The girls who participate in our programs have a lot to say about what they've learned!
"I will be me, because I am who I am, and nobody can change that. I will live by it and be that."
"I will be strong as a girl and stand up to my fears. I will not be scared anymore."
"I will think about how I want to be Strong, Smart, and Bold for the remainder of my life!"
"I will open my doors to more possibilities."
"Now, thanks to Girls Inc., I want to be a doctor. It's possible now."
"Now I can fix stuff. I can fix things in my parents' house. I can build a house for my dog!"
"I've learned that girls can be engineers and I can plan some stuff."
Girls Bill of Rights
By Lauren Saulsberry
Right #1 "Girls have the right to be themselves and resist gender stereotypes."
Chants yelled from every corner.
I try and try to be everything. But I am me.
Some...just see my skirt.
They see my long, dark hair
And my manicured hands.
I am a girl; that's true.
But can't you see there is much more to this girl.
I am not supposed to make you comfortable.
I am supposed to make you think.
Think about morality and compassion.
Think about a paradigm change.
I am not just a girl.
I am whatever I choose
Board members have been instrumental in our development as an organization. They have their own stories to tell.
Alan Ratliff, Girls Inc. of Greater Houston Board member
I became involved in Girls Inc. through some really Strong, Smart & Bold women who helped start and build the Houston affiliate — Melanie Gray, Sofia Adrogué and Caroline Baker. Each of these ladies were very influential in my life personally and professionally, and continue to be friends and mentors today. They encouraged my involvement by living daily what they advocated for the girls through Girls Inc., and by modeling those same ideals and aspirations in the parenting of their own children, including their young girls. So I knew their support for the organization was genuine and sincere and that they believed it could help Houston's girls accomplish great things!
What has kept me involved this last decade as a board member, past board chair and annual investor in Girls Inc. events and programs -- as well as my wife who has served as a girls mentor -- has been knowing how many girls benefit from school-based programs offered by Girls Inc. affiliates every year, and seeing the great success of those select girls who participate in Leadership Council who take on community service projects, earn scholarships and go on to college. I'm a strong believer and practitioner of the philosophy that if we all do small things, each and every day to make the world a better place, we will in fact make the world a better place.
Although I dream that some day the Houston affiliate of Girls Incorporated, the newest affiliate in any major U.S. city, will serve 10,000 Houston girls in person annually, I remain motivated and encouraged by how much we've grown and progressed in our relatively short 15 year life.
Mary Anne Jay, Chair of the Board 2010 Girls Inc. of Greater Houston
I had the honor of being invited to the annual Strong, Smart, and Bold Luncheon almost 10 years ago by a business colleague. My daughter at that time was about to enter middle school, and I was concerned about the challenges she was going to face in her adolescent years. The women and girls who spoke at the luncheon that day convinced me Girls Inc. was an organization that encouraged something truly unique for girls—empowerment. Regardless of their economic status, race, or home environment, all girls are at risk from negative peer pressure and social stereotypes, and need positive role models and training that they can use to be successful in their lives. The programs offered by Girls Inc. are designed to teach girls how to develop a healthy self image, to recognize that being smart is a gift and not something to hide, and to empower them to do what it takes to dream and to achieve their dreams.
I called the Girls Inc. office that same day to find out more about their programs and to see what I could do to volunteer, and I have devoted my volunteer efforts to the organization ever since.
Eileen Campbell, Girls Inc. of Greater Houston Board member
I am involved with Girls Inc. of Greater Houston because I truly believe that it is important as women leaders in business, government or philanthropy, we need to serve as role models for the next generation. As women, we need to support future generations by encouraging young women and girls to be strong, smart, and bold.
I chose to give and to volunteer at Girls Inc. of Greater Houston because I believe that they give young women the ability to dream beyond the world today. They teach young women to set goals for themselves and provide programming to help young women achieve those goals. Most importantly, I hope that by providing the example and providing them with the knowledge to continue to reach for their dreams, that the women of tomorrow also learn to give back to the world and work to become our future leaders.