Girls Inc. offers an innovative, research-based year-round program to the Greater Lowell community in the out-of-school hours that values the potential of young people. Our philosophy and programming are designed to equip girls and young women with valuable skills and resources, to prevent unhealthy behaviors, and to compensate for educational, cultural, and recreational activities our members frequently do not get at home or in school. We work with at-risk girls to boost their self-esteem, increase their interest iand skill level in STEM, promote literacy, explore arts and humanities, encourage them to get into sports, introduce them to money management and career development, reduce pregnancy risk, direct them away from drug use, and provide them with a variety of skills and interests that will help them positively in the future.
Girls Inc. believes the Girls Inc. Experience equips girls to navigate gender, economic, and social barriers and grow into healthy, educated, and independent adults.
There are six essential elements to the Girls Inc. Experience. Together they provide a holistic approach that is grounded in a belief in girls' rights and abilities.
The essential elements of the Girls Inc. Experience are:
A pro-girl and girls-only environment that is physically, socially and emotionally safe and confirms that girls can succeed and deserve to be taken seriously for the persons they are now and the women they will become;
Trusting, mentoring relationships with adult staff and volunteers trained in an approach that is grounded in a belief in girls’ rights and abilities;
Holistic, compensatory, and intentional programming focused on girls’ needs and that provides exposure to a wide variety of experiences and options that girls might not have experienced otherwise;
Relevant, field-tested, and research-based curricula that confront the serious needs of girls while building the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to enable girls to be competent, confident individuals and adult women;
Girl-centered, motivating, deliberate, and interactive activities that develop and promote girls’ strengths.
Sustained exposure to programming and connection with a girl over time to increase positive outcomes and reduce the potential for negative outcomes.
Over the course of 2018, Girls Inc. served over 730 girls age 5 to 18. Our girls are from diverse ethnic, racial, and socio-economic backgrounds from the Greater Lowell Area.
- 79% identify as girls of color, including 38% Hispanic, 7% African American, 12% Asian, 2% Middle Eastern, 2% Native American, and 18% Multi-Racial.
- More than 65% of the girls we serve live in families earning $30,000 or less a year.
- More than 75% of the girls come from a single parent/guardian home.
Since 1917, with our long history and strong reputation in the Lowell community, most of our girls and their families learn about the program through word of mouth referrals and community references and many of our girls have family members who have attended our program for several generations.
Today, girls continue to encounter significant obstacles to their well-being and success.
- 1 in 4 girls will not finish high school.
- 78% of girls are unhappy with their bodies by age 17.
- 3 in 10 girls will become pregnant before the age of 20.
- 1 in 5 girls will be a victim of childhood sexual abuse.
We meet these challenges through the Girls Inc. Experience, which helps girls explore and celebrate their strengths, their voices, who they are today, and who they will become.