Girls Inc. was founded in 1864 to serve girls and young women who were experiencing upheaval in the aftermath of the Civil War. Across the decades, we adapted to meet the specific environmental challenges facing girls and young women, always working in partnership with schools and communities, and guided by our founders’ fundamental belief in the inherent potential of each girl. Woven into those early girls’ clubs are the same core values of Girls Inc. today: the importance of creating a safe gathering place for girls to learn and to share in a sisterhood, and a strong premise that each girl can develop her own capacities, self- confidence, and grow up healthy, educated, and independent.

History of Girls Inc. of Greater Philadelphia & Southern New Jersey

Girls Inc. of Greater Philadelphia & Southern New Jersey has been serving the region since 1961, beginning as Teen Aid before becoming an independent affiliate of the national organization, Girls Inc., in 2002.

Girls Inc. of Greater Philadelphia & Southern New Jersey uses a whole girl approach to inspire all girls to be strong, smart and bold. Girls learn to value themselves, take positive risks and develop their inherent strengths through a combination of research-based programs, mentoring relationships and a pro-girl environment.

At Girls Inc. of Greater Philadelphia & Southern New Jersey, our programs focus on leadership development, community action, STEM, early literacy, financial literacy, media literacy and healthy decision making. Through these research-based programs, our participants gain the skills to navigate gender, economic and social barriers and grow into healthy, educated and independent young women. Girls Inc. of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey serves over 3,000 girls annually.

I struggled internally for a long time, but through Girls Inc. I learned that my body is a resource, not an object. I began to love and embrace my body.