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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Girls in the Game NFP

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education

Mission: At Girls in the Game every girl finds her voice, discovers her strength and leads with confidence through fun and active sports, health and leadership programs. Since 1995, Girls in the Game, a 501c3 nonprofit organization, has emerged as a leading girls’ health and fitness organization in Chicago. Every year, Girls in the Game empowers more than 3,000 girls to make healthier choices and develop the confidence and leadership skills they need to succeed on and off the field. From yoga and lacrosse to soccer and dance, Girls in the Game exposes girls to a wide and energizing mix of sports and fitness activities year round. We lead after school, summer camp, one day leadership and parent programs. We now have a train-the-trainer initiative so we can help others initiate or enhance thier healthy lifestyle services for girls. Girls are encouraged to get in the game — any game— so they can learn teamwork and determination, and to make choices that lead to a happier, healthier life. All sports and fitness programming includes hands-on workshops on nutrition, health and leadership. Unlike traditional youth programs, Girls in the Game: * addresses the needs of the whole girl * exposes girls to multiple sports and fitness activities combined with nutrition, health education and leadership development * engages girls and young women ages 6-18 year-round * provides peer-to-peer education as well as parent and community involvement * uses a comprehensive program that’s proven to work Outside research confirms that after one year, girls involved in Girls in the Game: * exercise more * have a lower, healthier BMI (Body Mass Index) * eat more fruits, vegetables and healthy foods * have a healthy body image and feel good about themselves * believe they are leaders with the ability to change their lives and their communities These findings back up Girls in the Game’s core belief that girls who grow up playing sports develop into healthier, happier and more successful women. The best proof that the programs work is from the girls themselves– their smiles, long-term involvement and enrollment in Girls in the Game programs in record numbers.

Results: Outside research confirms that after one year, girls involved in Girls in the Game: * exercise more * have a lower, healthier BMI (Body Mass Index) * eat more fruits, vegetables and healthy foods * have a healthy body image and feel good about themselves * believe they are leaders with the ability to change their lives and their communities

Target demographics: Girls in the Game welcomes girls from diverse backgrounds and abilities, ages 6-18. Participants live in a cross-section of neighborhoods on the north, south, and west sides of Chicago, as well as in the suburbs.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 3,800

Geographic areas served: Chicago and soon will be expanding nationwide

Programs: Research shows that girls who are physically active and involved in healthy-lifestyle programs have higher grades, are more likely to graduate, experience higher self-esteem, and are less likely to drink, use drugs, or engage in risky behaviors. Girls in the Game believes all girls deserve access to sports and fitness, health education, and leadership programs. Girls in the Game programs address the whole girl, and programs are available to girls from 6 to 18 years old. All Girls in the Game programs incorporate the four pillars of our mission – sports, health, leadership and life. Girls in the Game does not solely teach girls sports; it uses sports to teach girls about the important life lessons of teamwork, leadership, confidence, and healthy choices. Girls in the Game programs work together to provide sports and fitness, nutrition and health education and leadership development programming for girls year round and over the long term. Outside research confirms that girls involved in Girls in the Game programs exercise more, eat healthier and have a healthier body image than their peers. Learn more about Girls in the Game programs by clicking on the links below: * Girls’ Advisory Board * After School * Sports and Leadership Summer Camp * Game Days * Alumnae * Parent and Caregiver Initiatives * Spring Training

Community Stories

27 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I consider myself very fortunate to have worked for an organization as meaningful as Girls in the Game. During my time there I was able to see first-hand the impact that their programs on girls and their families. All of the programs at Girls in the Game are remarkable, but I am especially fond of the their Summer Camp and the Game Day programs. Through these programs this organizations is able to reach thousand of girls by using their well-rounded curriculum and their highly trained coaches. Overall, Girls in the Game is a quality organization that cares immensely about its mission. Since I am a believer of its mission as well I am looking forward to volunteering for them for years to come.

Advisor

Rating: 5

I am a graduate student in clinical psychology, and I have had the privilege of helping Girls in the Game evaluate the effectiveness of their programming. It is a joy to work with such a passionate but also reflective team that always asks how they can do even better. Their commitment to girls is much, much needed in today's world, and their comprehensive programming addressing the "whole" girl is a unique contribution to empowering girls through multiple channels. Spending time with Girls in the Game staff and their ebullient participants always leaves me smiling, feeling inspired, and wondering what an even stronger woman I'd be had I had Girls in the Game growing up!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Girls in the Game is an incredible organization with a mission that truly changes lives. In an era when women's and girls' issues are sadly not at the forefront, Girls in the Game is making sure that girls' needs are heard, and that girls have opportunities to develop into strong leaders. With a unique mission that targets the whole girl (mind, body, leadership, life), Girls in the Game helps girls develop their voice, build their self-esteem, and develop lifelong healthy habits. As a former employee, I saw the impact of GIG's programs on a daily basis, and had the opportunity to see the dramatic change in confidence of the girls involved over several years. Additionally, I was impacted by the mission as well! Similar to how we worked with program participants, staff are also encouraged to be strong leaders and are given opportunities to professionally develop.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

After volunteering with Girls in the Game for the past 4+ years at the after school programs, (3 at the same school) I’ve been able to see first-hand how Girls in the Game has improved the quality of life for young girls that need it most. The girls gain confidence in both sports and in life which enables them to succeed in many different aspects, whether on the field or off the field, at home or at school. I am thankful to be a part of such a great organization that gives girls an opportunity they would not have otherwise and look forward to helping the girls succeed more!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Girls in the Game is an absolutely fantastic organization with a dedicated, talented staff who are committed to changing the lives of girls in Chicago and have been for nearly two decades. As a former employee, I heard stories from the girls themselves of how their lives were changed for the better by their involvement in Girls in the Game's programs. And it's not just anecdotal evidence--Girls in the Game's programs work (according to several years of ongoing research in conjunction a highly reputable university). Even though I've moved away from the area, I will continue to support Girls in the Game's efforts to expand to reach more girls--so that all girls get the chance to become confident, healthy women through participating in a program that provides the tools for them to do so!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Girls in the Game provides so much for so many girls in Chicago- most importantly the opportunity for girls to become happy and healthy. Their programming is proven to work and their organization is run phenomenally. As a former collegiate athlete, Girls in the Game employee and soon to be Advisory Board Member I always impressed and inspired by the work this organization continues to do and what it provides for the girls who need it most.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer and advisory board member of Girls in the Game, I have seen the great work the organization does with the most under-served young women of Chicago. Offering everything from sports and fitness activies to nutrition and leadership workshops, Girls in the Game empowers thousands of young women who otherwise would not have access to such valuable and enriching resources and experiences. I'm proud to support their mission and promote the important work they do.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am a former employee of Girls in the Game and a current Advisory Board Member. I joined Girls in the Game after several years as a teacher in a low income school in Chicago. I saw the impact of poor nutrition and a lack of physical activity on our students - kids were ill, couldn't concentrate, acted out, and bullied one another. Girls in the Game serves the clients who need them the most - they help girls feel empowered, get healthy and make good choices. I fully believe in this program and have seen its impact on girls firsthand. This is not just a 10 week program that ends when the school year ends. They provide year-round opportunities for girls to be happy, healthy and strong. Go GIG!

Board Member

Rating: 5

As an exercise physiologist and advisory board member I can't speak highly enough about how important Girls in the Game is to promote for the girls involved. GIG encourages positive health behaviors in a way that is fun and empowering for all involved.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience with Girls in the Game as a former employee and current volunteer has solidifed the importance of all-girl healthy lifesyle and leadership development programming. The Girls in the Game model is unique, and focuses on all aspects of a growing young female - helping her grow up with confidence, knowledge and the ability to lead and stand up for what she believes in! This organization is not only making a deep and meaningful impact for girls in Chicago, but is also a leader in the non-profit field with outcome evaluation and exceptional program curriculum!

Board Member

Rating: 5

Girls in the Game is an amazing organization dedicated to bettering the lives of our future leaders. Girls in the Game offers great opportunities for girls in the community to enhance their health, fitness and overall well-being in order to reach their highest potential. Girls in the Game has passionate leaders who all give all they have in order to create a better environment for the girls in the community.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a member of the Advisory Board since January of 2012. In that time, I have really come to respect and appreciate the work that GITG does with the girls at Chicago Public Schools around the city. My team from work had a day where we all volunteered at the summer camp back in July 2012, and we had a really great time getting to know the girls. It was a very organized event, and everyone on my team had a very positive experience. The girls really seem to appreciate the services they receive from this organization and have fun learining how to be good teammates!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love Girls in the Game! I'm a member of the Advisory Board, and in addition to working with great people who care about the community, everything we do and all the money we raise goes directly to helping girls in need!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Girls in the game is a fantastic program that has demonstrated how a sustainable program can acheive a positive impact among underserved girls. Sports participation is a unique opportunity to provide physical activity as well as the development of other social skills that not only contribute to overall health, but improve the social development of the child. With the growing disparity of weight status among youth, Girls in the Game has recognized the need for evidence based programming and has displayed the impact of prioritizing the health of our young people among underserved communities.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with Girls in the Game for the past four years, helping to plan events for fund-raising as well as spreading the word about the amazing work that the organization does. Girls in the Game really makes a difference in young girls lives at a time when they are most vulnerable to poor influences. Using sports and fitness as a way to teach about leadership, teamwork, health, self-esteem and life has worked for girls in all walks of life and it's great to have an organization that focuses on bringing those experiences to girls who would otherwise not have the opportunity.

8

Board Member

Rating: 5

It's all about the girls! I was one of the very first staff members of Girls in the Game when it started. It's been an amazing experience witnessing the growth of this organization, its programs and its services that reach so many deserving girls. the commitment, knowledge and passion of the executive director, the staff, the board as well as all of the volunteers, supporters and sponsors is incredible and contagious. Given the need for growing girls' nutritional awareness and providing girls the tools and programs that enable confidence building and high self-esteem, Girls in the Game is one of the most unique girl-serving non profits in the country.

8

Donor

Rating: 5

This is such an amazing organization, that I can not say enough about. I have been a sponsor of about three years now and the difference this program makes is young girls lives is amazing. This program incorporates all important aspects in life such as health, nutrition, leadership, self-esteem,healthy competition just to name a few. I am honored to be a part of.

8

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked with this organization on many different kinds of events. The executive director and her team are amazing,they give 100% to the girls. They are able to express the importance of their mission and engage amazing women to support it. I have worked with their board who gives of their time, treasure and talent and I have worked with the girls who are bright, happy, excited and engaged. They learn about and come to understand the importance of physical health, emotial health, good food and also the importance of the choices they make. They are exposed to a variety of leadership opportunities that empower them to choose for themselves the kind of leaders they want to become. Through mentors they see possibilities for themselves that they may not have imagined. This organization is one of my favorites as they get it, they beleive in their mission and are tireless in finding new and better ways to empower girls. I am proud to be associcated with them.

8

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a physician, I know the importance that Girls in the Game has on the overall health and well-being of girls. This program has taken a leading role in reversing the trend of childhood obesity and associated health risks faced by girls everywhere. As an athlete, woman and someone who cares about kids, I believe in the mission of Girls in the Game to bring the power of sports, nutrition and self-esteem to thousands of girls. I have met the girls involved in this prorgam and know they will be the next generation of leaders in this country. As a board member, I am truly proud to be affiliated with such an oustanding organization whose award-winning programs are helping girls grow up healthy, happy and strong!

8

Board Member

Rating: 5

There is no other rounded program for gilrs- like Girls in the Game! It is a changing experince for partipants, parents, and staff. The evidence based learning speaks for itself including: • Significant correlations found between the following variables: 􀂃 Physical appearance, self-esteem, and body satisfaction 􀂃 Global self-esteem and depression 􀂃 Confidence and school self-esteem The girls learn a true lifestyle change and would not be where they are in life without the program.