Girls Inc. 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.


Originally founded in 1952 as Girls Club of Columbus, Girls Inc. of Columbus and Phenix-Russell is an affiliate of Girls Incorporated, a national a network of 85 Girls Inc. organizations that serve more than 145,000 girls throughout the U.S. and Canada. This affiliation provides outstanding educational programs and scholarship opportunities for our girls, as well as excellent training for our staff.

Girls Inc. has two locations in Columbus: the Baker Center on Levy Road and the Dorothy Hyatt Center on Kolb Avenue. We currently serve more than 1,600 girls ages 6-18 from diverse ethnic, racial, and socio-economic backgrounds.

For a girl to become a member, a parent or guardian must submit an online application, then accompany the girl to the center she will attend to complete the application process. The annual membership fee is $25 per girl. There is an additional monthly fee for the after school program and a summer program fee.

I struggled internally for a long time, but through Girls Inc. I learned that my body is a resource, not an object. I began to love and embrace my body.