who we are
Girls Inc. – how the movement began
The Girls Incorporated movement started in New England during the Industrial Revolution as a response to the needs of a new working class: young women who had migrated from rural communities in search of newly available job opportunities in textile mills and factories.
The oldest Girls Incorporated affiliate, formed in 1864 in Waterbury, Connecticut, provided programs not only for young working women but also for younger daughters of mill families who had no place to gather but in the city streets. Other early centers followed the same pattern, and girls flocked into their homelike atmospheres at a time when wages were low and wage earners had little to spend for recreation.
During the Depression, with fathers out of work and mothers leaving home to find part-time work so that they could eke out their slender budgets, Girls Incorporated centers were warm, friendly places where girls could forget their troubles, even though the world outside had fallen into chaos. Girls gave plays, made their own dresses and hats, danced and made lasting friendships. One early member of the Worcester, Massachusetts affiliate said: "I remember doing chores to earn my weekly five cent fee so that I could attend the program. I went without candy, gum, ice cream and movies so that I could belong. Because I knew there was a place for me, and always felt as though the club wanted me."
Over a century later, Girls Incorporated is still inspired by the idea that girls and young women are inherently important and that they stand to benefit from programs designed to address their particular needs. While the times have changed, the essence of Girls Inc. has been constant—a dedication to nurturing the spirits of girls and young women. The Girls Inc. mission has evolved over the years to a simple and powerful mandates: Girls Inc. inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold. SM
Girls Inc. of Greater Houston
Girls Incorporated of Greater Houston was similarly formed by Dolores Fuller in 1995 to meet the growing demand for quality programs for girls ages 6 to 18 in the Houston community. Delores began our local affiliate out of her own home and purchased supplies out her own pocket to get the affiliate up and running. She served tirelessly as the first Executive Director without salary or benefits.
In 1996, the first Board of Trustees worked diligently to formalize the organization and open doors for the agency in 1996. Through their efforts, Girls Inc. became a fully functioning non profit that continues to carry on the dream of inspiring all girls to be strong, smart, and bold.
Girls Incorporated of Greater Houston is one of 97 affiliates of the national nonprofit youth organization Girls Incorporated; formerly know as Girls Clubs of America. Girls Inc. of Greater Houston currently serves over 1,000 girls a year and has developed over 35 collaborations.
Girls Inc. of Greater Houston is committed to helping girls build the capabilities for a responsible, confident and economically self-sufficient adulthood. Translating these ideas into action is the goal of Girls Inc. programming.
Want to learn more? Please visit the national website.
Everyone – man or woman – who ever achieved greatness had someone who believed in them. For hundreds of thousands of girls, it's the people they meet at Girls Inc. who make that difference in their lives.
Girls Inc. attracts passionate, hard working, and resourceful people. We hire people who trust, respect, and listen to girls. Girls Inc. provides intensive training, so that each staff member has a foundation of expertise about girls' health and development, managing group dynamics and resolving conflicts, engaging girls in activities that are truly fun and interesting, and connecting with girls and their real life experiences. Girls tell us, again and again, that it is the reassurance, guidance, and unconditional support of these adults that help girls see their bright future, even during their darkest moments.