Our programs are designed to empower girls to transform their self-image and realize their potential

Girls Inc.’s research-based curricula and relationship-focused programs are delivered by trained, mentoring professionals in positive, all-girl environments. They spark girls’ interest in science, technology, engineering, and math, promote drug and pregnancy prevention, foster self-esteem, and teach skills such as stress management, financial literacy, and community leadership. Some last just one day, others up to 12 weeks, but all are designed to empower girls to transform their self-image and realize their potential as friends, leaders, and entrepreneurs.

Download our “Girls Bill of Rights”

Our Programs

» Operation Smart: Girls develop enthusiasm for and skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Through hands-on activities, girls explore, ask questions, persist, and solve problems. By interacting with women and men pursuing STEM careers, girls come to view these careers as exciting and realistic options for themselves.

» Preventing Adolescent Pregnancy: Girls acquire the age-appropriate knowledge and skills for taking charge of and making informed decisions about their sexual health. Exploring values, practicing responses in different situations, and thinking about their futures help girls identify ways and reasons to avoid early pregnancy and prevent sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. (available in Spanish).

» Friendly PEERsuasion: Girls develop skills to resist pressure to use harmful substances, such as drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and household chemicals. Friendly PEERsuasion targets the years during which girls begin to more fully experience and respond to influence and pressure from their peers to participate in risky behaviors. During the program, girls build their knowledge and skills for resisting negative peer pressure and unhealthy ways to respond to stress. Girls learn to identify healthy alternatives to risky behavior and invite peers to join them in acting on their smarter choice. Additionally, participants learn about various legal and illicit substances, responsible use of readily available prescription and over-the-counter medications and supplements, and analyze media messages that glamorize substance use. (available in Spanish)

» Leadership and Community Action: Girls build leadership skills and create lasting social change through community action projects. With support from women in their community, girls celebrate the heritage of girls and women as leaders and social change agents and realize their own power as community resources and trustees of the common good.

» Media Literacy: Girls increase their awareness of the scope and power of the media and the effects of media messages on girls and women. They learn to analyze what they see and hear in the media and advocate for change in entertainment, news, and advertising. Girls have the opportunity to create media that are realistic and reflective of their lives. They also learn about media-related careers and the positive use of the media.

» Economic Literacy: Girls learn about money and the economy, including how to manage, invest, and save money and how to help others through philanthropy. As girls explore how the economy affects everyone locally and globally, they develop skills critical to being financially savvy and to become economically independent adults.

» Project Bold: Girls learn skills and strategies to lead safer lives in their homes, in relationships, in their communities, and online. Girls learn specific self-defense techniques and how to seek out and talk to caring adults about personal violence. Older girls also take on a community action project to advocate for a safer world for all women and girls.

» Sporting Chance: Girls build a foundation for enjoying physical activity, sports, and adventure throughout their lives. Girls develop movement and athletic skills, cooperative and competitive spirit, and healthy habits. They experience the benefits and excitement of taking positive risks that bolster their self-confidence and personal growth.

Why “Girls Only”?

The girls-only option allows girls to plunge into activities without worrying about whether they belong or not, or whether they are more or less skilled than boys. It lets girls focus on their real interests, at their own pace, free from distractions and comparisons. And it guarantees girls get the undivided attention and support they need from caring adults.

In order to succeed, researchers have found that girls need to:

  • believe that boys and girls are more similar than different

  • be actively involved in sports, activities, and organizations

  • be satisfied with their bodies

  • overcome gender stereotypes

  • receive high levels of support from adults

In co-ed environments, whether in homes, schools or communities, girls are:

  • presented with the prevalent attitude that girls are different than boys

  • expected to do housework and care for younger children

  • subjected to hearing boys talk about girls’ bodies

  • pressured to look “just right”

Here’s what works best in building positive outcomes for girls – and what Girls Inc. strives to achieve:

  • create opportunities for girls to meet and interact with female role models

  • be conscientious about gender interactions

  • listen to what girls have to say about their own lives

  • encourage participation in athletics

  • encourage girls to explore meaningful possibilities for their futures

  • foster a sense of camaraderie and belonging among girls

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Girls Circle Association Partnership

The Girls Circle Association model, a structured support group for girls from 9-18 years, integrates relational theory, resiliency practices, and skills training in a specific format designed to increase positive connection, personal and collective strengths, and competence in girls. It aims to counteract social and interpersonal forces that impede girls’ growth and development by promoting an emotionally safe setting and structure within which girls can develop caring relationships and use authentic voices. Girls Circles are research-based and have demonstrated positive impacts on girls’ resilience, esteem, self-efficacy, and relationships with adults and peers. Girls Inc. of the Northern Sacramento Valley partners with Girls Circle Association to provide our Girls Inc. programming information within the Girls Circle Association group model to maximize impact.