Cherice Gordon Arrington has worked with Girls Inc. of Greater Philadelphia & Southern New Jersey for ten years. In 2007, she started with the organization as a Public Health Intern and then trained as a Program Facilitator. During her internship experience, she worked under the leadership of Natasha Andrews, facilitating Leadership & Community Action and Healthy Sexuality programs throughout Philadelphia and Camden, New Jersey. After an internship in college facilitating programming for pregnant teens during her study abroad experience in Morant Bay, Jamaica, Cherice received her Bachelor of Science in Public Health from Temple University. Upon graduation, Cherice was hired as a full-time Program Specialist in charge of growing the Operation SMART program designed to inspire girls to participate in hands-on activities centered on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics where they will explore, ask questions, persist, and solve problems.
In the summer of 2008, the Operation SMART program began as a two-week STEM camp for 20 middle school girls teaching information technology skills related to the engineer design process, blogging, and web design using HTML coding. This goal now became a passion for Cherice as she realized the necessity to create more academic and career opportunities for girls, especially those from low-income communities. Through her leadership, the Operation SMART program has grown substantially and is now serving over 300 girls in 1st-8th grades in Philadelphia and Camden. Her initiative has led to the program becoming one of the most widely-funded and popular programs for Girls Inc. The organization now offers a range of Operation SMART programs ranging from Robotics, Aerospace Engineering, Energy, Environmental science, coding, and math initiatives. Cherice is now a National Girls Inc. Trainer for the Operation SMART program.
Cherice serves as the Associate Director of Programs and Advocacy. Through her leadership, she works in collaboration with the Director of Programs and Community Engagement to establish community partnerships, train interns and staff, and leads the initiative on program evaluation — spearheading the implementation of TraxSolutions8 and the Strong, Smart and Bold Outcome Measurement Survey. She is also the lead facilitator for programming at the Philadelphia Juvenile Justice Services Center.
Cherice’s commitment to working with under-served youth inspired her obtain her Master of Science in Education with a specific passion for continuing the development of STEM initiatives for youth and training partners on how to effectively facilitate quality and intentional programming.
In her spare time, Cherice is an avid baker, loves reading newest novels, and DIY projects. She is married and has cat named Rocky.