Welcome to Girls Inc. of the Central Coast!
Girls Inc. of the Central Coast is an affiliate of Girls Incorporated, a national organization that has been providing programs for girls since 1864.
Girls Inc. delivers a constellation of programs focused on leadership and self-empowerment for girls ages 8 to 18. Youth Leaders facilitate these programs at 28 school sites around (Monterey County and San Benito County)
Alumnae, take our survey!
We invite all our Girls Inc. alumnae to participate in our survey to keep us updated on their activities and give us their feedback and suggestions. It is also a great way to learn about ways to reconnect with Girls Inc. Keep an eye out for information about an alumnae reunion soon!
Young women speak with legislators at the State Capitol
During late February and early March, the local non-profit organization Girls Inc. of the Central Coast took 114 local high school students to the California State Capitol. There, the young women had the opportunity to not only tour the Capitol and see our state democracy in action by listening to Senate and Assembly discussions, but also to speak directly with their legislators. They voiced their concerns on policy matters affecting their communities, such as textbook shortages in our schools, education funding, gang violence, environmental protection, and economic access to healthy food—among other topics.
These young women are participants in the ECHO Leadership Program offered by Girls Inc. and represent the following 7 high schools: King City, Greenfield, Soledad, Alisal, North Monterey County, Seaside and Hollister. They traveled to Sacramento on February 25th, March 3rd, and March 4th. Assemblyman Luis Alejo, Senator Bill Monning, Assemblyman Mark Stone, and one of Anthony Cannella’s legislative Aids all joined the groups during at least one of these visits to listen to what these young women had to say. To prepare for the field trip, each group spent a session brainstorming positive changes they would like to see in their communities, learning about the process through which a bill becomes a law, reading bills, and practicing their lobbying skills.
For 57% of these high school students, this was their first visit to the Capitol. About 70% reported that they understood the legislative process after their preparation session and visit to Sacramento. About 96% of participants reported that they are now more aware of how they can change their communities, and 92% went further by stating they felt inspired to take part in advocacy activities after this trip.
These events are especially meaningful when considering the limited presence of women in our federal and state legislative systems. Currently, women represent only 18.5% of the U.S. Congress and 26.7% of the California legislature, according to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University and the National Conference of State Legislature, respectively. We have a lot to do to encourage girls and young women to pursue careers in public office and to ensure that they receive the tools and opportunities to do so.
After their visit to the Capitol, the participants also toured UC Davis and heard from current students about college life.
Sara Leal, a junior from San Benito High School, expressed her excitement through the following reflection:
“In our February session our Mentors and Youth Leaders trained us on how a bill becomes law, we looked at current bills and how they affected us. We learned how to present ourselves and how to lobby our legislators. We also had the opportunity to discuss issues we noticed in our community that we wanted to change and how we could achieve that change.
One of the most valuable things I was able to experience on the Capitol trip was to present our ideas to our legislators that could possibly become a bill in the future. It is great to know we have a voice in our government and that we got the opportunity to experience this!”
These girls are not yet old enough to vote, but they already show great passion and potential. For some of them, this trip possibly marked the beginning of a future policy-maker.
Recruiting Mentors for the ECHO Leadership Mentoring Program
ECHO is a leadership/mentoring program for tenth and eleventh grade girls. The program encourages these girls to pursue post-secondary education and plan for future careers. The sessions are designed to inspire them to value themselves, to develop an action plan to achieve their goals and dreams, and to begin perceiving themselves as leaders.
Girls Inc. is looking for Volunteer Women Mentors to work with high school girls in the ECHO Leadership Program!
For more information or for an application please contact Elizabeth Contreras at the Girls Inc. office at (831) 772-0882
Click here to view recruiting mentor flyer.
Ways to Support
Partner with us and support our girls in their quest to become Strong, Smart, and Bold.
has awarded $2.58 million in scholarships to 413 high school women.
Welcome to Girls Inc. Online