About

Our Story

A girl in Action™ (GIA) was founded in 2005 by Dr. Verna Cornelia Price to address the rise in violent, destructive, and delinquent behavior being exhibited by the female students at Minneapolis’ North High School. The biggest concern was that the rise in this negative behavior was affecting all students and a large number of girls were being suspended.

At the time, GIA partnered with Achieve! Minneapolis’ Career Center Initiative and received a grant from The Minneapolis Foundation to begin helping 120 girls in grades 9-12 at North High School. In its debut year, the project resulted in a dramatic 50% decrease in school violence, suspensions, delinquent and destructive behavior among girls and a significant increase in academic engagement.

As of today, GIA has impacted over 3,000 junior and high school girls across Minnesota, the USA and abroad and has raised over $1 million dollars to support the program. Our girls are twice more likely to attend post-secondary education than other girls in their high schools with 95% graduating from high school on time and 75% attending college.

Our Goals

  • Re-engage junior and senior high school students in academics and leadership while decreasing violent and disruptive behavior
  • Engage girls in meaningful mentoring with positive women leaders
  • Prepare girls to graduate on time from high school and pursue higher education
  • Engage girls in advocacy and social change through community service-learning
  • Engage girls in positive cross-cultural interactions and communication

What We Do

Motivate

Personal Power is a core element of the program. Girls learn seven dimensions of their personal power and how to use a critical thinking process to help them understand why they are powerful and how to use these tools to embrace success in school and life.

Mentor

Leadership development is a focus of GIA. Girls learn how to become positive leaders in their school and local community through community service learning projects. The girls participate in career coaching by local and community women leaders.

Empower

Throughout the program, girls are actively designing their future by using strategic planning and participating activities that support them as they grow. At the end of the school year, their efforts are celebrated with an annual tea event where they showcase their learning and service projects.

Engage

Girls go on field trips to colleges, cultural and community events that inspire greatness within.

Educate

Working in tandem with local school districts, girls are supported by their educational institution. Each weekly mentoring meeting is packed with tools and resources to help the GIA girls succeed in their current situation and plan for a successful future.

How We Do It

GIA girls partner with mentors and successful women leaders who meet together once a week. Girls learn how to use their personal power, develop their careers, become leaders and give back to their communities through service-learning. Girls can enroll as early as grade 6 and stay enrolled in the program throughout high school and into college.

Outcomes

We specialize in engaging students in the following Five C’s that directly influence girls’ lives:

  1. Confidence: GIA girls learn how to use their personal power to embrace academic and social success.
  2. College: GIA girls attend at least one college tour a year. Every girl is expected to attend college
  3. Careers: GIA girls participate in small career coaching groups and visit a major corporation each year.
  4. Culture: GIA girls participate in a variety of cultural experiences that include theatre, art, and history.
  5. Community: GIA girls demonstrate leadership skills by conducting community service-learning projects.

Impact

  • GIA participants GPA increases by 67% on average
  • GIA participants experience a 75% decrease in suspensions
  • GIA participants are at a 95% graduation rate compared to 81% for MN and 60% for Minneapolis public schools
  • 75% of GIA participants attend college

Who We Serve

Girls in action is proud to be a well-connected organization that serves:

Junior and high school girls in grades 6-12

Community groups specializing in Latino, Somali, African American, Native American and Asian American cultures.

Minneapolis/Hennepin County Schools
Anwatin Middle School
Patrick Henry High School
Minneapolis North High School
Robinsdale Cooper High School
Marcy Open

St. Paul/Ramsey County Schools
Humboldt JR & SR High School
Ramsey Middle School
Washington Technology JR & SR High School

Global Reach
In 2010, Girls in Action™ expanded internationally to Guatemala in partnership with Asociacion de Superacion Educativa (no active link).
In 2016 Girls in Action™ expanded to Kenya, Africa in partnership with Light of Hope

More locations to come!

Our Corporate Partners

GIA girls partner with successful women leaders in the following corporations:

3M
Ecolab
CHS
General Mills
Wells Fargo