Great things are happening in neighborhoods around Uplift schools. In Love Field, South Dallas, Oak Cliff, and West Dallas, Girls Inc. operates four campuses that offer quality after-school and summer programming for more than 800 girls ages six through eighteen. The organization affects families like the Garcias, who recently received roaring applause for their commitment to education at a Texas Women’s University December graduation.
CEO Lori Palmer explained, “The Garcias are a Hispanic family with three daughters. Neither parent went to college; their primary language is Spanish; and they have consistently placed a high value on education. All three of their daughters have been long time students with Girls Inc.” Palmer went on to highlight the success of all three girls. “The first daughter received a scholarship and is in her second year at TWU; the second daughter is already receiving scholarships and making a decision about what university to attend. The third daughter is in middle school and heading along the same pathway.” They were recently honored at a TWU graduation where Palmer gave the opening remarks. When the entire family was asked to stand, thunderous applause broke out throughout the auditorium.
The core areas of educational enrichment, health and sexuality, and life skills and career planning drive the Girls Inc. program. The curriculum also includes sports and adventure, leadership and community action, as well as culture and heritage.
“The more options a community has with the respect to raising and development of young people, the better,” Palmer said. This seven-core approach has been nationally researched and is developmentally appropriate. Over the past 13 years, 100% of senior girls in the program graduated from high school and continued on to some form of higher education. In addition 100% of girls in the program have remained pregnancy and drug free in the last 12 out of 13 years.
“At 3:00 every day the girls begin arriving. It changes the entire atmosphere of the whole building. We love working with girls. We are passionate about enabling girls and young women to live a full and rich life,” Palmer said. With a strong presence in communities surrounding Uplift schools, Girls Inc. sees it as their responsibility to “round out” what schools can do. Uplift is happy to team with such programs to create confident and successful scholars.