GIM empowered talented alum to teach, lead - and keep on dancing
Nikki Taylor uses dance to "do what needs to be done for the future"
When Nikki Taylor started as a Girls Inc. participant at the South Park Center, she was certain about a few things.

She knew her parents were divorcing. She felt alone. And she knew she could dance. She wasn't sure about much else, including what it would be like to interact with SO many girls.

"It was so new to me," she says. "I was excited but I just wasn't sure--150 girls can be overwhelming at first."

But soon she met her center director, Dora Brown Harris, who took her under her wing--then let her fly.

"I was welcomed with open arms," Nikki said. "I became a leader because they realized what I could do."

Her journey since then took her through dance studies at the University of Southern Mississippi, a stint in Dallas and back to Memphis. Today she's a busy member of the Collage Dance Collective and she's still teaching, still helping.

"I'm one of those people who wants to do what needs to be done for the future," she said, "which is why I want to work with children. I want them to have something I didn't have. I push them to be something they never expected."

Read more about Girls Inc. alum Nikki Talylor.
Girls Inc. girls are taking care of business
Equipping girls to make healthy decisions and achieve life goals
When 15 Girls Inc. girls ages 15 to 18 took part in a three-day retreat last month focused on sexuality, they were doing more than just Taking Care of Business. 

Taking Care of Business is an age-appropriate component of Girls Inc.'s Healthy Sexuality curriculum, which
assists girls in understanding and embracing sexuality with a positive, empowered approach.

The curriculum is built on accurate information, encompassing cultural norms and valuing diversity. It's an age-progressive program that encourages the development of skills, insights, values, personal tools, peer support and information to avoid early pregnancy and to prevent sexually-transmitted infections, including HIV.  

The girls on this retreat were piloting new curriculum updates. But what's even more exciting is how programs like this connect to the outcomes that we at Girls Inc. of Memphis are focused on like never before. Consider these national statistics:
  • 78 % of girls are unhappy with their bodies by age 17
  • 37% of US female survey participants reported having sex with at least one person in the past three months
  • 3 in 10 girls will become pregnant before the age of 20
  • 50% of teen mothers graduate from high school
  • 2% of teen mothers earn a college degree by age 30
Thanks to comprehensive Girls Inc. Experience programming which includes health and sexuality curricula, Girls Inc. of Memphis outcomes include:
  • Only 7% of Girls Inc. of Memphis girls ages 12 - 18 report having sex with at least one person in past three month (2016 outcome survey)
  • 0% of Girls Inc. of Memphis girls involved in Girls Inc. Experience programs in 2015-2016 are teen mothers
  • 100% of Girls Inc. of Memphis girls involved in Girls Inc. Experience programs graduated from high school on time in spring 2016
  • 100% of Girls Inc. of Memphis girls in Girls Inc. Experience programs entered post-secondary education or military upon graduation in spring 2016
We call THAT taking care of business!
Get ready to watch Girls Inc. grow
3-year strategic priorities are all about growth
What do marshmallows and dried spaghetti have to do with strategic planning? We're glad you asked--because there's plenty!

The Girls Inc. of Memphis board recently approved a set of strategic priorities that are all about growth. Over the next three years you can expect to watch us build on our 70-year foundation of inspiring girls to be strong, smart and bold.

During open house gatherings held in September at our South Park and LDT center locations,
girls and their families enjoyed pizza and engaged in hands-on activities, ranging from building towers with marshmallows and dried spaghetti (at left) to making slime to creating with LEGOS (below).  

Just like girls and their families built structures together, Girls Inc. is focused on growing the numbers of girls served by building programs in additional communities.

Our growth will focus on areas where girls have limited access to comprehensive pro-girl programming. Frayser will expand, we reenter South Memphis this fall, and Berclair is on tap for new programming next year. We will also grow in our advocacy efforts to raise awareness and support for ALL girls in the Greater Memphis area.

This year marks our 70th year as an organization (see blurb below) and we are excited to seize the opportunity to expand access to the Girls Inc. Experience for girls across Memphis like never before.

Want to know how YOU can be part of the plan? Contact Katie Brezina at to register for a program tour and info session held monthly at various program locations. 

We're still celebrating 70 years!
And we need YOU!
We have three full months to continue celebrating seven decades of empowering girls in Memphis!
That's several years past what most consider retirement age - but we're just getting started!

With our first-ever alum serving as board chair (
Dr. Adriane Johnson-Williams) and a new three-year strategic plan, we are all about growing girls and growing the ways we equip them for a thriving future.

As we move into the next 70 years, we want to learn from our past to inform our future!

Here are the various ways you can show your celebratory spirit:
  • If you are a Girls Inc. of Memphis alum or a Girls Club alum, WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! Email Barbara Hayes at or call her at 901-523-0217 - share your contact information with her so we can keep you updated on what we're doing and keep you involved.
  • Want to learn more and get involved? Contact Katie Brezina at to schedule a tour.
  • Want to make a gift to help us grow a girl?   Donate now!

Volunteer. Mentor. Donate.

2670 Union Avenue Extended Suite 606, Memphis, TN 38112