At Girls Inc. of Metro Denver, we believe that girls are innately powerful. We believe that all girls should be prepared to lead and that our next generation of leaders will be a generation of women leaders.
Unfortunately there are still many barriers to success that young women and girls, especially girls of color, face. From physical and social emotional obstacles, to inequities in educational opportunities and more, it is imperative that girls get access to the tools, and develop the persistence needed, to overcome these obstacles. This imperative is at the heart of Girls Inc. of Metro Denver’s mission to inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold.
The American Institutes for Research (AIR) conducted a two year, quasi-experimental research study with four Girls Inc. affiliates and their school districts. The goal was to examine the impact of Girls Inc. on participants’ academic and behavioral outcomes, compared to similar non-participating girls. The study found, on 24 dimensions, that Girls Inc. girls did significantly better than girls who had not had the Girls Inc. experience.
Among the complete findings, the AIR study reported:
- Girls Inc. girls are more likely than other girls to see themselves as leaders, with the skills and capabilities of influencing and improving their communities.
- Girls Inc. girls are more engaged in school, with better attendance rates and higher standardized math scores than their peers.
- Girls Inc. girls are better prepared for life after high school than their peers, particularly when exposed to college readiness programming.
- Girls Inc. girls were more likely to believe they could handle harder math or science content, and more likely to want a computer or science career.
- Girls Inc. girls were more likely to abstain from substance use compared to high school girls nationwide.
- Girls Inc. girls were 79% less likely to be involved with the juvenile justice system.
All girls have incredible potential. With the right interventions, girls can challenge the setbacks they have experienced. Though we have made progress, there is much work left to be done.
We must leverage the momentum of the moment, and act now. On the macro-level, Girls Inc. aims to address the policy, implementation, and challenges that await girls. On the micro-level, we will continue to provide the programming, mentorship, pro-girl environment that supports girls in our community each day.