Our Mission:
To inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold™
and to respect themselves and the world around them.


Our Vision:

Empowered girls achieving success in a complex and diverse world.

Girls Inc. of the Central Coast® is an affiliate of Girls Incorporated, a national organization that has been providing programs for girls since 1864 in the United States and Canada. We deliver innovative, research-based programs designed specifically to address the strengths and needs of girls ages 8 to 18.  We inspire girls to pursue post-secondary education, develop leadership and decision-making skills, serve their communities, and acquire the ability and wisdom to lead healthy lifestyles.


Founded in 1999, Girls Inc. of the Central Coast (Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz Counties) currently serves over 1,700 girls a year in 41 schools sites in 10 cities. We are a 501(c)(3) organization.

All programs are conducted after school at school sites. We have established productive working relationships with the schools, whose staffs assist us with recruitment and program implementation. We are currently operating in Salinas, Seaside, Marina, Castroville, Gonzales, Soledad, Greenfield, King City, Hollister and Watsonville at 8 high schools, 11 middle schools, and 22 elementary schools.

Girls Inc. of the Central Coast offers programs primarily facilitated by teens, in keeping with our commitment that participating girls and young women are active partners in program design and service delivery. Teen graduates from our high school program return as paid youth leaders to facilitate programs. They are confident, strong, and passionate about working in their communities as role models for younger girls – demonstrating a model for leadership that not only provides these young women with practical skills and experience, but also allows us to reach a broad spectrum of girls. Youth Leaders experience personal life-transformations, while inspiring the girls they mentor to follow in their footsteps.


Our Programs

1. ECHO Leadership and Mentoring Program:
Works with young women in high school, ages 15 to 17, encouraging them to pursue post-secondary education, and plan for future careers. Facilitated by Youth Leaders and adult mentors, they meet once every other week after school on school grounds for 9 months.

2. Youth Leaders Program:
Provides opportunities for the ECHO graduates to continue their leadership development as Youth Leaders and Teen Teachers by delivering programs to girls in high school and middle school. They receive training on their respective curriculums and on-going support throughout the year.

3. Smart Choices Summer Program:
This week- long summer program takes place on a local college campus and inspires girls entering high school to make positive life choices about health, relationships and school. Girls explore their potential for leadership, examine myths about cultural and sexual stereotypes, critically examine the influence of the media, and determine classes they should take to get into college.

4. Will Power/Won’t Power:
A series of workshops for girls 12 to 14 years old teaching assertive communication, forming healthy relationships, avoiding risky situations, and learning about teen health. Meets once a week, for 10 weeks, after school on school grounds.

5. Friendly PEERsuasion:
A two-phase substance abuse education program for middle school girls, which also prepares them to become facilitators of workshops on this subject for elementary school children. This program approaches drug abuse prevention as a peer issue, using the positive influence of young people modeling healthy behaviors. Meets once a week, after school on school grounds.

6. Growing Together:
Designed to increase positive communication between mothers (or other significant female adult) and their 10 to 12 year old daughters. It helps them discuss questions about sexual behavior and puberty without embarrassment. Growing Together meets once a week in the evenings and is offered in English and Spanish.

7.  Strong, Smart and Bold Summer Camp:
is a two-week day camp for girls ages 8 to 11. Girls participate in research-based programs: Girls Take Another Look increases their awareness of the scope and power of the media and the effects of media messages on girls and women; Girls enCourage is designed to sustain girls’ interest in sports through adolescence by introducing them to nontraditional activities and adventures; Operation SMART (STEM) develops girl’s skills and enthusiasm for science through experiment and hands-on activities.


Who We Serve

82% Latina, 6% Caucasion, 3% Asian/Pacific Islander, 1% African American and  8% unknowns. In some communities, more than 90% of the girls are Latinas. The home language for 90% of our participants is Spanish. At least 70% are enrolled in the free or reduced lunch program; however in several of the elementary schools we serve, as many as 97% are enrolled in this program.




The Girls Inc. Experience

At Girls Inc., we are committed to recognizing girls’ power and potential. We have developed
“The Girls Inc. Experience” to support their success.

Girls-only Environment

A pro-girl environment that is physically, socially and emotionally safe.

Mentoring Relationships

Trusting relationships with trained adult staff and volunteers.

Intentional & Compensatory Programming

Holistic programs focused on girls’ needs provide access and exposure to new opportunities while expanding their mindsets.

Research-Based Curricula

Relevant, field-tested curricula that builds girls’ knowledge and skills.

Skill-Building Activities

Girl-centered, motivating, and engaging projects.

Sustained Exposure

Continuous programming and personal connections to increase positive outcomes.