Girls Inc. was founded in 1864 to serve girls and young women who were experiencing upheaval in the aftermath of the Civil War. Across the decades, we adapted to meet the specific environmental challenges facing girls and young women, always working in partnership with schools and communities, and guided by our founders’ fundamental belief in the inherent potential of each girl. Woven into those early girls’ clubs are the same core values of Girls Inc. today: the importance of creating a safe gathering place for girls to learn and to share in a sisterhood, and a strong premise that each girl can develop her own capacities, self- confidence, and grow up healthy, educated, and independent.

Girls Inc. of Memphis – our story

In 1946, Lucille DeVore Tucker traveled from Memphis to Pennsylvania, where she happened to visit a local Girls Club. She was so impressed with this national network of Girls Clubs and what it offered girls that she came home and started Girls Club of Memphis.

In 1990, members of the national Girl Club network voted to change the name to Girls Incorporated to better reflect the seriousness of our mission—equipping girls for successful adulthood.

For 70+ years, Girls Inc. of Memphis has provided quality programs for girls in Memphis and the Mid-South. Our mission – inspiring all girls to be strong, smart and bold.

Lucille Devore Tucker passed away in 1983 and our LDT Center is named for her. But her legacy is so much more than a name on a building. While she might not recognize what Girls Inc. of Memphis has become more than 70 years later, we feel certain she would recognize her spirit in the work we do today to support, empower and lift up girls.

Our mission is to inspire all girls to be strong, smart and bold. We align our programs and outcome measurements to our mission:

  • Strong – healthy
  • Smart – educated
  • Bold  – independent

More than 500 hours of intentional outcome based programming is provided to girls annually through our center-based, community-based and in-school programs. Girls Inc. of Memphis’ legacy of success is deep spanning 70 years and we are poised for growth to serve even more girls in the future.

Each year more than 1,000 girls take part in the Girls Inc. Experience at locations in Memphis and Shelby County, including the following: LDT Center (38107); South Park Center (38111); Frayser Center (38127); South City Center (38126); Youth Farm (38127); and Eureka (various locations). Program staff provide after-school and summer programs along with in-school curriculum in schools across the city. On average, girls have access to more than 500 hours of Girls Inc. programming throughout the year.

Girls Inc. of Memphis is one of 81 Girls Inc. affiliates across the United States and Canada. Girls Inc. works with its local affiliates to establish network-wide strategic priorities along with infrastructure supports to equip local affiliates like Girls Inc. of Memphis to serve more girls with impact.

In 2014, Girls Inc. completed a growth plan to increase the number of girls served by 2018. Three strategic locations for growth were identified: Frayser, South City and South Park. In 2015, Girls Inc., finalized its program logic model and annual outcomes survey process to ensure quality program across the network, and, in 2016, finalized a five-year strategic plan that called for increased numbers of girls served along with increased advocacy efforts. Girls Inc. of Memphis adopted the Girls Inc. priorities and completed a rigorous process to establish local strategic priorities for the next four years.

Approved by the Board of Directors on August 27, 2016, our strategic plan includes the program focus of our network-wide plan and the integration of our local growth plan.

I struggled internally for a long time, but through Girls Inc. I learned that my body is a resource, not an object. I began to love and embrace my body.

Briseida