alumna

Dec 30, 2020

Your Investment at Work: Girls Inc. Update

Thanks to your support, Girls Inc. works hard every day to elevate the voices of girls, to bring their needs to the attention of policy makers, and to tackle the societal barriers that stand in the way of their success.

Not only do we advocate on behalf of girls, but we also give girls opportunities to discover their voices and lead advocacy efforts in their own communities. We help girls identify the issues they care about most, research possible solutions, and take steps to make their vision a reality. 

This summer, a group of Girls Inc. girls and alumnae in Carpinteria, CA petitioned to make their high school’s curriculum more inclusive and culturally diverse. Despite some initial resistance, the girls persisted and convinced the school board to approve a new ethnic literature course. Ana, a Girls Inc. of Carpinteria alumna and National Scholar, said: “I grew up for 12 years with Girls Inc., and I now see myself using the advocacy skills that I learned throughout my time there.”

Learning to identify and advocate for their views and their communities is not unique to the girls in Carpinteria—it’s an essential part of something we call the Girls Inc. Experience. In fact, the American Institutes for Research recently found that Girls Inc. girls are more likely than their peers to exhibit strong leadership skills and see themselves as leaders, to believe in their ability to contribute in their community, and to stand up for fairness and their own beliefs.

As a young woman, I went to law school because I wanted to make the world a better place. What I find so gratifying about my work at Girls Inc. is the opportunity to advocate for policy and culture change while also inspiring the next generation of leaders and helping them to be civically engaged.

When you support Girls Inc., you are investing in girls’ potential to advance change for themselves, their peers, and future generations of girls. I urge you to make a gift today. With your support, Girls Inc. will continue to advocate for girls and strengthen their capacity to lead. This is what holds the greatest potential for long-term change.


Lara S. Kaufmann, J.D.

Director of Public Policy

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