Girls Incorporated is a national nonprofit youth organization dedicated to inspiring all girls to be strong, smart, and bold. With roots dating to 1864, Girls Inc has provided vital educational programs to millions of American girls, particularly those in high-risk, underserved areas. Today, innovative programs help girls confront subtle societal messages about their value and potential, and prepare them to lead successful, independent, and fulfilling lives.
Principal StaffJoyce M. Roché, President and Chief Executive Officer Ad Interim
Judy Vredenburgh, President and Chief Executive Officer
Carol S. Duncan, Girls Inc. Region III Professional Representative, Executive Director, Girls Inc. of Greater Lowell
Susan Fedell, Girls Inc. Region II Professional Representative, Executive Director, Youth & Family Services
Stephanie Malone, Girls Inc. Region IV Professional Representative, Executive Director, Girls Inc. of Huntsville
Lucy Santana, Girls Inc. Region I Professional Representative, Executive Director, Girls Inc. of Orange County
Cheryl Messer, Manager Media Relations
Ph. (212) 509-2000 x237
Areas of Expertise:Women's & Girls' Leadership
Projects & Campaigns
Act now to ensure equal opportunity in sports!
Currently, girls receive 1.25 million fewer opportunities to play high school sports than boys. It is difficult for advocates to promote fairness in high school athletic programs because high schools are not required to report any data of their athletics programs to the public. Urge your legislators to support the High School Athletics Accountability Act of 2009.
In July 2009, Girls Inc. Chief Operating Officer Dr. Marcia Brumit Kropf testified at a Congressional hearing held by the Subcommittee on Research and Science Education, a part of the Committee on Science and Technology. The hearing focused on examining current research findings, best practices, and the role of federal agencies in increasing the interest of girls in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in primary and secondary school.
Reports & Resources
Girls Inc. 2008. Girls Inc. Annual Report 2008.
Girls Inc. 2000. Taking the Lead: Girls' Rights in the 21st Century.
Girls Inc. 1996. Prevention and Parity: Girls in Juvenile Justice.
Seasoned Youth-Development Leader to Guide 145-Year-Old Nonprofit Committed to Inspiring All Girls to Be Strong, Smart, and BoldSM.
"I am thrilled that Judy is joining Girls Inc. to help us chart the course for the coming years," said Ms. Heller. "She is a wonderful woman and has all the leadership qualities we need to guide the organization to even greater accomplishments."
Ellen Stafford-Sigg, Vice Chair of the Girls Inc. Board, chaired the Search Committee, which worked with The Phillips' Oppenheim Group to identify, review, and interview a large, diverse pool of candidates. Ms. Vredenburgh was recommended by the Search Committee as the candidate with the qualifications best suited to the needs of the organization, and her appointment was approved by the entire Board of Directors.
Ms. Vredenburgh served as President and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America from 1999 to 2009. During that time, she led the organization in unprecedented expansion of services and revenue growth: the number of children the organization served more than doubled, from 118,000 to 255,000, and its revenue increased from $171 million to $290 million (this includes National and affiliate revenue). Prior to BBBS, Ms. Vredenburgh was Senior VP Strategic Marketing and Revenue Development for the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation. Prior to joining the nonprofit sector, she spent over 20 years in the retail industry. She holds an M.B.A. from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a B.A. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania.
"I am honored to have this opportunity to take over from Joyce, whom I so deeply respect and admire," said Ms. Vredenburgh, "and to lead an organization for whose work I have such a profound passion. Throughout my career, I have mentored girls and young women as part of my personal commitment to empowering the next generation of women leaders. It is wonderful now to have the chance to devote myself full time to the mission of inspiring girls to be strong, smart, and bold."
"I met Judy not long after I joined Girls Inc.," reflected Ms. Roché, "and always found her to be smart, warm, and fully committed to supporting the positive development of youth. I believe she is just the right leader for Girls Inc. as we begin a new strategic planning process that will define our direction for the coming years."
"My colleagues on the Girls Inc. Board and I are committed to redoubling our efforts to support the organization," added Ms. Heller, "to ensure a smooth leadership transition that will help deliver on the promise and the full potential of this great organization."
Girls Incorporated® is a nonprofit organization that inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and boldSM through a network of local organizations in the United States and Canada. With local roots dating to 1864 and national status in the U.S. since 1945, Girls Inc. responds to the changing needs of girls and their communities through research-based programs and advocacy that empower girls to reach their full potential and to understand, value, and assert their rights. In 2008, Girls Inc. reached over 900,000 girls through Girls Inc. affiliates, our website, and educational publications.
New York, NY — February 12, 2009
The ING Foundation and Girls Inc., the nonprofit organization that inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and boldSM, today announced the launch of the ING-Girls Inc. Investment Challenge — an innovative program that will give participating girls practical, hands-on investing experience while allowing them to keep their gains in the form of college scholarships.
With the help and guidance of trained Girls Inc. staff and ING employee volunteers, teams of girls ages 12-18 will build and manage diversified, real-time portfolios as part of an integrative investment- and economic-literacy curriculum. The program will begin with a one-year pilot in New York City, Denver, and Los Angeles and Alameda counties in California.
“Smart money management — learning how to spend, save and grow your money effectively — is a critical life skill,” said Joyce M. Roché, president and CEO of Girls Inc. “But in many households, parents are not equipped to teach girls about money management.”
“The Girls Inc. Economic Literacy® program has been our most popular offering,” Roché said. “It’s clear that girls have a keen appetite to learn more about saving and investing. This innovative Girls Inc./ING partnership will make money management real and meaningful and will be a powerful and important adjunct to the Girls Inc. focus on economic literacy and empowerment.”
Commenting on the ING-Girls Inc. Investment Challenge, Rhonda Mims, president of the ING Foundation and senior vice president of ING’s Office of Corporate Responsibility and Multicultural Affairs, said: “The earlier we can engage girls in the capital markets, the more likely we will be able to grow a generation of smart, empowered investors. But it’s hard to make investing meaningful when you have nothing to invest in the first place. For many young people, the stock market might just as well be in another galaxy. That’s why we think the investment challenge is so powerful; girls are not just observers of the stock market but participants, who will, presumably, reap the economic rewards of their efforts.”
How It Will Work
On March 1, the girls will begin investing with $20,000 virtual portfolios, which will be supplemented monthly over the course of the year until each team has received a total of $50,000.
The challenge is governed by a set of guidelines relating to core investing principles such as asset allocation, diversification, portfolio turnover and valuation, which are intended to encourage sound, long-term investing behaviors. To give the girls gradual exposure to the markets and to help teach and reinforce these fundamental principles, the girls will invest in mutual funds for the first six months of the challenge. After that time, they will be allowed to invest in individual securities.
One of the important features of the challenge is that over the course of the year, each girl will be responsible for identifying, researching and presenting at least one investing idea to the team.
“The ING-Girls Inc. Investment Challenge will provide the girls with critical, early exposure to the markets and to the fundamentals of investing, but it has also been designed to give them practical, relevant experience with original research, critical thinking and oral argument. These are invaluable skills in the classroom and workplace alike,” Roché said.
“We could not have started the program at a better time,” adds Roché. “Recent market volatility will underscore for our girls the importance of selecting quality investments and of focusing on the long-term.”
Role of the ING Employee Volunteers
ING employees assist trained Girls Inc. professionals in delivering the curriculum, guiding the girls in making investment decisions and ensuring that each team abides by the investing guidelines. Importantly, while the Girls Inc. staff and ING employees will be there to advise the teams, the girls will make all investing decisions.
“A core focus of the ING Foundation is the financial empowerment of underserved populations — a focus we’ve adopted because we feel the need is urgent, and we have the expertise and resources to help.” Mims said. “But merely writing checks is not going to produce the type of sustained, long-term community empowerment to which we aspire. Our employees — with time and expertise — will play a critical role in educating, encouraging and empowering these young women.”
After three years, 75% of any gains in the portfolio will be paid by the ING Foundation to the girls in the form of Girls Inc. scholarships for post-secondary education; 25% of the gains will be given to the local Girls Inc. affiliate to support local programming. The original $50,000 principal will then be re-assigned to the incoming team.
In addition to portfolio performance, a confidential survey of participants will also be used to assess and enhance the impact of the program.
“This is an ambitious and important initiative,” said Mims. “Financial literacy is one of the biggest issues facing American youth today, especially among multicultural girls. We make investing way more complex and intimidating than it needs to be. Innovative advocacy programs like the ING-Girls Inc. Investment Challenge open up the world of investing, financially empowering young women who might not get exposure to investing basics at home or in school.”
“There is tremendous enthusiasm for the ING-Girls Inc. Investment Challenge here at Girls Inc. and among our participating affiliates,” said Marcia Kropf, COO of Girls Inc. “This program gives Girls Inc. girls a running head start while pointing them down a path to post-secondary education. It is a shining example of a public-private partnership between organizations with a common cause, high mutual respect and complementary skill sets.”
Opportunities, Grants & Fellowships
Girls Incorporated Lucile Miller Wright Scholars Program
Damary Bonilla, an alumna of Girls Inc. of New York City, answers the question: what does a world full of Girls Inc. girls and women look like?
The award winning Girls Inc. "Tell Me" PSAs feature girls telling adults what positive messages they need to hear.
What We Do
NCRW is a network of leading university and community based research, policy, and advocacy centers with a growing global reach dedicated to advancing rights and opportunities for women and girls. We also have a Corporate Circle comprised of senior diversity professionals from leading U.S. and global member companies and a Presidents Circle of college and university leaders who share our commitment. NCRW harnesses the collective power of its network to provide knowledge, analysis, and thought leadership on issues ranging from reducing women’s poverty to building a critical mass of women’s leadership across sectors.