Girls Incorporated of Greater Atlanta

Girls Incorporated of Greater Atlanta Logo

Basic Information

Address: 461 Manget Street Marietta, GA 30060
Phone Number: 678-686-1740
Fax Number: 770-499-2386

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Girls Incorporated of Greater Atlanta
Girls Incorporated of Greater Atlanta
Girls Incorporated of Greater Atlanta
Girls Incorporated of Greater Atlanta

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Additional Information

Focus: Girls Inc. prepares girls for success by offering safe, structured and affordable out of school programming for girls 6 to 18. Education enrichment activities are combined with self-esteem building and life skills/youth development programming. Girls benefit from tutoring, homework help, Reading Clubs (specialized small group literacy focused programming), computer labs, and STEM programming, combined with Girls Inc.’s nationally developed, research-based life skills, youth development programming. Girls Inc. program content includes: health & hygiene, tobacco, alcohol and substance abuse prevention, nutrition and physical activity, STEM and financial literacy.
Director: Heather Rocker
Schools Served: Girls Inc. works with Marietta City and Cobb County schools to recruit participants for our facility based programs and to provide limited transportation to program activities after school. School employees (teachers, counselors and administrators) provide parents with feedback that helps us in creating Individual Development Plan's for program participants.
School District: We serve girls in Marietta City and Cobb County
County: Cobb County
Schedule: After School: 3pm-7pm
Ages: 6-18
Capacity: 70
Membership/Pricing: $65 per month

Once girls get to our after school center, they will receive a snack upon their arrival. After snack has been distributed, there is time designated for homework. Once the girls have finished their homework time, they are then split into different age groups so that Girls Inc. programming can begin. All Fridays at our after school center are "Fun Friday's" where a staff comes up with a theme and creates activities around the theme for the entire time they are here.


Girls Incorporated of Greater Atlanta has a long and interesting history. It all began with a tragic incident in Cobb County, in 1974. That year, a 9 year old Cobb County girl was abducted. Debbie Randall was found 2 weeks later, raped and murdered. Her misfortune stemmed from a lack of a safe, after-school environment for girls in her area. At the time, the most popular place to be during non-school hours was the local laundromat. Having decided that this was unacceptable, Lenore Dunaway and Joyce Dunaway Parker appealed to the Marietta City Council to provide a safe place for girls in the form of the Cobb-Marietta Girls Club. The Cobb County Commission then helped the Club acquire land in the Larry Bell Civic Center Complex, where the Cobb-Marietta Center still resides today. The Club began as a one-room trailer, lent to the organization by the Marietta Savings and Loan. Girls Club staff, at that time, consisted of one paid staff member, a Director, and several volunteers. Programming, facilitated by volunteers, began in 1976. The same year, the Cobb-Marietta Girls Club became a United Way agency and elected its first Board of Directors. The following year, construction was completed on the new facility and the Cobb-Marietta Girls Club joined with Girls Clubs of America. Since then, the organization has grown significantly. In 1985, the organization opened a second center in the Kate Westmoreland Center. Now it could provide programming and a girl friendly environment to residents of South Cobb County. The organization became known as Girls Clubs of Cobb County. Five short years later, Girls Clubs of America officially changed its name nationally to Girls Incorporated. The new name had a more business like feel, “because growing up is serious business.” Girls Clubs of Cobb County changed into Girls Incorporated of Cobb County.

Program Highlights:

Girls Incorporated develops research-based, informal education programs that encourage girls to take educated risks and master physical,intellectual and emotional challenges. Our programs address math and science education, pregnancy prevention, media literacy, adolescent health, child abuse prevention, substance abuse prevention, and sports and cultural activities.

Support Services:

Girls Inc. recruits undergraduate, graduate and professional women to support the implementation of program activities. We seek women with experience with youth development activities and programming, a desire to mentor and support youth and a competent level of reading, math, science and social studies. Special supplemental programming and workshops are conducted by volunteers with backgrounds in corporate employment, sports, dance, music, arts and culture, and life mapping.


At our after school program, girls benefit from tutoring, homework help, Reading Clubs (specialized small group literacy focused programming), computer labs, and STEM programming, combined with Girls Inc.’s nationally developed, research-based life skills, youth development programming. Girls Inc. program content includes: health & hygiene, tobacco, alcohol and substance abuse prevention, nutrition and physical activity, STEM and financial literacy.

Field Trip Destinations: Girls Inc. will take field trips on days the school system's are closed and also during the summer. Field trips range from going to Six Flags, to certain museums throughout the Atlanta area to college visits for our teens.
Program Information:

Economic Literacy:
Economic Literacy, the ability to use basic economic concepts to make decisions about earning, saving, spending,
and sharing money, is a skill. As with reading and writing, a working knowledge of basic
economic concepts is essential for future success. Whether a girl is from a low-income or wealthy home, whether
she lives in a rural or urban community, she is likely to work for pay much of her adult life, and at some point in
her life she is likely to be responsible for her own financial well being.
The Facts
• Young women who make a successful transition into the labor force have a greatly reduced risk of becoming
dependent on public assistance when they become adults.
• Of the people living in poverty, 76% are women and children.
• Girls in grades 9—11 indicated overwhelmingly that they would be interested in learning about
• altruism (99%), and also about how to pay for school (91%), how to stay out of debt (84%), and how to make
money in the stock market (48%), according to a survey commissioned by Girls Incorporated and conducted
by Louis Harris & Associates.
Economic Literacy®
Girls Incorporated Economic LiteracySM enhances girls’ financial competence and confidence, empowers girls to
recognize early on that they can exercise control over their financial futures, and promotes within girls a sense of
economic justice. The program is divided into three age-based components, implemented in four (4) six-week
series. The components are described as follows:
• She’s on the Money!SM for girls ages 6 to 8
• Dollars, Sense and MeSM for girls ages 9 to 11
• Equal Earners, Savvy SpendersSM for girls ages 12 to 14
Each age-appropriate curriculum provides step-by-step instructions for facilitators to present materials in the form
of interactive and engaging activities. Over the course of the program, girls learn broad economic concepts such as
supply and demand, labor and management issues, taxes and government services, and global economics. They
also learn personal financial skills such as how to identify and count money; save, invest and budget; take informed
financial risk; and prepare for rewarding careers. The program also gives girls the opportunity to explore
issues that particularly affect women and girls, such as equal pay for equal work.
The comprehensive program encompasses personal money management and planning for the future, as well as
larger community, national, and global economic issues. The program helps girls develop a working knowledge of
economic concepts, explore their financial options, and set realistic goals while conveying:
• Responsibility: Demonstrating how to earn, spend, save, and share money wisely
• Independence: Providing the tools and knowledge to build self-confidence and self-reliance
• Community Involvement: Encouraging the donation of money, goods, and/or services to make the
world a better place
• Culture: Examining how girls’ attitudes, opinions, and knowledge of money are influenced by
traditions, institutions, and significant adults in their lives
• History: Investigating historical struggles and achievements of women in the paid and unpaid
• Politics: Exploring how economic decisions are made in our political system and ways individuals can
participate in the system
• Justice: Offering information to help in the fight for economic equity for all girls and women;
affirming that it is wrong to exploit or take unfair advantage of others
• Respect: Recognizing the worth and dignity of all individuals; treating all individuals with respect,
regardless of their gender, race, religion, culture, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status

Operation SMART

In January 2005, great controversy erupted from comments made by Harvard President, Lawrence Summers,
at a conference coordinated by the National Bureau of Economic Research. According to Slate Magazine
author, Meghan O’Rourke, Summers’ comments portrayed the following message:
“women constitute approximately 20% of science and engineering departments nationwide and hold
few senior positions. The possible explanations are either socio-cultural or genetic, or both. Summers
allegedly offered these three reasons as explanation: 1) Women want to have children, and as a result
they don’t put in the 80-hour work week that would make them competitive with their male peers; 2)
the innate differences between men and women lead men to outperform women at the top end; 3)
discrimination discourages women from pursuing science and engineering past their undergraduate
We at Girls Incorporated of Greater Atlanta disagree with two of Summers’ theories for lack of female
representation in the fields of science, math and technology, but agree that “discrimination discourages women
from pursing science and engineering past their undergraduate education.” From an early age, girls pick up on
the subtle messages that science, math and technology are “male” in nature. Girls Incorporated dispels that
myth, while getting girls excited about learning and pursuing careers in these typically male dominated fields.
The Facts
Girls and young women are less likely than boys and young men to agree with the statements “I like
mathematics” and “ I like science.” In a national survey:
40% of girls and 30% of boys said that math is their least favorite subject;
21% of girls and 17% of boys said that science is their least favorite subject.
7% of teenage girls intend to work in science, engineering, and technology (compared to 17% of boys); 49%
intend to work in “other” professions including law and medicine (compared to 25% of boys); and 9% intend
to work in business (compared to 15% of boys).
Among those taking the SAT, more young women (60%) than young men (40%) had NO computer course
work or experience in high school. Additionally, more than three-fourths (75%) of the SAT takers intending to
major in computer science in college were young men.
Operation SMART®
Created in 1985, the Girls Incorporated Operation SMART® program was designed to help bridge the gender
gap in the fields of science, math and relevant technology. The idea behind the program is to energize and
excite girls about these areas of study, while showing them how relative these fields are to every day life. Girls
learn to recognize technology, math and science at work in day-to-day life, removing some of the anxiety
behind studying these subjects. In addition, a “girls only” atmosphere allows girls to participate in these types
of experiments and programming in a way that encourages their interests, allows them to make and learn from
mistakes and helps them to get past the “yuk” factor. Most Operation SMART ® activities combine factual
learning with hands on experiences.
Eureka!®: This component is a hands on, girl-focused approach to Operation SMART® that encourages young
women to explore career paths in mathematical, scientific and technical fields. The program mixes well with
sports and personal development activities that meet the intellectual, social, physical and emotional needs of
adolescent girls.

Media Literacy
The majority of today’s female youth 8 to 18 years old have a radio in their bedroom (70%) and half (50%) have
a T.V. in their room. Constant exposure to the media is a given. How then are today’s girls affected by the
barrage of media messages they receive daily? Most studies show that the messages our youth receive are
negative when it comes to body image, female leadership and gender roles. Children tend to watch more T.V.
than almost any other demographic and the messages they are receiving help to mold their opinions,
attitudes and futures.
The Facts
Content analysis of T.V. programming suggests that girls and young women are shown that skinny is beautiful
and that girls have to be attractive to men; that sex is fun and risk free; and that most people think about and have
sex frequently, without much concern for love or the stability of a relationship.
Research has consistently found that the types of interactions portrayed between females and males in T.V.
commercials are stereotypical. Women have been associated with domestic settings at home and men with
outdoor settings away from home; some researchers say this creates models of limited options for girls.
Women account for only 24% of the creators, producers, executive producers, directors, writers, editors and
directors of photography working on situation comedies and dramas in the 2000-2001 T.V. season.
One content analysis of 21 popular young women’s magazine covers showed that 78% contained a message about
bodily appearance. None (0%) of young men’s magazines contained such messages. Also, 26% of women’s
magazine covers contained conflicting messages (e.g. a message about losing weight next to a cookie recipe)
regarding weight loss and dietary habits.
Media Literacy®
Girls Incorporated Media Literacy® is a program developed to help girls identify, deal with and combat negative
messages from the media, by teaching comprehensive media literacy encompassing critical thinking, creativity,
communication and collaboration. Grasping these skills will afford girls the ability to access, analyze, evaluate
and produce communication in a variety of forms and contexts.
The Media Literacy curriculum encourages girls to examine how media messages are constructed, how these
messages reflect social values, and how girls’ active participation can influence the messages—and the values.
The curricula and companion project include activities that address the following areas of media literacy:
• Getting the message: Girls learn to critically “read” messages from a variety of media. Girls are
encouraged to ask critical questions such as: Who is communicating and why? Who is the intended
audience and what is the intended result of the message? Whose point of view is presented and whose
is left out? What does this text say to me and other girls?
• Sending the message: Girls express themselves and create their own media representations of their
worlds using media-production tools and techniques, including storyboarding, graphic design, and
audio and video recording equipment.
• Learning the business: Girls explore the business side of media, learning about advertising and
commercial interests, media and democracy, and career opportunities and relevant skills.
• Re-casting the characters: Girls examine the roles of girls and women in media and analyze
characterization, identify stereotypes, rewrite scenes, create their own show treatments, and advocate for media to be responsive to their opinions and concerns.

Friendly PEERsuasion
Peer pressure is a staple of youth. The pressures felt by girls are often perceived as being greater than that
felt by boys. Girls have a plethora of reasons for turning to drugs and alcohol, which include the pressure to
stay slim, be popular, appear mature or escape overwhelming problems. Standard prevention programs are
not tailored to the specific needs of girls, rendering them ineffective. Truly preventative programs must take
into consideration the facts related to and the special needs of girls.
The Facts
Among young women who currently smoke, 92.3% believe persons can get addicted to cigarettes, and yet
23.8% think it is safe to smoke one to two years and then quit.
Of the high-school-aged young women who currently smoke, 20% think smokers have more friends; 12.4%
think smokers look cool.
The percentage of 8th grade girls who use marijuana has nearly tripled in the last decade from 5% in 1991
to 14% in 2000.
By the time girls reach their senior year in high school, 34% report periodic heavy drinking.
The use of diet pills is dramatically higher among young women than it is among young men. In 2000, 27%
of young women in grade 12 reported some experience with diet pills.
Binge drinking (5 or more drinks in a row) increased from 19% ion 1991 to 23% in 2000.
In the U.S., an estimated 4.6 million women abuse or are dependent on alcohol.
Friendly PEERsuasion®
Friendly PEERsuasion is a 2 part program, specially tailored for the needs of girls ages 11 to 14. This
program allows girls to learn about the causes, appearances and effects of peer influence. By approaching
drug abuse prevention as a peer issue, this program allows girls real world experience in using positive,
healthy behavior to influence peers. In addition to learning communication skills and stress indicators, this
program teaches girls to combat stress in healthy ways. These three areas of knowledge are the foundation
for decision making and resistance skills.
Girls are able to model behavior with this two part program.
Part I: Girls ages 11 - 14 are given foundation skills (communication, decision-making and
assertiveness) so that they can practice saying no to negative, dangerous behavior/activities. Girls
play games, have group discussions, role play, learn about the effects of drug use/abuse on the body
and mind and recognize indicators of peer pressure and better ways to manage stress.
Part II: Girls who have competed Part I work together to create prevention activities for girls 6 to
10 years old. These activities allow girls to act as role models and leaders and reinforce their
commitment to avoid illegal substances, tobacco and alcohol.

Preventing Adolescent Pregnancy (PAP)
In recent years, great strides have been made in reducing teen pregnancy rates. Unfortunately, less attention
has been given to other risks associated with early and risky sexual behavior, namely infection of
sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). In the United States, 8,000 teens contract a new STD daily and
61% of young people age 13-19 infected with HIV are women. Even more startling is the increase in the
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) in recent years. HPV is 5 times more common than all other STDs and
studies show that 46% of teenage girls contract HPV during their first sexual encounter.
These statistics serve as proof that something must be done. Educational programs for young women are
a must, but they must have a comprehensive approach to truly be effective. Most teens do not consider
oral sex to be “sex” and nearly 1 in 4 female youth believe that they are not at significant risk of contracting
an STD until they have been with more than 20 partners. Our Preventing Adolescent Pregnancy
(PAP) program educates girls not only on the risks and pitfalls of pregnancy, but also the dangers of
early sexual activity, high risk behaviors and the realities of STD contraction through oral sex. If teens
make up only 10% of the population in the United States, but acquire 25% of all STDs, something is
horribly wrong. Our PAP program is designed to help reduce the number of Metro Atlanta’s girls affected
by this growing epidemic.
The Facts
In a national study of four common sexually transmitted diseases among girls and young women, nearly
50% of the African-Americans, compared to 20% of white teens, in the study of girls 14 to 19 were
infected with at least one of the diseases monitored in the study—HPV (human papillomavirus),
Chlamydia, genetal herpes and trichomoniasis, a common parasite. *
In the same study, the two most common STDs among all the participants were HPV (18%), and
Chlamydia (4%). *
About 19 million new sexually transmitted infections occur each year among all age groups in the US.*
In a national survey, 1 in 5 teens reported that oral sex is safe sex.
If a girl starts having sex before the age of 16, there is a 58% chance that she’ll have more than five
HPV is directly linked to 99.7% of all cervical cancers.
Due to the vulnerability of the cervix during puberty, young women are more susceptible to STDs than
young men. Because females are less likely to have detectable symptoms of STDs, and are less likely to
be diagnosed early, they are more likely to experience long-term complications of STDs.
* Statistics gathered from nationally CDC study conducted by the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention
Preventing Adolescent Pregnancy®
The PAP program is broken down into three age appropriate curriculums:
• Growing TogetherSM : For girls ages 9 to 11
• Will Power/Won’t Power®: For girls ages 12 to 14
• Taking Care of Business®: For girls ages 15 to 18
Growing TogetherSM
This component, for girls ages 9-11 and a parent/adult, includes five interactive sessions
designed to jump-start essential conversations between girls and their parents or guardians
about sexuality issues. Girls participate alongside their adult counterpart throughout this program.
Growing Together helps develop two-way communication skills to give girls an ally for
future questions and dilemmas. Key topics include changes during puberty; anatomy,
physiology, and hygiene; adolescent sexual development and feelings; and values and
expectations for sexual behavior.
Will Power/Won’t Power®
In this 10-session component, for girls ages 12-14, girls learn why and how to postpone sex by
recognizing, exploring, and practicing attitudes and skills for dealing with sexuality issues as
they enter their most pressure-sensitive years. The interactive sessions center on values,
relationships, the reproductive system, female health and hygiene, separating sexual myths from
reality, assertiveness and communication skills, identifying and resisting sexual pressures from
the media and peers, sexual decision-making and avoiding risky situations, the positive aspects
of abstinence, and the power of an affirmative sister support system.
Taking Care of Business®
This component, for girls ages 15-18, includes a series of 10 interactive, skill-building sessions
that focus on the motivation and skills needed to avoid early pregnancy. The sessions center on:
• recognizing and moving beyond stereotypes that are limiting for women
• using values as a basis for positive decision making
• acting assertively by asking for what is desired and refusing what isn’t
• developing relationship skills
• avoiding pregnancy and STDs, including HIV, through abstinence and other smart choices
• understanding the facts on contraception and protection

Sporting Chance

Although 51% of girls in grades 9 to 12 played on a sports team in high school in 2003, and the number of
female athletes is growing, too many girls still encounter roadblocks that leave them sitting on the sidelines
instead of sprinting toward the finish line. When girls’ access to sports participation is limited, they miss the
chance to develop skills that will help them succeed and habits that can keep them healthy throughout their
lives. Girls Incorporated aims to make sports an integral part of girls’ lives and recognizes that girls have much
to gain by early participation in sports.
The Facts
• In a study of high school students, young women who participated in sports were 40% less likely to drop
out of high school.
• In the same study, young women who participated in sports were 33% less likely to become teen mothers.
• Young women who participated in sports were less likely to have smoked cigarettes than those who did not.
• Girls who are athletes in high school are more likely to have higher grades and standardized test scores, and
are more likely to attend college.
Sporting Chance®
Girls Inc. Sporting Chance is a nationally researched, developed and field tested program. The curriculum is
broken into four age appropriate components, each with different objectives for the girls who participate. These
components are supplemented with a nutrition education element that helps to ensure a well rounded program
format. The component parts of Sporting Chance include:
Steppingstones is a motor skill development program for girls ages 6 to 8 that gets girls running, jumping,
leaping, twisting, bending, and balancing as they utilize a variety of sports and movement-related equipment,
including jump ropes, balls, bats, nets, and hoops. They begin to move more confidently and skillfully, get used
to structured physical activity, learn about the positive connection between physical activity and health-related
fitness, and accept sport as legitimate activity for girls and women.
Bridges is a motor skill development program for girls ages 9 to 11 that picks up where Steppingstones leaves
off, enhancing girls’ motor skills while introducing girls to the world of organized sports. Participants focus on
the skills and strategies including: throwing, catching, kicking, shooting, agility and individual competence and
Girls encourage is a program for girls ages 12 to 14 that is designed to sustain their interest in sports through
adolescence by introducing them to nontraditional activities and adventures that go beyond stereotypes and
challenge them to set their own personal goals and create their own definitions of success. Program activities
promote fitness training, team building, and athletic participation to develop girls’ sense of personal power and
BoneZone is a special project designed to promote health for girls ages 9 to 12. Specifically, the activities
integrate the key message that, by increasing weight-bearing physical activity and calcium consumption, girls
can reduce their risk of developing osteoporosis later in life.
“Commit To Be Fit” is a nutrition centered supplement to the physical activity components of Sporting
Chance. Through this supplement, girls will learn why healthy eating is important for specific functions of their
bodies; learn to bust diet myths and challenge the way that media portrays unhealthy foods; and, girls and their
families will learn together the importance of balancing proper nutrition and physical activity.

Project BOLD
Girls Incorporated believes that girls have the right to have confidence in themselves and be
safe in the world. Girls are entitled to feel safe as they go through life, and they are entitled to
be safe in their homes, schools, and communities. Yet violence enters the lives of girls and
young women on a daily basis, giving many the message that violence is normal and
acceptable. Girls especially experience gender-based violence, including physical and sexual
abuse, sexual harassment, and partner or dating violence.
Girls get mixed messages about how to respond to violence—“depend on others to protect
you,” “get tough because you can count only on yourself,” “give in because your world can
never be safe.” Girls and young women deserve program opportunities that equip them to
increase their personal safety. More specifically, program opportunities need to engage girls in
analyzing the causes and effects of violence and expand their individual skills and strategies
for protecting themselves.
In addition to stronger personal skills, girls deserve communities and a world that treat
everyone with respect and that take responsibility for providing a safe environment. Programs
also need to engage girls and young women as important agents of change—developing their
collective strategies and skills to help their communities live up to expectations for better
treatment. Girls can both feel safer and be safer, we believe, through programs that address both
self-protection and community change.
Girls Inc. Project BOLD provides a continuum of age-appropriate and gender-specific
violence prevention programming to give girls and young women the skills, strategies, and support
for personal safety and safety in their communities and beyond:
• Be Bold!S M (for girls ages 6 to 8) is under development. It will strengthen girls’ sense
of themselves as valuable and valued young people, empower them with the skills and
personal information critical to avoiding hurtful or dangerous situations, and assist
them in identifying and acknowledging people and resources that contribute to their
• Action for SafetyS M (for girls ages 9 to 11) builds negotiation, assertiveness, and selfdefense
skills. It facilitates open and honest discussions about interpersonal violence—
including teasing and bullying, sexual harassment, dating violence, and physical
and sexual abuse—to increase girls’ understanding about these issues as well as encourage,
support, and lessen the fear and isolation of girls who are being hurt.
• Living Safe & Strong S M (for girls ages 12 to 14) reinforces and provides additional
safety strategies and self-defense skills for girls, introduces them to community
resources, and supports them in taking action on violence issues in partnership with
their communities.

Leadership & Community Action
Throughout history, women and girls have blazed pathways to progress and change. Girls and women have always
been leaders, but their leadership has often gone unrecognized. To address this problem and to inspire all girls to
become leaders, Girls Incorporated has developed this program to bring girls and adult women together to discover
the power of their capacity for leadership through community action.
The Facts:
• In Georgia, the graduation rate for female students is 82.3% (Cobb 87.7%, Fulton 86.5%, Gwinnett 79.8%,
DeKalb 82.7%, Clayton 82.9%)
• In a nationwide survey of school-age children conducted for Girls Incorporated by Harris Interactive, 35% of
kids surveyed indicated that “people don’t think girls are good leaders.” The percentage was greater when
broken down for quality of life. 45% of girls with a “low” quality of life index score indicated they agree with
this statement.
• In the same study, only 66% of girls surveyed said that they expected to go to college, 21% expected to do volunteer
work and only 18% expected to work full time.
Discovery Leadership for girls 9-11
This component enables girls to join in partnership with women leaders in their community to develop and practice
leadership and advocacy skills and construct community action projects. One of the principal strengths of this
component is the opportunity it provides girls to make decisions, take responsibility, and initiate projects in
collaboration with experienced women. Indeed, girls have been involved in the development of the program from
its initial stages.
In Discovery, girls and women come together to celebrate their heritage as leaders. They discover their own leadership
skills through hands-on activities, role plays, community exploration, and a weekend retreat. Together, girls
and women identify issues of ongoing concern to the community and formulate responses using persuasive
communication and organizing for action. From removing graffiti to getting a stop sign placed at a dangerous
corner to enhancing community awareness of the dangers of drugs and violence—Discovery empowers girls, enriches
their communities, and enables them to explore their own ability and responsibility to produce positive longterm
social change.
In Our own Hands for girls 12-14
In Our Own Hands is a program designed to enable girls ages 12-14 to recognize themselves as leaders, to understand
their rights and responsibilities, and to feel empowered and responsible for championing social change. This
program is designed to support girls in developing leadership skills, connecting with their community, and gaining
an sense of empowerment and responsibility for championing social change. The philosophy of this program is
guided by the four major theoretical frameworks:
Girls are leaders; We hold the strong belief that young people are agents of change in their communities. Girls
ARE leaders today: They are the experts on issues that influence their lives and they have the power, ability , and
desire to make their communities better places for themselves and for others.
Leadership is Empowering and Rational: Leadership in nontraditional sites, such as civic and community affairs
as opposed to managerial positions in corporations and institutions, and to think in new ways about what leadership
is and what it might be. We believe in leadership characterized by collective action, commitment to social
justice, and asset of skills including consensus building, networking, empowering others, and exercising the power
of ideas and public opinion

 Mind + Body
Girls have the right to accept and appreciate their bodies and are entitled to thrive in communities that invest in
their total physical, mental, and emotional wellness. Girls need access to information, resources, and skills to be
effective partners in promoting their own healthy development. To help ensure that girls have the support that they
need to take charge of their own health, Girls Incorporated has launched a new initiative: Girls Inc. Mind + Body.
The Facts:
• In a nationwide survey of school-age children conducted for Girls Incorporated by Harris Interactive, 74% of
girls agreed that “girls are under a lot of pressure to please everyone.”
• According to the CDC, High School Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 49.2% of youth in Georgia admitted to trying
cigarettes and 67.9% admitted to having at least one drink of alcohol.
• According to the same study, 12.4% of high school students in Georgia are considered obese.
Mind + Body Initiative
For years, Girls Incorporated has been concerned with the physical wellbeing of all girls. Recently, the national organization
has designed programming that brings together activities from signature Girls Inc. programs to ensure girls have
access to information, resources, and skills that will help them promote their own healthy development. As with all Girls
Inc. programming, this initiative is broken into age appropriate activities, so girls are given information in relation to
their current stage of development. The Initiative is designed to focus on four issues that, according to research, play a
major role in fortifying girls’ ability to develop and sustain strong minds and bodies:
Nutrition: this initiative includes activities that help girls learn why healthy eating is important for specific
functions of their bodies, and bust diet myths and challenge the way that media portrays unhealthy foods.
Physical Activity: activities in this category help girls learn why physical activity is important to overall health,
helps to get girls active by building their skills to participate in organized, individual and adventure sports
programs, and provide girls with fun opportunities to get active and moving.
Stress Management: these exercises help girls recognize stress and its effects, identify positive outlets for stress,
including physical activity, understand the negative effects of using substances to relieve stress, and identify
areas of girls’ lives that may cause them stress and give them skills to resolve those issues and decrease stress.
Body Image: this component of the initiative focuses on giving girls experience with challenging gender stereo
types and the media’s focus on female appearance, help girls focus on their internal strengths rather than their
external appearance, help girls accept their bodies as they enter adolescence, help girls learn why having a
healthy body image is important to having a strong body, and encourage girls to become advocates for
promoting a healthy body image for women.
Girls Incorporated of Greater Atlanta believes that girls participating in this program will be better able to contribute to
their personal health and wellbeing, deal with negative pressures to take unnecessary health risks and easily identify the
stress triggers and risky behaviors that can damage self esteem and negatively affect their bodies. Through the Mind +
Body Initiative, girls will be inspired to be strong, smart and bold. Strong in their ability to resist pressure to live unhealthy
lifestyles through improper eating habits, crash diets, inactivity, and/or substance use/abuse. Smart in their understanding
of their bodies, the affects that their lifestyles have on their current and future health, and their ability to
deal with stress. And, bold in their ability to stand up against pressures to engage in risky behaviors, challenge gender
stereotypes and advocate for the promotion of healthy body image for all women and girls.