Girls Inc. of Greater Indianapolis: Empowering All Girls
Girls Inc. of Greater Indianapolis is proud to deliver hands-on programs that empower girls to be confident in their own skin, prepared for their futures, proud of who they are, and ready to take their place in the world. Girls Inc. has been serving girls in the Indianapolis community since 1969. Until 2007, we operated two centers that limited the number of girls we could serve to 600. We boldly changed course, closed the two centers, and pursued an outreach-based program delivery method that has greatly increased the number of girls we serve and the long-term impact we make. During 2015, we served 3,709 girls through 6,963 program enrollments, the difference in numbers representing the many girls who benefit from multiple Girls Inc. programs. We offered 407 programs that inspire girls to be strong, smart, and bold.
We operate on an outreach model of service delivery. We work with local schools and community organizations to bring our programs to neighborhoods where girls live or attend school. Our partners provide program space and register girl participants, while we provide our high-quality curricula and trained program facilitators who deliver it. We collaborate with nearly 100 community partners, including 80 schools in Marion and Hendricks counties in Indiana.
Girls Inc. programs provide social and emotional learning (SEL) opportunities that are often absent from the home environment and school curricula, yet are crucial to children’s learning and the overall classroom environment. Conflict resolution, responsible decision-making, empathy and understanding, management of feelings, peer-to-peer and student-to-teacher communication, relationship management, and self-confidence are all soft skills gained through Girls Inc. programs. The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) research shows extensive personal and classroom benefits from teaching SEL skills to children, including:
- better academic performance: achievement scores an average of 11 percentile points higher than students who did not receive SEL instruction;
- improved attitudes and behaviors: greater motivation to learn, deeper commitment to school, increased time devoted to schoolwork, and better classroom behavior;
- fewer negative behaviors: decreased disruptive class behavior, noncompliance, aggression, delinquent acts, and disciplinary referrals; and
- reduced emotional distress: fewer reports of student depression, anxiety, stress, and social withdrawal.
“There are moments in your life that define you as a person. These times often happen when you least expect them to happen or when you do not even realize they are happening. As important is these moments are, the moments that happen in between are just as important. Every girl deserves to be congratulated after a big win at their soccer game, or after making the honor roll, but more importantly girls need to feel just as empowered when they make second place in the spelling bee or do not get into every college to which they applied.
“Girls Inc. has empowered me during all of these moments from when I was a “Girls Inc. Girl” to when I worked on the public speaking bureau and as a Jr. Board Member. When I went to the Fountain Square Club I felt like I had a place where I could talk about my losses and my victories and always receive support. The words of encouragement that young girls hear from other strong female role models are the ones that mean the most and stick with them the longest. Even when I was not in a club setting I earned recognition with Girls Inc. for my work by becoming a National Scholarship recipient. I felt like it was a stamp of approval from Girls Inc. for all of the work I did in middle school and high school and it gave me the motivation to study at a school with a very prestigious program.”
Girls Inc. programs teach the soft skills that empower girls to focus on education by reducing classroom disruptions, advancing positive attitudes toward learning, encouraging constructive interpersonal communications, and improving self-confidence in their academic abilities. Each of these skills allows girls to manage themselves and their relationships with their teachers and peers, and make education the primary focus of their time spent in school.
Our programs encourage girls to build purposeful, personally fulfilling lives that strengthen the communities in which they live. Girls are more likely to take charge of their personal health and have a sound body image. Girls are also more motivated to graduate from high school, attain post-secondary education or training, and strengthen the workforce. This is the power of Girls Inc. programming.
Girls Inc. of Greater Indianapolis Alumna Jourdann takes on the job of role model with natural grace and dignity. She is an inspiration to younger girls in our program. The girls all look up to her. She is strong, smart, and bold!