Girls Inc. of St. Louis gains national recognition

Cap-tipping time to Girls Inc. of St. Louis and its chief executive, Cheryl Jones.

The group, which supports school-age females from ages 5 through 18 through various programs and services, was named Monday as an outstanding affiliate of the national organization.

The St. Louis chapter was one of three, out of 78 in the U.S., that was honored. The chapter serves more than 8,000 girls a year and more than 80 women in college.

In a statement, Jones said the local affiliate aims to provide "a caring and welcoming culture where our girls feel valued, safe and respected for their individual talents and skills."

Stephanie J. Hull, Girls Inc.'s national chief executive, said the local chapter "demonstrated excellence in strengthening and expanding their services to support the unique, ever-changing needs of girls."

Along with educational programs, the group also provides transportation to schools and outreach counseling programs.

It was formed in 1981 as the Girls Club of Soulard and joined the national Girls Inc. organization later in the 1980s. Jones has been its chief executive since 2013.

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