Mission & History

OUR MISSION

The mission of Girls Inc. of Tarrant County is to inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold. This is translated into programs that encourage health, education, career readiness, and independence. Through advocating for girls and their futures, we reduce barriers in their lives that stem from violence, poverty, and inequity that they encounter at home, at school, in relationships, online, or in their community. Our unique combination of life-changing mentoring relationships, a pro-girl culture, and research-based programming equip girls to be healthy, educated, and empowered.

OUR VISION

Empowered girls in an equitable society

Our impact is enhanced by our strong partnerships in the community. We work with school districts, libraries, and other non-profit organization across Tarrant County to serve the needs of all girls in our community. These partnerships vary based on the needs of our partners and the girls participating. We support programs and actively participate in collaborations that celebrate the empowerment of girls, strength of mentoring, and importance of equity and diversity.

Additionally, we find strength in our partnerships with local companies and colleges/universities. With their support, Girls Inc. girls find meaningful mentors in their communities, develop key skills that support the regional workforce, and are exposed to a variety of career paths.

OUR HISTORY

Girls Inc. National

Through the Industrial Revolution and in the aftermath of the Civil War, girls and young women moved to city-centers to work in factories and textile mills, often supporting their families from afar. While this inclusion in the workforce allowed women to challenge traditional gender stereotypes, there were few support networks to encourage young women to embrace their independence and to provide a safe environment for girls who were growing up away from their families. In 1864, Girls Clubs were established to meet this need.

Through the Great Depression, Girls Clubs worked to keep girls active and focused on keeping participants healthy as well as still providing a place for girls to feel the warmth of sisterhood in their community. The organization adapted to meet the changing needs of girls throughout the decades, formalizing a national network of Girls Clubs in 1945 and building a program in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, Operation SMART, in 1984. 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.

Girls Inc. of Tarrant County

Through an affiliate partnership with Girls Inc. National (one of 85 such affiliates), Girls Inc. of Tarrant County has access to high quality research and outcomes-driven tools.

Starting in 1976 with eight girls as the Arlington Girls Club, Girls Inc. of Tarrant County worked diligently to serve Tarrant County girls. The agency adopted Operation SMART in 1987, shortly after the national pilot of this program. Additionally, Tarrant County has been home to programs that are pilots for a national roll-out or are created to meet the specific needs of our local community, such as the Friendly Peersuasion program (the Girls Inc. signature substance abuse prevention program) and Boost (the Tarrant County program to support graduating high school seniors through their first year of college).

RECENT GROWTH

Due to increased partner support, Girls Inc. of Tarrant County has experienced significant growth in the past six years. As of October of 2018, we have seen growth in several areas—with key performance indicators doubling or tripling—making our impact on community that much greater.

This includes:

from 7,484 girls served to 20,720

from 303,703 hours of programming to 1,142,062

from 57 sites to 134

from 146 volunteers served to 442.