Frequently Asked Questions

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Girls Inc. 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 Inc., a research, education and direct advocacy organization that inspires all girls to be Strong, Smart, and Bold.

Girls Inc. of Orange County provides vital after-school and summer enrichment and educational programs to girls ages 5 – 17 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.

Girls Inc. 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.

Girls Inc. 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, Technology, Engineering, and Math
  • Become Economically Independent Women

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

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.