RFP for Santa Cruz Gives! is now open. 2018 Application
GIVE through
December 31

Girls Inc. of the Central Coast

Girls Inc

Organization Mission

To inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold and to respect themselves and the world around them.

The Big Idea:
High School Girls Mentoring Program

The ECHO Leadership Program (Education, Careers, Health, and Opportunities) supports high school girls to make healthy lifestyle choices, overcome socio-economic barriers, and pursue college education and satisfying careers. This highly researched model program has helped thousands of girls in other communities for years. The ECHO program will work with a group of up to 30 high school girls in Santa Cruz County over a nine-month period, meeting twice monthly, plus field trips. Volunteer women from the community and peer graduates of the program serve as mentors and female role models on various topics and careers.

Interactive sessions include: Health and Nutrition, Personal Safety, How Families and Culture Shape Our Attitudes, Personal Budgeting, Planning for College, Career Exploration, Public Speaking, and Influencing Public Policy. Field trips take the girls to at least three college campuses and the State Capitol for a tour and visits to their legislators.

Girls Inc. has started programs at several schools in Watsonville, and is raising funds to establish them in schools countywide.


I believe in the saying, “You have to see it to believe it.” Not only did I see it but I got to be a part of it. I learned that women can do anything they set their minds to and if we all gather together for one common purpose, we can make a difference. Girls Inc. gave me the tools to prepare for my future. They gave me the opportunity to visit colleges and visit the state capitol where I had the chance to speak with legislators to voice our opinions. It was through Girls Inc. that I began to see the bigger picture, that there is a larger world out there than just the community I live in. That motivated me to work hard so I can one day see the world and make a difference. I saw what Girls Inc. did for me and that makes me want to give back to my community.

Maricarmen Gonzalez