Our History

Girls Inc. is the longest-running girls’ leadership organization.

Our Mission

Girls Inc. inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold.

Our Vision

Powerful girls in an equitable society.

Our Values

Respect the dignity of each human being.

Recognize and support the strength in every girl.

Appreciate, embrace, and advance diversity.

Drive for results anchored in accountability.

Operate collaboratively.

Girls Inc.’s National organization 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 Shelbyville & Shelby County’s affiliate history.

Shelby County’s Tri Kappa Sorority initiated a project in early 1970 to build a local Girls (Club) Inc. After the planning, cooperation, and hard work from many diverse groups and service clubs, the Shelbyville Girls Club opened its doors in October 1972. Full national Girls Club membership was granted in June 1973. In 1991, the National organization of Girls Club initiated a major reorganization and formal name change to Girls Incorporated. The Shelbyville Girls Club adopted the new name. In 1992, Board members of Girls Inc. attended a long-range planning retreat where members discussed the feasibility of raising money to build a permanent home for Girls Inc., and in 1995, ground broke on our existing facility. In 1996, the Barbara J. Anderson Center opened, and the organization has been thriving from this location since.

Over the years, the Girls Inc. Board of Directors adopted new visions for development and our affiliate has experienced incredible growth and impact.  Membership at our facility in Shelbyville has increased substantially, and in 2018, we completed a building expansion and renovation project to accommodate this growth.  In addition to those developments, we also expanded our operations to partner with local schools and deliver comprehensive programming to all students in 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th at various schools in Shelby County. Based on the success of the school-based partnership expansion in Shelby County, our organization received funding from the National organization in 2017 and again in 2020 to expand our school-based partnership program delivery model into neighboring Decatur County in 2017 and Rush County in 2020, and the organization has been doing so since.


For over 50 years, Girls Inc. Shelbyville has been evolving with girls.

We not only support girls, we also equip them and give them the opportunity to envision, and then create, a more equitable future. From when our doors opened in 1973 to when groundbreaking and construction began on our current center in 1995, serving girls has always been our top priority.

ground breaking

Girls Inc. is the leading expert on girls.

Working with and on behalf of girls for 50 years has given us unparalleled knowledge and expertise. The Girls Inc. Experience changes the trajectory of girls’ lives and prepares them for lifelong success. With our new center, the growth in the number of girls served exploded – from about 250 girls annually to roughly 1,000 girls annually in 2010.

old photo, girls

Girls Inc. has served thousands of girls across Shelby, Decatur, & Rush Counties.

In 2015, Girls Inc. launched our school-based program service delivery model. We expanded these operations into Decatur County in 2018 and into Rush County in 2020. We can now proudly say our center serves approximately 3,500 girls with impact annually. Our participants are equipped with the skills to lead and create positive change in their communities.

girl group photo
teens group photo

Girls’ Bill of Rights

We will always support girls and ensure that their rights are recognized and respected.