The 2012 Frisky Give Guide: Girls Inc.

This holiday season, The Frisky staff is committed to giving back. Throughout the month of December we’ll be telling you about some of the charities and nonprofits that we support, why they’re important to us, and how you can support them too, if you’re so inclined. First up, Winona tells us why she believes in Girls Inc.!

Who they are: Girls Incorporated

What they do: Empower girls age 6 to 18 to achieve their full potential through mentoring and hands-on experiences.

Why I support them: Before I came to write full-time for The Frisky, I ran a program at Portland Community College that partnered with local high schools to get more teenage girls signed up in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) classes. I met some really amazing young women who were excelling in science and technology (including a particularly gifted robotics club member who I’m convinced will grow up to be either the best President we’ve ever had or the most fearsome dictator the world has ever known), but I also saw a lot of girls falling into familiar patterns of silence, deferring to male classmates, and opting out of high level math and science classes because they were uninterested or intimidated…

Girls Inc. is working to achieve gender equality on a larger scale by inspiring and empowering girls on an individual basis. They put on workshops and ongoing girls’ groups to encourage girls to tackle tough problems, be creative, and believe in themselves. They introduce young women to role models who are already working in nontraditional careers. They also teach practical life skills such as budgeting, media literacy, and conflict resolution.

I truly believe in the power of mentoring, and Girls Inc. is an organization that’s doing it in a big way: their programs reach 125,000 young women every year.

How you can support them too: Donate and be confident that your money is making a difference (84% of all incoming funding goes directly to their programs), or find a Girls Inc. chapter in your city and volunteer to be a mentor.

Stay tuned for more ways to spread the good cheer next week, and if you have a nonprofit organization you feel strongly about, please feel free to tell us about it in the comments!