About Us

Our History

Club Model Beginnings

In 1969, three Indianapolis mothers identified the need for a safe, healthy environment where their daughters could learn, grow, and develop. They remodeled an old schoolhouse at 1125 Spruce St. in Fountain Square and founded Girls Club of Indianapolis. In 1975, the Girls Club of Indianapolis merged with the Model Cities Girls Club to form the Girls Clubs of Marion County.

From Girls Club to Girls Incorporated

In early 1990, the national Girls Clubs of America organization voted to change its name to Girls Incorporated. At that time, Girls Clubs of Marion County became Girls Incorporated of Indianapolis. In 2001, we adopted the mission statement “Inspiring all girls to be strong, smart, and bold”. With this change, we realized our club facilities could only reach a maximum of 600 Indianapolis girls. In 2006, our board of directors approved a three-year strategic plan and established our outreach model in order to serve all girls throughout Marion County
and fully accomplish our mission.

Transition to the Outreach Model

In 2007, Patricia A. Wachtel became the CEO for Girls Inc. of Indianapolis, and in 2008, Girls Inc. launched outreach partnerships with schools, community centers, and other youth agencies in key Marion County neighborhoods. These fully functioning partnerships made it possible for girls to participate in Girls Inc. programs in their own neighborhoods.

The new outreach model is a three-pronged strategy of borrowed space, volunteer facilitation of programs, and a technology system to drive much of the cost down of administering a large collaboration model. One measure of our effectiveness is the decrease in the cost per hour
of service from $235/hr (2008) to less
than $40/hr (2009).

Expanding Our Service to Girls

In 2009, Girls Inc. of Indianapolis celebrated its 40th anniversary, changed its name to Girls Inc. of Greater Indianapolis, moved to a new administrative headquarters at 3935 N. Meridian Street, and served a record 1,921 girls through nearly 3,000 program enrollments.

In 2014, a new three-year strategic plan was launched to effectively meet the current and future needs of girls, build a responsive, adaptive organization that will insure continuity of girl services, and to diversify revenue streams and upgrade technology tools for efficiency and sustainability. We currently reach nearly 4,000 girls with more than 7,500 program enrollments at nearly 100 schools, community centers and youth serving organizations through more than 300 volunteers. Our program focus continues to be on healthy relationship development (STRONG), establishing future plans and goals (SMART), and personal empowerment (BOLD).

Find out how Girls Inc. delivers our programs for girls!

For a complete history, download our backgrounder.