Girls, Inc.

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Girls Inc.
Girls Inc Logo and Tagline.jpg
TypeNon-Profit Organization
OriginsWaterbury, Connecticut
Area served
United States of America
Key people
Judy Vredenburgh, President & CEO
8.449 million USD

Girls Inc. is a United States 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that encourages all girls to be "Strong, Smart, and Bold" through direct service and advocacy. The organization equips girls with the skills to navigate through economic, gender, and social barriers and to grow up as independent individuals.[1]


The Girls Inc. (Girls Club of America) movement started in New England (Waterbury, Connecticut) after the Civil War to help young women who had migrated from rural communities in search of job opportunities. It was founded in 1864 (over 153 years ago as of 2017) to help and support girls and young women who were experiencing upheaval in the aftermath of the Civil War. In 1990 the Girls Club of America changed their name to Girls Inc. Across the decades, they adapted to meet specific environmental challenges girls and young women faced, working in partnership with schools and communities.[2]

Founders and creator[edit]

There were many people who helped and contributed to the start of Girls Inc, but the most recognized person is Rachel Harris Johnson. She founded the Girls Inc clubs of America in 1945 and was the president for 7 years. She was the secretary of the Worcester Girls Club, that her mother helped established and she became president and started to help plan for the national group. The Girls Clubs have activities that emphasize physical, emotional, and educational development. Johnson retired in 1952 and later died at the age of 95 in a nursing home.[3]

Local affiliates[edit]

The first girls club opened in 1864 and has been nationally recognized since 1945. Girls Inc. has a network of local organizations in the United States and Canada. Affiliates can be found across the United States and Canada.[4] Girls Inc. recently expanded to Chicago, launching a Girls Inc. of Chicago local organization.[5]


Girls Inc. is governed by a dual governance structure, which is made up of the National Council and the National Board. The president and CEO of Girls Inc. is Judy Vredenburgh.[6] Prior to joining Girls Inc. in 2010, she served as President and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and Senior Vice President of Revenue Development and Marketing at the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation.[7]

The National Council generally makes decisions concerning the purpose, goals, and public policies of the organization. Generally there are almost 300 voting members, but rarely do even most of them come to the meeting. They also elect the National Board, the officers of the Council and the Board Development Committee. They also vote to amend the bylaws of the organization, which requires a two-thirds majority. The council meets every two years and at least 75 delegates must be present for the meeting to be called to order 45 days before each council meeting, the agenda and items to be voted upon are sent out.[citation needed]

The National Board must have at least twenty members but no more than forty. The board includes five officers, eight regional representatives, and up to 27 at-large board members. The President/CEO is a voting member on the board. It meets four times a year with the spring meeting being the annual meeting. Eleven members in attendance constitute a quorum. The board acts like the executive committee of a corporation. Some of the current leaders of the organization include Bridgette P. Heller, a National Board Chair; Donna Brace Ogilvie, a National Board Honorary Chair; and Judy Vredenburgh, the President and CEO.[citation needed]

Notable supporters[edit]

In September 2006, Warren Buffett auctioned his Lincoln Town Car to support Girls Inc. The vehicle sold for $73,200 on eBay.[8] In 2015, Warren Buffett auctioned his Cadillac to support Girls Inc., which sold for $122,500.00 on[9][10]

In March 2017, Hillary Clinton was named as the "Champion for Girls" by Girls Inc. at their 2017 New York Luncheon.[11]

In February 2013 the DPR Foundation gave the Girls Inc. of Orange County a $30,000 check. The Girls Inc. organization admired the donation and explained how much of an impact it would make for further purchases. [12]

Partner companies[edit]

Girls Inc. join in efforts with partner companies that help create positive change for women. The companies do this through selling jewelry to raise money or simply giving donations. Some of Girls Inc.’s partner companies include Dove, Freeform, Business Wire, Motorola Foundation, Annie E. Casey Foundation, and Eileen Fisher, Clinton Global Initiative, Discovery Communications, Child Trend, National Center for Women & information technology, Society of women engineering, leadership 18, million women mentors, after school alliance, The coalition for juvenile justice, Mentor, The National campaign, Women & Girls Lead Globe, Legal Momentum, American Chemical Society, NPower, Adventures of the Mind, Nonprofit VOTE, Space Science Laboratory, AAUW Empowering Women.[citation needed]

A venture with the American Girl Dolls collection in 2005 generated controversy among fundamentalist Christians.[13]

Awards and acknowledgements[edit]

Girls Inc. offers assistance for girls to earn scholarships. Girls inc. member, Ana Delgado, won a $20,000 scholarship in 2017, and is the most recent to do so. She is one of nine women to earn this scholarship.[citation needed]

Girls Inc. has received a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator,[14] and a "Platinum" status from GuideStar.[15][non-primary source needed]


  • Eureka! Program [16]
  • Girls Inc. Economic Literacy
  • Girls Inc. Friendly PEERsuasion
  • Girls Inc. Leadership and Community Action
  • Girls Inc. Media Literacy
  • Girls Inc. Operation SMART
  • Girls Inc. Preventing Adolescent Pregnancy
  • Girls Inc. Project Bold [17]
  • Girls Inc. Sporting Champs


  1. ^ "About Girls Inc. – Girls Inc". Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  2. ^ "Timeline | Girls Inc". Retrieved 2017-06-14.
  3. ^ "Rachel H. Johnson, 95; Founder of Girls Clubs". The New York Times. 10 August 1983. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  4. ^ "Girls Inc.: USA and Canada | Girls Inc". Retrieved 2017-07-31.
  5. ^ "Newsviews: Girls Inc. coming to Chicago". ABC7 Chicago. 2017-07-01. Retrieved 2017-07-31.
  6. ^ "How Did I Get Here? Judy Vredenburgh". Retrieved 12 July 2017 – via
  7. ^ "President and CEO – Girls Inc". Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  8. ^ "Warren Buffett, used car salesman?". MSNBC. February 13, 2007. Retrieved June 25, 2010.
  9. ^ Rosenfeld, Everett. "Want to drive like a billionaire? Here's how". CNBC. CNBC. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
  10. ^ Valdez-Dapena, Peter. "Warren Buffett's Cadillac Sells for $122,500". CNN Money. CNN. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
  11. ^ "Hillary Clinton Speaks at the Girls Inc. Luncheon". Fortune. 2017-03-08. Retrieved 2017-06-14.
  12. ^ Nosler, Peter. "$30,000 Check Presented to Girls Inc. by DPR Foundation". dpr construction. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  13. ^ "Conservatives protest popular doll-maker". Associated Press (Published on USA Today). 2005-10-15. Retrieved June 25, 2010.
  14. ^ "Charity Navigator – Rating for Girls Inc". Charity Navigator. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  15. ^ "Girls Incorporated - GuideStar Profile". Retrieved 2017-07-31.
  16. ^ "Girls Inc. Eureka!: STEM Career Development for Girls". Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  17. ^ "Girls Inc. Project BOLD – Girls Inc". Retrieved 12 July 2017.

External links[edit]