Solution Overview

What is the name of your organization?

Girls Incorporated of Greater Indianapolis (Girls Inc. Indy)

What is the name of your solution?

Girls Inc. Indy’s STEM Experience

Provide a one-line summary of your solution.

Interactive, hands-on, STEM-focused programming offered through a continuum of experiences ages 6-18 that increase STEM exposure and career pathways to Central Indiana girls without current access

What specific problem are you solving?

Today, Indianapolis females encounter obstacles to their well-being and success: 1 in 7 girls will not finish high school on time (Girls Inc. National, 2018), 1 in 5 girls live in poverty, and women earn 83.7 cents for every dollar paid to men (U.S. Department of Labor, 2023). Girls also lag behind their male peers in course enrollment and advanced placement exam participation in STEM subjects (International Journal of STEM Education, 2022) and the 2019 Catalyst Initiative tells us that in the United States women represent fewer than one in five faculty members employed in STEM collectively.


Despite comprising 48% of the population overall, women account for only 34% of the total STEM workforce (National Science Foundation), and the women who are in STEM careers earn nearly $15,000 less than men per year (and about $33,000 less for Latina and Black women) (Pew Research Center, 2022). However, it is important for women to enter STEM-related careers for many reasons. Attracting and retaining more women in the STEM workforce will maximize innovation, creativity, and competitiveness. Scientists and engineers are working to solve some of the most vexing challenges of our time—finding cures for diseases like cancer and malaria, tackling global warming, providing people with clean drinking water, developing renewable energy sources, and understanding the origins of the universe. Engineers design many of the things we use daily such as buildings, bridges, computers, cars, wheelchairs, and X-ray machines. With a more diverse STEM workforce, scientific and technological products, services, and solutions will be better designed and represent all users.


Additionally, the need for and positive impact on youth of mentorship is irrefutable. Only 1 in 3 youth grow up with a mentor (MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, 2014), and 9 million total youth in America are at-risk individuals (Levine, 2014). However, over three-quarters (76%) of at-risk youth receiving mentorship aspire to enroll in and graduate from college (versus 56% of youth without mentors), and 45% of at-risk youth do enroll in college (versus 29% of those without a mentor). Mentored at-risk youth are also more likely to participate in extracurricular sports, hold leadership positions, and volunteer in their community (MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, 2014).


Girls Inc. Indy is honored to have a part in addressing this lack of equity and representation by ensuring that girls and young women have access to engaging, enriching STEM programming and mentorship available to them from elementary through high school and beyond. Furthermore, Girls Inc. Indy employs a comprehensive, adaptive approach in which we serve participants with our high dosage, high impact confidence- and character-building programming primarily in Marion County locations where the need is greatest, and the opportunity is lowest in order to create systemic change for participants in our communities. By weaving STEM programming throughout every age group, Girls Inc. Indy enables participants to continually develop their passion and knowledge of STEM subjects.

What is your solution?

The Girls Inc. Indy STEM Experience begins with Summer Camp, which empowers participants ages 6-14 with 4 weeks of hands-on activities for 10 hours per day, 5 days a week. Camp is divided into four thematic weeks including: Strong, Smart, Bold, and Inspired. For Smart Week, participants engage in STEM activities. Throughout the other three themed weeks, there are also opportunities to instill traits focused on leadership and skill building and to identify interests in various career pathways to further enhance what is learned related to STEM.


The EmpowerHub program engages participants in grades 3-8 by bringing programming to schools in which the population is most underserved. EmpowerHub serves as a pipeline for the Eureka! program and provides STEM exposure and career options while building STEM skills for participants. Through EmpowerHub, we utilize curriculum from Operation SMART (a Girls Inc. National program) to introduce STEM concepts. Girls Inc. Indy also collaborates with corporate partners for STEM skill-based workshops.


Eureka! is the capstone Girls Inc. Indy STEM Experience program and is a college and career preparedness program focused on STEM for middle and high school students taking place at the Girls Inc. Indy headquarters. From grades 8-12, Eurekans take part in a variety of successive and compelling activities that explore the innovative world of STEM through hands-on experiences on college campuses and in workplace environments. With complementary activities addressing self-exploration, leadership, life skills, teamwork, health and wellness, and college and career readiness, Eureka! holistically fosters educational, professional, and personal development. The values of the Eureka! program are exploration, empowerment, equity, leadership, and fun, and our goal is that all Eurekans graduate from high school on time, enroll in a postsecondary STEM program, and pursue a career in a STEM field.


Women, especially women of color, make up such a small subset of the STEM workforce due to gender stereotypes, male-dominated cultures, fewer role models, math anxiety, and intersectional barriers to STEM exposure (such as educational inequities, lack of transportation, and more), and these barriers contribute to girls as a whole beginning to lose interest in STEM around eight grade (National Girls Collaborative Project, 2022). That is why the Eureka! program is vital. Eureka! has proven to be an exceedingly successful method of providing girls with such experiences, especially for those without access. Specifically, in 2022, Eureka! participants achieved program outcomes at the following rates: 75% aspire to pursue post-secondary education; 73% possess academic self-efficacy; 94% are on track to graduate high school or obtain a GED; 95% are confident in STEM; and 95% are comfortable taking healthy risks.

  The success of the Girls Inc. Indy STEM Experience is clear, and we are committed to reaching more girls in Central Indiana from marginalized and underserved populations and those with low-to-no exposure to STEM subjects and careers. Therefore, we will implement a STEM Experience scaling project to identify opportunities to expand existing programming, including establishing Eureka! hubs in Marion County schools most in need of the program.

Who does your solution serve, and in what ways will the solution impact their lives?

The STEM Experience at Girls Inc. engages youth ages 6-18 and primarily serves participants whose exposure to STEM careers and role models employed in STEM fields is limited. Specific to the Girls Inc. Indy STEM Experience, for which this application requests support, participants identify as girls of color: 57% as Black or African American, 14% as Latinx or Hispanic, 2% as Asian, and 2% as Other. Many participants also live in low-income households and therefore may have limited opportunity to pursue STEM-related extracurricular education (this includes 52% of Summer Camp participants, 92% from EmpowerHub, and 43% from Eureka! who qualify for free or reduced lunch). One hundred percent (100%) of participants are individuals who identify as female or who are exploring their gender identity or expression during their time with Girls Inc. Indy.


In 2023, Girls Inc. Indy anticipates serving up to 100 participants through Summer Camp, up to 450 participants through EmpowerHub, and up to 150 participants through Eureka! As we complete research about the feasibility of expanding Eureka! into Marion County schools, we look forward to increasing our impact even more.


To understand the needs and achievements of our participants, Girls Inc. Indy conducts outcome measurement activities at the end of each program year; completes ongoing assessments of participants’ Personal Leadership Development Plans; and facilitates one-on-one support meetings with participants to understand what success means to them, what barriers are preventing that success, and what actions they can take to stay on track with their goals. These mechanisms allow us to collect both qualitative and quantitative data from participants.


Girls Inc. National also created the Strong, Smart, and Bold Outcomes Survey (SSBOS) to help Girls Inc. affiliates like Girls Inc. Indy understand and showcase their success. It captures information in the areas of healthy living, academic enrichment and support, and life skills instruction. We have already witnessed exceptional outcome achievement through this survey, including: 95% of respondents know they will graduate college; 96% believe girls like themselves can be leaders; and 73% of Girls Inc. teens have not skipped a day of school.


Girls Inc. Indy uses academic achievement data provided by school partners as well as results from our outcome measurement activities and SSBOS to understand how we should adjust our current programming, what programmatic opportunities or topics we are missing, and where we should invest more organizational resources and attention. In addition, recently completed an operational planning process, within which we looked to our programmatic impact data and participants themselves to inform the organization’s three-year vision and strategic goals.


Because of engaging in the Girls Inc. Indy STEM Experience, participants will gain:

  • increased exposure to engaging STEM activities that are not accessible in school.
  • increased knowledge of postsecondary education opportunities and vast career fields related to STEM. access to a mentoring relationship with a trusted adult to ensure that they have the added support they need to be successful in school and navigate the challenges they may face.

How are you and your team well-positioned to deliver this solution?

In a crowded field of mission-focused youth organizations, Girls Inc. and Girls Inc. Indy have succeeded in maintaining longevity by adapting to specific challenges that participants face, staying relevant, and offering cutting edge programs that positively impact the lives of the participants. As an organization, Girls Inc. Indy’s key strengths are evident through a data-driven approach with the national entity as the backbone while delivering regionally appropriate and community-based programming to participants who need it most.


Participants build trusting relationships with our professional program facilitators in a girl-only environment, allowing them to be comfortable and themselves. Further, the breadth of participant ages is an opportunity for more sustained exposure than many of our market competition, and we serve girls from under-resourced communities at a higher rate.


Girls Inc. Indy identifies the disparities that hold girls back by continuously seeking their insights, listening to their concerns, and engaging their parents and teachers to understand the barriers that are most prevalent in their lives. We also pay attention to student achievement data from our school partners, data from the Indiana Department of Education, and youth outcomes data from the Indiana Youth Institute. From these sources, we have identified the following widespread disparities: (1) children in Indiana generally lack access to a community center, recreation center, or boys’ and girls’ club in their neighborhood (National Survey of Children’s Health, 2021); children and youth in Indiana tend to report higher instances of traumatic and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) than young people nationally (Indiana Youth Institute, 2022); and (3) low-income students (i.e., eligible for free and reduced lunch) in Indiana perform significantly worse on state ILEARN and ISTEP exams compared to their more affluent peers (Indiana Department of Education, 2022). These broad trends have real and observable impacts on the girls we serve—namely, low-income girls in Indiana face high educational barriers, high rates of adversity, and few options for enrichment programs in their communities. 


Girls Inc. Indy is also intentional about how we engage school partners to ensure our programs are accessible to students who have been historically excluded, such as girls who identify as people of color, girls with disabilities, cisgender and transgender girls exploring their gender identity and expression; and girls who qualify for free-and-reduced lunch. We work with teams at each school to ensure we understand the specific dynamics and barriers that these girls face so that our programming can authentically engage them and meet their needs. 


Girls Inc. Indy’s staff all identify as women (100%), which contributes to the sense of belonging our participants experience. We strive to achieve a staff that represents the qualities and characteristics of our participants, including race/ethnicity. Of our staff, 63% identify as white, 22% identify as Black or African American, and 15% identify as Hispanic, Latina, and/or Latin American. Girls Inc. Indy and our STEM Experience is led by President and CEO Lindsay Gramlich, who is a devoted and talented female leader for our organization and the community.

Which dimension of the Challenge does your solution most closely address?

  • Support K-12 educators in effectively teaching and engaging girls in STEM in classroom or afterschool settings.

In what city and state is your solution team headquartered?

Indianapolis, IN, USA

What is your solution’s stage of development?

Growth: An organization with an established product, service, or business model that is rolled out in one or more communities

How many people does your solution currently serve?

Up to 700 annually

Why are you applying to the Challenge?

Girls Inc. Indy is committed to leveraging our existing STEM programming and resources to increase exposure for girls throughout Indianapolis to STEM to level the playing field for those not identifying as male to access STEM studies and careers. Therefore, we have outlined a plan to study the growth feasibility for all our STEM programming. In addition to generous funding support, partnership with Solve and Tiger Global Impact Ventures to assess needs, connect us to resources and peers, and provide guidance will be essential to support Girls Inc. Indy as we expand our STEM impact.


In year one of our STEM Experience scaling project, Girls Inc. Indy will lay the foundation by expanding the amount of STEM programming infused into our EmpowerHub and Summer Camp curricula. This will include increasing the amount of time spent within the SMART Girls Inc. curriculum for EmpowerHub by bringing in critical collaborators and program partners to provide top-tier resources and exposure. In addition, we will maintain and fortify STEM in this and future Summer Camps, including identifying partners we have not yet had the resources to engage, which will in turn expand programming to provide hands-on and engaging STEM experiences.


Eureka! is Girls Inc. Indy’s flagship STEM program. Eureka! creates a pipeline for girls to enter STEM careers and become leaders in STEM career fields through a holistic program experience focused on STEM exposure and skill attainment, leadership development, career and college preparedness, and life skills.


Girls Inc. Indy is committed to providing equitable access to life-changing programming to as many Central Indiana girls as possible, especially those from marginalized and underserved populations, and the data-driven need to replicate the positive impact of Eureka! is clear. Therefore, our goal is to establish a satellite Eureka! location in an area of the community with a STEM, transportation, and service void. Further research is required, and year one of our STEM Experience scaling project will include the exploratory steps needed to identify the location of a satellite program.


In year two of our STEM Experience scaling project, Girls Inc. Indy will deploy high-impact STEM partnerships and resources into Summer Camp, as established in year one. These partnerships will ensure maximum impact and STEM infusion for all Summer Camp participants. In addition, we will begin planting seeds for the satellite expansion of Eureka! including hiring a program developer to design a 12-week STEM pathway program and launching it with current school partners to drive Eureka! recruitment. Girls Inc. Indy will also carry out action plans set forth in year one to establish the Eureka! hubs (for example, resource needs, metrics for success, key performance indicators, physical space).


Year three of our STEM Experience scaling project will include launching the first Girls Inc. Eureka! hubs. With this expansion, Girls Inc. Indy will be pioneers, setting the stage for national adoption across affiliates. Summer Camp and EmpowerHub will also continue to implement the enhanced programming activated in year two.

Who is the Team Lead for your solution?

Lindsay Gramlich, President and CEO, Girls Inc. Indy

How is your Team Lead connected to the community or communities in which your project is based?

Girls Inc. Indy’s President and CEO Lindsay Gramlich is a fierce advocate for human rights. She believes change will only happen if people are willing to step up and courageously fight for what they believe in. She wants to see a better world for her children, but she knows she must do the work, and she is incredibly grateful to be in a position to make a real impact.


Lindsay Gramlich, MPA, joined Girls Inc. Indy’s team in 2022 after years of experience as an accomplished development and management professional working within the nonprofit and government sectors. Her dedication to her community with abundant leadership and service throughout Central Indiana as well as her exceptional personal and professional qualities make Lindsay an ideal candidate for President and CEO. Empathy is Lindsay’s superpower, and she says that she will always do what she can to support others. With a passion for advocating for women and girls and a keen intuition on the needs of those she leads, Lindsay uses her extensive engagement in community-driven organizations and programs to guide Girls Inc. Indy toward innovation while maintaining mission focus. Some of Lindsays community connections include: 12 years of professional experience with The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, an understanding of community needs as explored through achievement of a Master of Public Affairs at Indiana University, engagement with hundreds of community leaders as a member of Leadership Indianapolis’s Stanley K. Lacy Class XLVI, a member of the board of directors of Indy Reads, and ample additional service and leadership experiences throughout Central Indiana. Lindsay is also a mother of three and leans on her experience developing her own children to connect with the youth we serve at Girls Inc. Indy.


Lindsay has done some amazing things in her career, including digging up Sauropod dinosaur bones in Wyoming, planning and executing three international trips with important donors and community members, writing speeches for almost every dignitary in Indianapolis, hosting the Chinese Ambassador, having high tea with the ministry of antiquities in Greece, launching a $71 million capital campaign alongside a famous athlete who became a friend, escorting Santa in a pace car alongside race car drivers, and more. Despite that exciting list, one of Lindsay’s top career highlights happened in March 2023 when she felt she was lucky enough to be part of the team to plan a Girls Inc. Advocacy Day alongside our corporate partners at Cummins. Girls Inc. Indy was able to partner with other Indiana affiliates to bring 60 participants to Advocacy Day, which involved listening to key leaders at Cummins (including Cummins CEO Jen Rumsey) and studying the active-at-the-time 21st Century Scholars bill and bringing participants’ thoughts and notes to the State House to lobby for it. Along the way, they stopped and heard from the State’s Chief Diversity Officer, and because of a new friendship Lindsay had formed, participants were able to see a powerful woman of color leading in a predominately white and male arena, and it was amazing and life changing. Lindsay felt honored to watch Girls Inc.’s amazing participants carry themselves with poise and grace and articulate their educated thoughts on the bill to our state representatives and senators. Lindsay felt it was the most incredible day that she would remember for the rest of her life. This is why she knows that she is exactly where she needs to be, advocating for the girls in our community in every way possible.

Please specify how you first heard about Solve.

Girls Inc. Indy learned about the Gender Equity in STEM Challenge when it was announced in a weekly newsletter of the national Grant Professionals Association, to which the grant writing professional associated with Girls Inc. Indy belongs.

More About Your Solution

What makes your solution innovative?

We know that there are other youth-serving agencies in our area that are dedicated to helping youth live productive lives in and out of school. However, our girl-centered, holistic programming is one of a kind. The Girls Inc. Experience is characterized by six elements: (1) a pro-girl and girls-only environment; (2) positive, mentoring relationships; (3) equity-driven program design and delivery; (4) evidenced-based curricula focused on building essential skills for education and career success; (5) interactive activities to develop girls’ unique strengths; and (6) long-term engagement to increase positive outcomes for girls as they develop. Girls Inc. is the only organization in Indianapolis delivering research-based curricula through social emotional learning to girls only. Participants in our programs build trusting relationships with our program facilitators in a girl-only environment, allowing them to be comfortable and to be themselves when in our setting. Further, the breadth of participants we serve in terms of age is an opportunity for more sustained exposure than many of our market competition, and we intend to serve girls from under resourced communities at a higher rate.


Beyond the proven impact of Girls Inc. Indy programming at its core, our STEM Experience is an innovative method of funneling more individuals not identifying as male into STEM careers because of the breadth and depth of our STEM programming. Participants have the opportunity to begin STEM immersion in our programming at age 6 and dive deeper and deeper into STEM concepts year after year until they have entered a STEM-focused career field. Coupled with our focus on serving more participants with little to no access to studies and role models in STEM fields, and Girls Inc. Indy’s STEM Experience goes above and beyond existing youth STEM programs to truly change the course of the STEM industry.


Girls Inc. Indy is also proud to be an example to both the Girls Inc. national network of affiliates and external organizations. The Eureka! model was developed by Girls Inc. National and sets a gold standard for girl-focused STEM programming nationwide. As one of a few early adopters of the program, Girls Inc. Indy has assisted in refining the model for future use. Furthermore, we have expanded the model by adding STEM programming to our earlier year programs, further enhancing STEM learning throughout a girl’s lifetime. We expect and look forward to our efforts expanding our programming to other counties in our charter of the greater Indianapolis area.

What are your impact goals for the next year and the next five years, and how will you achieve them?

Girls Inc. Indy is deeply proud of the impact our STEM Experience has on the lives of our participants, and we take seriously our duty to provide an enriching, safe, positive experience that will set them on a pathway to lifelong success within STEM studies and fields as well as in their personal endeavors. As a result of engaging in our programming, we expect participants in the Girls Inc. Indy STEM Experience to experience achieve these long-term academic and leadership outcomes, and we orient all our STEM programming around these participant goals:


  • graduate from a postsecondary education institution;
  • explore the option of pursuing a degree in a STEM or STEM-related field;
  • hold a position in a STEM or STEM-related field within three years of graduation from a postsecondary institution;
  • participate in leadership roles in their community or career within five years of graduation;
  • volunteer in their community within three years of post-secondary graduation
  • be in charge of their health, and possess the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop and sustain healthy lifestyles;
  • be academically engaged, and connect academics to life experiences, opportunities, and careers; and

be socially and emotionally intelligent, and display character and confidence in the life skills that allow for independent, productive, and fulfilling lives.

How are you measuring your progress toward your impact goals?

Participants in each of Girls Inc. Indy’s STEM-focused programs complete periodic and annual growth measurements to determine changes in their skills, knowledge, behaviors, and feelings related to the program. In addition to completing outcomes measurements within the Summer Camp and EmpowerHub programs at ages 6-14, the Girls Inc. STEM Experience culminates in our flagship STEM program Eureka! from grades 8-12.


Through a model developed by Girls Inc. National, Girls Inc. Indy measures change in Eureka! participants’ knowledge, feelings, skills, actions, and accomplishments while in the program and for multiple years after graduation. Eureka! program outcomes, outlined below, are measured through data gathered from girl feedback forms, girls’ survey of their own accomplishments, and observational assessments completed by our staff.


Short-Term Outcomes, measured yearly while enrolled in Eureka!:

  • 100% of Eurekans are on track to graduate high school or obtain a GED;
  • 80% of Eurekans possess academic self-efficacy;
  • 80% of Eurekans aspire to pursue a STEM career;
  • 80% of Eurekans participate in leadership and volunteer activities;
  • 80% of Eurekans are academically motivated;
  • 80% of Eurekans are comfortably taking healthy risks; and
  • 80% of Eurekans are confident in STEM.


Mid-Term Outcomes, measured yearly while enrolled in a post-secondary program:

  • 100% of Eurekans earn high school diploma or GED;
  • 80% of Eurekans enroll in post-secondary education within one year of high school graduation;
  • 80% of Eurekans enrolled in post-secondary education pursue a degree in STEM or STEM related field;
  • 80% of Eurekans hold a leadership role while enrolled in post-secondary education; and
  • 80% of Eurekans volunteer while enrolled in post-secondary education.


Long-Term Outcomes, measured every three years after the conclusion of girls’ post-secondary program (or the year after high school if Eurekan is not yet enrolled):

  • 80% of Eurekans graduate from post-secondary educational experience;
  • 80% of Eurekans pursing a degree in a STEM or STEM related field will hold a position in a STEM or STEM related field within three years of post-secondary graduation;
  • 80% of Eurekans will participate in leadership roles in their community or career within five years of post-secondary graduation; and

80% of Eurekans will volunteer in their community within three years of post-secondary graduation.

Describe in simple terms how and why you expect your solution to have an impact on the problem.

The Eureka! program model was developed by Girls Inc. National through extensive third-party research about the educational, social, and emotional needs of girls and what gaps exist in their development. Identifying STEM education and career entrance as an area lacking girl representation, especially for marginalized and underrepresented communities, Girls Inc. National engaged affiliates nationwide to implement Eureka! and expand and develop it around the unique needs of participants within each region. As a result, Girls Inc. Indy first implemented Eureka! in 2019 to our first cohort of participants. Now in our fifth year, Girls Inc. Indy has participants in each level of the program with those in their fifth year having experienced the program from its start. Since the program’s first year, Girls Inc. Indy has developed the more comprehensive STEM Experience to weave STEM subjects throughout lower-age programming to interest, engage, and educate participants in STEM topics on their way to experiencing Eureka! As a result, graduates of the Girls Inc. Indy STEM experience are more fully prepared to enter higher education and careers in which STEM is their focus.


In 2020, Girls Inc. National partnered with the American Institutes for Research to complete a study that explored the relationship between participating in Girls Inc. programming and participants’ school-related outcomes to ensure our programming is optimally effective. Girls Inc. National coupled this with additional research on career areas lacking female representation that also lacked youth-focused programs intending to prepare young women for related fields, which they found to be STEM-related fields. Some results that specifically speak to the benefits of Girls Inc. programming and the need for STEM-focused programming for girls nationwide and in Central Indiana are below.

  • Overall, Girls Inc. girls reported more positive attitudes and behaviors than the comparison group of girls across the majority of self-reported survey outcomes measuring knowledge, skills, and attitudes in three outcome areas: Healthy Living (Strong), Academic Engagement and Success (Smart), and Life Skills or Character Development (Bold).
  • Girls Inc. girls had consistently higher mathematics achievement test scores than the comparison group of girls.
  • Girls Inc. girls in Year 1 of the study (2017–18) had higher school-day attendance rates than the comparison group of girls.
  • Girls Inc. girls in Year 1 were suspended at lower rates than girls in the comparison group.


After years of research and further evaluation of the Girls Inc. STEM Experience and Eureka! program’s impact, including through achievement of the programmatic outcomes listed in the previous two questions, we have shown these to be effective methods of preparing girls for entry into STEM higher education and careers and remaining in such career paths. In fact, Girls Inc. Indy is proud to have achieved and surpassed each of these outcome measures since the inception of the Eureka! program in 2019.

If your solution is tech-based, describe the core technology that powers your solution.

While the Girls Inc. STEM Experience is not focused on any one specific technology, the goal of our programming is to expose participants to foundational STEM knowledge and as many STEM-focused technologies as possible throughout their time with Girls Inc. Indy. We accomplish this through our deeply researched and proven-successful program curricula and partnership with leading STEM educational institutions and corporations in our area. Strong partnerships are essential to the execution of all our programming, and over time Girls Inc. has established numerous relationships that expose girls to the ever-changing world of STEM through cutting edge research and implementation of our partners’ work. Examples of partnerships in action include field trips to partner places of business for immersion into their work, college visits, and program sessions led by partners on topics related to their expertise.

Which of the following categories best describes your solution?

A new application of an existing technology

Please select the technologies currently used in your solution:

  • Audiovisual Media
  • Crowd Sourced Service / Social Networks
  • Manufacturing Technology
  • Materials Science
  • Robotics and Drones
  • Virtual Reality / Augmented Reality

In which US states does your solution currently operate?


In which US states will your solution be operating within the next year?


Your Team

What type of organization is your solution team?


How many people work on your solution team?

Girls Inc. Indy employs 19 full-time staff and 10 part-time staff who will support our STEM programming directly. In addition, we engage volunteers throughout the year as needed. For example, generous corporate partners, such as Eli Lilly and Company, Cummins, Delta Faucet, The Heritage Group, PNC, PwC, Azenta Life Sciences, Resultant, and VMS Biomarketing, often host our Eureka! participants at their workplaces for immersive experiences.

How long have you been working on your solution?

Girls Inc. Indy began implementing the first Eureka! program cohort in 2019. In our fifth year of implementation, we now have a cohort in each of the program years, grades 8-12. Girls Inc. Indy has been implementing STEM concepts in our other STEM Experience programs since their inception, in Summer Camp in our organization’s founding year in 1969 and in EmpowerHub in 2019 when we began that program.

What is your approach to incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusivity into your work?

Equity is a central value in our culture, composition, and programs. Girls Inc. Indy is committed to ensuring that our organization’s programs are diverse and inclusive to girls, staff, volunteers, and all other stakeholders, and we implement programs that address disparities and advance economic outcomes for all girls in Indianapolis.


In 2020, we created a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee to research best practices, assess our policies, and train our staff and volunteers on DEI principles. The DEI Committee also led the creation of the Girls Inc. Indy DEI statement, which states: “Girls Inc. Indy values diversity and inclusion in all of its forms and the rich dynamics that make all of us unique, including, but not limited to, race, ethnicity, color, sexual orientation, gender identity, culture, socioeconomic status, disability status, national origin, family structure, religion, age, educational background, cognitive abilities, and organizational position.”


We have specific, measurable benchmarks as part of our annual action plan that hold us accountable to our DEI commitments and help us identify and address any areas of inequity across the organization. Action items relate to how we identify, recruit, and onboard staff and board members reflecting the communities we wish to serve; how participants, staff, and board members feel belonging, inclusion, and access within our work; how staff and board members understand how diversity, equity, and inclusion relate to their roles; and how we provide compensation and benefits that are equitable.


In addition, we are focused on the equity of our service delivery and programmatic impact. Diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice is woven throughout our entire 2023-2025 Operational Plan. Furthermore, over the course of our 2020-2022 Strategic Plan, we transitioned from a numbers-driven model in which programs were scattered throughout the Greater Indianapolis area to a comprehensive, high-dosage model in which we serve participants through longer-term, impact-driven programming in locations where girls have the least opportunity and greatest needs. We know this approach aligns with leading research on how organizations can promote racial equity and have the greatest, long-term impact on young people, especially those in communities of color. Girls Inc. Indy predominately serves Marion County located in Indianapolis Indiana. Our strongest school partnerships—where we conduct the majority of our programming—are concentrated in Perry, Warren, and Washington Townships, and the following Indianapolis neighborhoods: West Side, Arlington Woods, Near Southside, Kennedy King, Mapleton Fall Creek, Martindale-Brightwood, and Far Eastside. Specifically, the following zip codes are most impacted: 46202, 46204, 46208, 46217, 46218, 46221, 46221, 46222, 46222, 46225, 46227, 46229, 46235, and 46260. Girls Inc. Indy focuses support on populations that often have the highest barriers to educational attainment, such as race, sexuality, ethnicity, citizenship, socio-economic status, or disability. For example, 83% of all Girls Inc. Indy participants qualify for free or reduced lunch, and a majority (68%) identify as people of color.

Your Business Model & Funding

What is your business model?

Girls Inc. Indy is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Established in 1969, The mission of Girls Inc. Indy is: “to inspire all girls to be strong, smart and bold,” which is achieved through engaging, empowering, and relevant programming for participants in Central Indiana. Girls Inc. Indy offers comprehensive programming at partner schools and at the Girls Inc. Indy office allowing participants to experience the programs they choose within a linear pathway of education and personal development from ages 6 to 24. Our programs include Summer Camp (ages 6-14), Outreach (grades 1-8), EmpowerHub (grades 1-8), Eureka! (grades 8-12), Young Women in Leadership (YWIL, grades 9-12), and Project Accelerate (high school through transition into the workforce). Through interactive, research-based programs, the Girls Inc. Experience equips participants with the tools, knowledge, and opportunities needed to navigate gender, economic, and social barriers and prepares them to take their places in the world as healthy, educated, and independent individuals.


Girls Inc. Indy employs a comprehensive, adaptive approach in which we serve participants with higher dosage, higher impact confidence- and character-building programming in mostly Marion County locations where the need is greatest and opportunity is lowest in order to create systemic change for girls in our communities. This shift is further informed by academic research from the Girls Inc. National organization stressing that the more time girls spend at safe-space clubs with mentoring relationships, the more positive outcomes occur in regard to character, citizenship, academic success, and healthy lifestyles. This study recommends that 30 hours of programming time with Girls Inc. decreases negative outcomes and yields transformational outcomes, such as higher academic results, increased civic engagement, increased self-confidence, and positive decision making.


To sustain our work, Girls Inc. Indy generates income from a diverse set of sources, including foundation grants, individual donors, corporate partners, fundraising events, fees for service, and earned income through use of our office space.

Do you primarily provide products or services directly to individuals, to other organizations, or to the government?

Individual consumers or stakeholders (B2C)

What is your plan for becoming financially sustainable?

Because Girls Inc.’s income is largely philanthropy-based, we rely heavily on the generosity of organizations like Solve and Tiger Global Impact Ventures. Currently, programming is sustained by a diverse mix of funding sources. Philanthropic income includes contributed revenue from foundations, individual donors, and corporations, as well as United Way funding, in-kind donations, and fundraising events. Additional income includes investment interest, fees for service, and office space rental income. Girls Inc. Indy will continue to seek funding from individuals and philanthropic entities whose passions align with our mission.


Girls Inc. Indy’s 2023-2025 operational plan also features a goal with supplemental strategies and actions to achieve strong financial sustainability through a balanced funding structure and intentional development strategies. We completed a development audit in 2020 to execute a robust, multi-faceted development plan to fund ongoing operations at a higher level. Strategies include increasing corporate support and expanding individual and major gift portfolios.


Additionally, in January 2020 Girls Inc. Indy received a Lilly Endowment Inc. Fiscal Sustainability Grant. Through this award, Girls Inc. Indy received funding to establish an endowment restricted to supporting operational efficiencies and financial sustainability. Through these funds, Girls Inc. Indy will engage with a consultant to refine and grow fundraising mechanisms, including systems improvement. This substantial investment from Lilly Endowment Inc. will provide financial sustainability for the organization for many years to come.

Share some examples of how your plan to achieve financial sustainability has been successful so far.

An excellent example of the sustainability of the Girls Inc. STEM Experience model is implementation of corporate partnerships. One of our longstanding STEM Experience partners is Cummins. Headquartered in Indiana, Cummins specializes in diesel and alternative fuel engines and generators, and related components and technology. In addition to over $200,000 in programmatic funding since 2019, Cummins actively engages our program participants on-site at their facility and at other STEM Experience program sites. For example, Cummins has held Girls Inc. Day at their site, which includes hands-on STEM exploration led by their own employees at the Cummins Distribution Business Headquarters in Indianapolis.

Solution Team

  • Lindsay Gramlich President & CEO, Girls Incorporated of Greater Indianapolis (Girls Inc. Indy)
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