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What is Girls Incorporated of Orange County?

Girls Incorporated of Orange County is a 501(c)(3) organization that has served the Orange County community since 1954. We are an affiliate of the national youth organization Girls Incorporated®, a research, education and direct advocacy organization that inspires all girls to be Strong, Smart, and BoldSM.

Girls Incorporated of Orange County provides vital after-school and summer enrichment and educational programs to girls ages 4 1/2 – 18 to help them develop the values and skills they need to become confident, productive and responsible adults. Our programs and activities are offered at our Main Center in Costa Mesa and at school and community sites throughout Orange County.

What is the history of Girls Incorporated of Orange County?

Girls Incorporated of Orange County, formerly Harbor Area Girls Club, opened in July 1, 1954 in a bungalow behind Lindberg School in Costa Mesa and served approximately 20 girls. In 1955, the center became an affiliate of Girls Club of America. Our current location on Anaheim Avenue was completed in 1959. In 1990, the name was changed to Girls Incorporated of Orange County to show how the organization creates changes in the lives of young girls.

What are some of Girls Incorporated of Orange County's key programs and activities?

Girls Incorporated programs are available for three major age groups: elementary, middle school and high school. Our programs are designed to help girls:

  • Improve Self-Esteem
  • Boost Grades
  • Prepare For Higher Education
  • Become Active In Their Communities
  • Explore Science, Math, and Technology
  • Become Economically Independent Women 

Click here to learn more about our key programs and activities.

What makes Girls Incorporated unique?

Girls Inc. programming:

  • Is comprehensive, including modules that develop across four age groups, building on learning from one area to another, rather than organized in short-term activities related to a variety of topics.
  • Is intentionally focused on gender equity, inspiring girls to be strong, smart & bold, and key issues like pregnancy prevention, rather than general youth development and “safer” topics.
  • Is based on high-quality, longitudinal, national evaluation research, rather than only local evaluation of program quality.
  • Is delivered by professionally-trained facilitators, rather than volunteers who may not have the time or the training to offer excellent programs.
  • Includes role modeling and mentoring as key components where older girls connect with younger girls, rather than groups segregated by age.
  • Provides opportunities for girls to work with a number of adults with a variety of skills, rather than limiting the adults involved to the same one or two people over time.
  • Reaches many girls (of color and from low-income families) who would otherwise be left out of enrichment programs. 

How can I get my daughter involved in Girls Incorporated of Orange County?

Parents can enroll their daughter in a program by downloading the appropriate form(s) from the web site or by contacting the Girls Incorporated of Orange County office and filling out necessary forms. A Girls Inc. of Orange County representative will assist parents with understanding eligibility requirements and in selecting the right program for their daughter.

Why does Girls Incorporated of Orange County only serve girls?

The all-girl 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. Gender-specific programming lets girls focus on their real interests, at their own pace, free from distractions and comparisons.

Girls Inc. believes and seeks to teach every girl that she has the right:

  • To prepare for interesting work and economic independence
  • To accept and appreciate her body
  • To take risks, to strive freely, and to take pride in her success
  • To express herself with originality and enthusiasm
  • To be herself and resist gender stereotypes 

What are the costs of Girls Incorporated of Orange County programs?

Many of Girls Incorporated of Orange County’s programs are available at no cost to participants. Some programs, such as our Summer, Eureka! and After-School programs at our Main Center are fee-based. The cost will vary depending on family income and set fees. Families should not be discouraged from enrolling their daughter in our programs because of cost. Scholarships or sliding fees are available to those families who demonstrate economic need.

How can I get involved with Girls Incorporated of Orange County as a donor?

There are a variety of ways for individuals, businesses and organizations to support Girls Incorporated as a donor, including our annual Strong, Smart & Bold event, our Girls Inc. Guild, and our Corporate Partners program, among others. Click here for additional details.

How can I get involved with Girls Incorporated as a volunteer?

Volunteers are key to implementing Girls Incorporated’s programs – more than 1,500 volunteers contributed more than 12,000 hours of service in 2009 alone! Volunteer opportunities are available to individuals, corporations, high school students, college students and graduate students. Click here for additional details.

How can I obtain your programs in my school or community?

Girls Incorporated of Orange County provides programs based on program requests and funding available. Fee-based programs are also available. If you would like to start a program in your school/community please contact:

Veronica Escobedo Director of Programs 949-646-7181 x. 306 or VEscobedo@girlsinc-oc.org

How is Girls Incorporated of Orange County funded?

Girls Incorporated of Orange County is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit, tax-exempt agency (Federal ID # 95-1810150) and operates on a carefully managed budget. 85% of funding comes from individuals, corporations and grants.

For additional information about supporting Girls Incorporated of Orange County with a tax deductible charitable gift, please click here.

How does Girls Incorporated of Orange County compare to the YMCA, Boys Girls Club, or Girl Scouts?

Girls Incorporated of Orange County takes a holistic approach to a girl’s life. Our programs focus on educational enrichment. Career and life planning takes their educational plans a step further and helps them learn about potential careers and higher education. Members benefit from one-on-one tutoring and homework assistance. Girls also participate in health and fitness classes and work to develop a healthy body image. Other programs include pregnancy and substance abuse prevention, science, math and technology, leadership development, economic literacy and personal safety.

Programs are designed to empower girls to set and achieve goals and make plans for their futures that will enable them to become responsible, self-sufficient women.

What else makes Girls Incorporated unique? First, Girls Incorporated of Orange County focuses strictly on girls ages 4 1/2 -18. Second, Girls Incorporated of Orange County provides research-based and age-appropriate girls-only programs. Third, our programs are designed with girls in mind, and we offer a place where they have the opportunity to grow, learn and play in a safe, supportive environment. All programs are facilitated by Girls Incorporated staff who have been trained in Girls Inc. programming.

Does Girls Incorporated of Orange County serve only low-income areas or at-risk girls?

Girls Incorporated of Orange County’s mission is to inspire all girls to be Strong, Smart, and BoldSM, with special attention to girls who are at high-risk. We currently serve specific communities and schools based on determined need and available funding.

Where is the nearest Girls Incorporated of Orange County program?

How many staff members does Girls Incorporated of Orange County have?

Girls Incorporated typically maintains a staff of 21, including 10 full-time and 11 part-time staff. 15 of our staff members work directly with girls as part of our program staff. The organization is led by a volunteer board of directors. Click here to see a complete list of our staff.

What are some of the corporations that sit on your board?

Our board of directors comes from a variety of Orange County’s top businesses and educational institutions, including Merrill Lynch, Chapman University, University of California, Irvine; Whalen LLP, UPS, Wal-Mart, ComerIca Bank, and Farmers and Merchants Bank, among others.

Click here for a complete list of our board members.

Is there a Boys Incorporated?

No, there is currently not an official Boys Incorporated organization that is affiliated with Girls Incorporated.

What are the qualifications of your staff?

Our staff has a combination of experience and education in various fields of study. Most have or are currently working on a BA or BS degree. We currently have the following Bachelor’s degrees represented:

  • Finance
  • Education
  • Media
  • Business
  • Women’s Studies
  • Comparative Literature
  • Social Work
  • Multi-media
  • Child and Adolescent Development
  • Psychology & Social Behavior
  • Liberal Arts
  • Psychology
  • Film
  • Human Services
  • Public Relations
  • Sociology
  • Internation Affairs
  • Sociology on Conflict 

Girls Incorporated of Orange County program staff also participate in national and local trainings, conferences and seminars related to youth development and prevention efforts.

Does Girls Incorporated of Orange County collaborate with other organizations?

Yes, Girls Incorporated of Orange County collaborates as needed with other organizations to form mutually beneficial relationships and offer more programs and services to our girls. Click here for a current list of our community partners.

How far in advance do you plan?

Girls Incorporated of Orange County operates on a three to five year strategic plan. Our calendar and fiscal year runs from January to December. Girls Incorporated of Orange County plans programs and activities on an ongoing basis. We accept sponsorships and donations throughout the year and use funds accordingly.

What are some of your challenges (helping girls, raising money, etc.)?

Girls Inc. operates on a limited budget, relying heavily on gift support from individuals, corporations and grants. For every girl that we serve, there are 64 other girls in Orange County that need our help. Click here to learn more about how you can support Girls Inc.

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