Miami-based Strong Girls Inc. announced it is affiliating with Girls Inc., the national organization that inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold.
Girls Inc. works with schools and in communities in 350 cities across the US and Canada providing more than 134,000 girls each year with mentoring relationships, safe spaces, and evidence-based programming proven to help them succeed.
The organization also serves the large Caribbean-American population in the South Florida region, providing “a village” to help raise young Caribbean-American girls.
Makeisha, a full-time educator and the mother of two girls, enrolled the younger of her two daughters in the afternoon program.
“They act as a second parent, and nurture them when we can’t be there due to work,” she said.
The expansion of the organization comes at a time when more than half of girls enrolled in Miami-Dade Public Schools are economically disadvantaged, and 72% of the young women in Miami who are not enrolled in school and do not have a high school degree are also unemployed.
A pro-girl, safe, and affirming environment is also critical as the number of girls in Florida who express feeling unsafe at school or going to or leaving school has nearly doubled over the last 10 years.
“Far too many girls in Miami face significant social barriers that, without the right tools and support, threaten their ability to achieve success in school, life, and work,” said Virginia Akar, founder and president of Strong Girls Inc.
“We are ecstatic to join the Girls Inc. network, which will allow us to strengthen our capacity and deepen our impact in the Miami community.”
Girls Inc. makes a positive and lasting difference in the lives of girls. Recent data from the American Institutes for Research found that girls who participated in Girls Inc. programming were more likely to engage in activities and express beliefs that lead to physical and mental well-being, academic achievement, and the development of leadership skills. Girls were more likely to be engaged in and attend school, less likely to be suspended, and be prepared for life after high school.
“Girls are innately powerful. When provided the right opportunities and supports, girls become change agents for themselves and others,” said Stephanie J. Hull, Ph.D., President and CEO of Girls Inc.
“We look forward to partnering locally to develop the talent and potential of girls in Miami and help strengthen this diverse and vibrant community.”
Founded by Akar in 2017, Strong Girls Inc. provided after-school programming to 180 girls in Title 1 elementary, middle, and high schools in Miami-Dade county. Girls Inc. of Greater Miami will continue these partnerships to help girls gain the skills, knowledge, and attitudes they need to thrive now and as adults.