Girl Power: Girls Inc.’s Mission To Empower The Next Generation Of Strong, Smart, And Bold Girls

Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas is expanding its impact in helping girls dream big and learn skills for life-long success with help from Capital One.

Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas (Girls Inc.), serves thousands of girls in low-income communities, and leaders plan to increase their reach almost tenfold by the end of the decade. Capital One is helping the nonprofit through its latest pro bono offering.

Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas (Girls Inc.) aims to inspire girls, especially those growing up in poverty, to be strong, smart, and bold.

Erin Chupka [Photo Courtesy of Girls Inc.]

“We envision a world in which every girl values her whole self, discovers her inherent strengths, achieves her goals, and enjoys lasting success,” says Erin Chupka, Vice President of Program Services for Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas.

According to Girls Inc.’s research, there are approximately 50,000 girls in the Dallas area in underserved communities and they are five times more likely to drop out of high school than middle- and upper-income peers, with one in six girls in low-income areas in Dallas not finishing high school.

Chupka says, “Our programs focus on three core areas to help support the whole girl: healthy living, academic enrichment and support, and life skills instruction.”

Leaning in to equip nonprofit professionals

Girls Inc. has a “bold goal” of serving 25,000 girls by 2030, thanks to dreaming big and learning more about strategic planning through a Capital One pilot program, LEAN In. LEAN In stands for Leadership Enrichment to Advance Nonprofits.

Through the program, Chupka says that Girls Inc. Dallas staffers “have been inspired to embrace innovation, think big, and set bold goals to expand our reach and scale our impact.”

Capital One stepped up to meet “a significant need in the nonprofit sector,” Chupka says. Team members are learning about agile methodology and how to use it to solve problems and improve transparency, communication, and productivity.

They’re learning to use tools like active listening and considering both parties’ values in uncomfortable conversations. That was one of the most valuable lessons Chupka took away from the training, saying that she learned to connect and collaborate better with others to solve problems and build a stronger future.

Capital One employees work directly with girls at the Capital One Coders Camp. [Photo courtesy of Capital One]

One of the new goals they set was to support girls as they go off to college, many of whom are first-generation college students, Chupka says. Girls Inc. leaders aim to work with their partners to help them find internships and—upon graduation—jobs that pay well and provide opportunities for advancement.

Chupka credits LEAN In with helping Girls Inc. staffers develop solid strategies for growth and future programs.

“It is rare for a partner to direct their investment into staff and capacity building,” she says. “By investing in our team and expanding critical skills, programs like LEAN In are amplifying our organization’s impact and inspiring our team.”

The Girls Inc. Dallas team members continue with follow-up activities to practice agile methods. And they are giving Capital One leaders feedback on LEAN In while Capital One professionals look for ways to bring the program to more nonprofits.

“Girls Inc. is committed to empowering girls in our communities to be strong, smart, and bold. Girls Inc. serves girls from our most underserved communities, and their work has translated to a measured and massive positive impact on the lives of thousands of girls,” says Arjun Dugal, CTO of Capital One Financial Services. Dugal has been involved with Girls Inc. for five years and now chairs the Girls Inc. board. “I continue to be inspired by the leadership of their CEO Beth Myers and their staff as they navigated the pandemic, pivoted to new methods of programming, and are now serving a record number of girls across our communities,” says Dugal.

With a partnership spanning over 20 years, Capital One continues to provide Girls Inc. with strategic grants and social impact volunteerism. Chupka says, “We know that with partners like Capital One in our corner, we can inspire thousands of girls and change the trajectory of their lives.”

Capital One employees work directly with girls at the Capital One Coders Camp. [Photo courtesy of Capital One]

Providing support with volunteers and leadership

Since the pandemic, when many nonprofits reported a drop in both funding and volunteerism, Capital One launched its Pro Bono program where it partners with nonprofits, startups, small businesses and community development financial institutions like Girls Inc. to build capacity and drive social change in our communities. A foundational component of Capital One’s Impact Initiative, The Pro Bono program supports growth in underserved communities and advances socioeconomic mobility by closing gaps in equity and opportunity. The Impact Initiative builds upon Capital One’s mission and supports affordable housing, digital access, financial well-being, racial equity, small business support and workforce development.

Beth Myers, CEO of Girls Inc., says, “Capital One has been a phenomenal partner of Girls Inc., offering support through financial contributions, board leadership, skills-based volunteers, and by directly inspiring the girls we serve. It takes a community-wide effort to have a lasting and meaningful impact in our community. Capital One is a model partner.”

Capital One is a Dallas Innovates Platinum partner. “Girl Power: Girls Inc.’s Mission To Empower The Next Generation Of Strong, Smart, And Bold Girls” was written and edited by the DI content studio. 

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