Girls Inc of Pinellas Celebrating Six Decades of Inspiring Girls

Pinellas Park, FL (October 29, 2021) Girls Inc of Pinellas is celebrating their 60th Anniversary on Monday, November 8th with a breakfast reception at 7:30am at their center located at 7700 61st Street North in Pinellas Park. Local government officials, board members, donors, sponsors, community organizations, former Girls Inc/Girls Club attendees and volunteers are all invited.

In 1961 Girls Inc was known as Girls Club and the programs looked very different than what is offered today. Sixty years ago, girls learned knitting, cooking and baton twirling. Today Girls Inc’s programming focuses on science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics, making it serendipitous that their anniversary falls on International STEM/STEAM Day.

The November 8th date is a play on words NOV8 – (that’s “innovate”) making it the perfect date to inspire innovation! Girls are significantly better off with strong science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics skills. That’s why STEM and STEAM education programs are so important. It’s undebatable that these subjects push society forward, and these programs help to find fun and engaging ways to teach them to students.  Girls Inc recognizes the importance of introducing girls to STEAM at an early age because it increases their confidence in tackling complicated situations.  The Girls Inc. experience works! Girls Inc. girls are more likely to attend school and be positively engaged in school. In fact, their school suspension rates are 79 percent lower. And 90% of Girls Inc. teens say they can use what they’ve learned to solve “real-life” problems in their communities. In addition to STEAM programs, Girls Inc. girls participate in program activities and experiences that build skills and improve their self and emotional control.

Why is STEM/STEAM so important, now more than ever before? STEM/STEAM is all around us and shapes our everyday experiences. Of the U.S. Labor Department’s predicted 10 fastest growing occupations, nearly all of them are STEM/STEAM careers; therefore an interest in STEM/STEAM early on can lead to success later on in life. The U.S. has fallen behind other nations in science and math education; we need to motivate young kids to pursue these subjects to keep up with the rest of the world. “We must also close the gender gap that exists in STEM/STEAM related-careers. Building interest in girls is critical to their future earning potential.” said Darla Otey, Girls Inc. Executive Director.

Girls Inc of Pinellas is the leading non-profit that inspires and benefits 400 girls annually through services designed to teach all girls to be strong, smart, and bold.  Girls Inc.’s approach to STEAM enrichment inspires girls through hands-on, interactive workshops and exposes them to leaders in fields of study in which women, particularly women of color, are underrepresented.  STEAM programming takes place daily across all age groups, with a focus on middle and high school students.