Bringing the Girls Inc. experience to more girls

by Girls Inc.
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Bringing the Girls Inc. experience to more girls
Bringing the Girls Inc. experience to more girls
Bringing the Girls Inc. experience to more girls
Bringing the Girls Inc. experience to more girls
Bringing the Girls Inc. experience to more girls
Bringing the Girls Inc. experience to more girls
Bringing the Girls Inc. experience to more girls
Bringing the Girls Inc. experience to more girls
Bringing the Girls Inc. experience to more girls
Bringing the Girls Inc. experience to more girls
Bringing the Girls Inc. experience to more girls
Bringing the Girls Inc. experience to more girls
Bringing the Girls Inc. experience to more girls
Bringing the Girls Inc. experience to more girls
Bringing the Girls Inc. experience to more girls

Perhaps no other election season focused this much attention on the treatment and perception of women in society. While we made history with the first woman on the ballot as a major political party candidate for President, we also grapple with a disheartening reality: the barriers women and girls face on the street, in schools, and in the workplace are real and profound.

The gender bias and sexism we’ve witnessed this election year go beyond political affiliation or sides of the aisle. At Girls Inc., we have a moral obligation to address and try to improve girls’ rights and opportunities. Just as we teach our girls to speak up and advocate for themselves, we must do the same.

We advocate for policies that are central to the well-being of girls and women. We must teach girls the power of making a difference through government and exercising the right to vote. And importantly, we must work to change the attitudes and beliefs concerning the abilities and potential of every girl.

We envision a culture where girls can express themselves freely and pursue political leadership – or whatever path they choose; where no girl ever hesitates to report sexual assault or wishes she had just remained silent; where we strike down the notion that “boys will be boys” and where casual talk about sexual assault is not tolerated.

Because you stand with us, we can all stand with girls.  

Your investment in Girls Inc. - which fuels our growth in delivering high-impact, life changing experiences to girls around the country - has positioned us to enjoy a remarkable year thus far. Indeed, you join some of the country’s leading philanthropists and change agents in their support of our efforts to significantly expand our service to girls. The S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation awarded us an extraordinary $10 million grant and challenged us to meet their investment - a goal that, just five months after launching, we are 70% of the way to fulfilling. We were elated to receive a $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to expand our mentoring efforts with girls who are most at risk for becoming involved in the juvenile justice system. And, a longtime donor invested $1 million in Girls Inc., a very significant increase from last year.

As I reflect on these remarkable past few months, I am challenged by all that girls are witnessing in the media and the messages that we continue to encounter. But I am also inspired by what we are poised to achieve together. With you in our corner, we can equip more girls to defy limitations and stereotypes, graduate from college, achieve economic independence and break the cycle of poverty. Together, we will create a world in which girls are ready to become women who contribute fully to a promising future.

In this season of giving thanks, I am deeply moved by our entire donor community and you who make this work possible.

 

Warm regards,

Judy Vredenburgh

President & CEO

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As adults, it is difficult to process the violence we’ve witnessed around the world in the last days and weeks. It’s hard to explain violence, tragedy, and injustice, but these are the times when our young people need us most in their lives.

We are all grateful to you - our donor community - for your support that enables us to be present in the lives of girls, to provide them with caring and trusted mentors and a safe haven. We feel a great responsibility to create a positive place for girls to process what they are thinking and feeling and find an outlet for their desires to make things better.

As we work together to address the broader challenges we face as a society, we redouble our efforts to be a part of the solution. With you, we know that we can.

In my previous reports to you, I shared our bold goal for the future, which animates and guides our work:

Girls Inc. is the leading advocate in advancing rights and opportunities for all girls. Each year, we employ a proven, dynamic model to empower 250,000 girls from low-income communities to discover their strengths and thrive.

We envision a world where every girl values her whole self, discovers her innate abilities, can push past obstacles, and achieve her goals; a world where Girls Inc. plays a tangible role in closing the gender gap, increasing girls’ abilities to navigate social, economic, racial, and other interconnected barriers.

Vision is important. Action is imperative.

For as many girls who have trusting relationships with mentors at Girls Inc., there are tens of thousands more we want to reach. For as many girls who are empowered to change their lives and set a positive path for themselves, there are tens of thousands more who would benefit from the holistic way in which Girls Inc. works with girls... We recognize that girls need individual attention, and a variety of skills and possible paths to college and career. With the successful completion of our last five-year, network-wide strategic plan, Girls Inc. is ready to dramatically accelerate our growth as both advocates for all girls and direct service providers.

As we begin our new plan, we will be making strategic investments directly in our network, to expand into new communities or deepen our presence in current communities, to help more girls break the cycle of poverty. In keeping with our core values, these grants will have clear metrics and accountability tied to them. We also will focus on developing local strategies to successfully sustain this funding, after the initial infusion from our Growth Capital Campaign. We aim to invest significantly in about three-quarters of our local Girls Inc. programs, building their capacity to expand the highest level of service to girls. Together, the Girls Inc. network will double the number of girls who receive the intensive, holistic, long-term supports needed to thrive. We are confident we can achieve this because of all that your past support has enabled us to accomplish already.

With each of my reports to you on the impact of your giving, I hope you take pride in what we are achieving together, and understand the care we take in stewarding your gifts in ways that make a lasting and tangible difference at Girls Inc. With this report, I hope you also know how grateful I am personally to have you as a partner, as we all work to bend the arc of history toward justice.

Warm regards,

Judy Vredenburgh

President & CEO

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Ekra, Girls Inc. National Scholar
Ekra, Girls Inc. National Scholar

I was ashamed of who I was. Most days when the bell would ring, I would take my lunch in the bathroom and eat in the stall, alone. I believed my presence in the world didn’t matter to anyone. But Girls Inc. helped me to slowly replace that doubt with hope. For 12 years, Girls Inc. has been my safe haven.”

When Ekra shared those wrenching and powerful words with the 800 people assembled at our 2016 New York Luncheon, I was reminded once more of why we serve girls in the distinctive way we do. Ekra needed a haven where her psychological, social, academic and practical needs could be met; luckily, she had Girls Inc. Now she is poised to be the first in her family to graduate from high school this June and will go on to study computer science in college.  

Each year, our National Scholars - and the dozens of other applicants for these funds - represent what happens when Girls Inc. is there to meet each of the challenges that a girl might have:  girls are equipped to overcome hurdles, thrive and become leaders in adulthood. The earliest scholars are now well established in their careers and giving back to their own communities.

As we look forward together, we know that the need to reach girls growing up in poverty is great. And we know how to create lasting change for girls, lifting up our collective voices on behalf of policy changes. With the creation of our new strategic plan, we are now ready to embrace our new Bold Goal: Girls Inc. will be the leading advocate to advance the rights and opportunities for all girls and that each year through a proven, dynamic model, we will empower a quarter of a million girls from low income communities to discover their strengths and thrive.

The coming years will bring a period of change to Girls Inc. but we are energized by the opportunities ahead of us. Our new strategic plan, which will guide us to 2020, calls for a network-wide commitment to a disciplined, data-driven approach to serving girls, measuring the change we make in their lives and in running our business. We will also be redoubling our efforts to partner with others, expanding our impact:  finding program partners with whom we create a larger collective impact, and funding partners to make network-wide investments to jumpstart expansion and build high performing, growing and sustainable organizations.

By 2020 we are determined to serve at least 100,000 girls with the deep, intensive, holistic Girls Inc. Experience, setting the standard for what it takes to break the cycle of poverty for girls.

We are energized by the work we have accomplished and that yet to come as we work together to ensure that all girls like Ekra know that their presence in the world matters a great deal. Thank you for ensuring that more girls like Ekra grow up strong, smart, and bold.

Warm regards,

Judy Vredenburgh

President & CEO

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At Girls Inc., we are committed to bringing the life-changing Girls Inc. Experience to more girls. Jennifer is just one example of the type of girl your gift will be used to inspire. Thank you for being in her corner.

Jennifer, Girls Inc. of Orange County Alumna:

“I know people may try to hurt me, their wrongs will become my obstacles. But I will persevere. I can’t change what happened. But I will change the world for girls, especially my younger sister and other Latinas.”

Jennifer comes from a family where a typical day includes her father working all day and her mother taking care of the laundry, cleaning, and cooking at home, with the expectation that dinner would be on the table when her father arrives home from work. Jennifer got the message from family members that she needed to learn these same skills to get a husband. At Girls Inc., Jennifer recognized the importance of an education and knew she could be a strong female role models for other girls in her family to pursue different careers paths.

In high school, Jennifer began attending Girls Inc., where her eyes were opened to new possibilities and she was exposed to women leaders in everything from law to physics. In addition to new dreams, she received the tools to get there, including how to write a resume, dress professionally, and shake someone’s hand. There, Jennifer also met a female mechanical engineer who shared how engineering can make ideas come to life. Girls Inc. was soon her favorite part of the day.

But the most life-changing experience was one she didn’t predict.

As a teen, she experienced violence – like far too many girls. Initially, Jennifer held it in and blamed herself. It was only after she had attended Girls Inc. for a couple of years that she began to open up, knowing that the staff and other girls would listen and be supportive. Jennifer learned how to value herself, that she deserves respect in relationships and always has the right to be safe. With Girls Inc., Jennifer is healing and has found the strength to not let the past define her future.

Today, Jennifer is the first in her family to go to college. A $20,000 Girls Inc. scholarship recipient, she is a freshman at Cal Poly Pomona studying to be a civil engineer.

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Organization Information

Girls Inc.

Location: New York, NY - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @girls_inc
Project Leader:
Hannah Hawley
New York, NY United States
$10,735 raised of $25,000 goal
 
213 donations
$14,265 to go
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