- 1958 – 1972: THE EARLY YEARS
Girls Incorporated of Alameda County (Girls Inc.) was founded in 1958 as the first Girls Club in Northern California. We became an affiliate of the national Girls Clubs of America in 1960 and opened our first office serving 20 girls after school in a small house in San Leandro.
- 1973 – 1979: A STRONG FOUNDATION
In 1973, Girls Inc. established a model focused on career development, recreation, education, and counseling. In 1976, we received a National Juvenile Justice Program award as the first Girls Club to work with girls in the juvenile justice system. Then, in 1978, we opened our Pathways Counseling Center to provide mental health services for youth and families, and added programs to treat child victims of sexual abuse and prevent teenage pregnancy.
- 1980 – 1996: CHANGE AND EXPANSION
Girls Inc. received a major boost in the early 1980s when we joined forces with other girls’ organizations to successfully lobby the local United Way to increase its funding for girls. In 1994, we expanded into Oakland and changed our name to Girls Incorporated of Alameda County to better reflect the community we serve.
- 1997 – 2009: BUILDING THE PROGRAM CONTINUUM
In 1997, Girls Inc. recognized the need for a continuum of programs to meet girls’ needs as they grew. In 1998, we adopted our current mission: “To inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold.” Pathways began delivering services in schools in 1999, and that same year we developed GIRLStart, our acclaimed literacy program for early elementary girls. In 2005, we partnered with SRI International to develop the Build IT curriculum to empower middle school girls to explore technology and design. Both GIRLStart and Build IT are among our programs that have been replicated across the nation.
- 2010 – PRESENT
In 2010, Girls Inc. was honored by the Clinton Global Initiative as one of the “Commitments to Empower Girls and Women.” After a successful three-year capital campaign that raised $11.4 million, we opened the new Girls Inc. Simpson Center for Girls in 2013 and moved our headquarters to downtown Oakland. Today, we provide a continuum of life-changing programs and counseling services in our Simpson Center for Girls and across more than 20 schools and satellite centers throughout Alameda County. We continue to believe in the power of girls.