Funding will Support STEM Programming for Middle and High School Girls

Jacksonville, Fla. Oct 26 – Girls Inc. of Jacksonville (GIJ) has been awarded a funding support grant from Comcast NBCUniversal. This substantial financial support will empower Girls Inc. of Jacksonville to expand its reach, accelerate innovative projects, and create a lasting impact on middle and high school girls in Duval County Schools. GIJ will receive a total of $10,000 to support these efforts.

The funding, which comes from Comcast NBC Universal will be used to expand the capacity of Girls Inc. of Jacksonville in providing digital opportunities for girls during the 23-24 programming year. Girls Inc.’s Operation SMART program closely aligns with the Digital Exploration (build skills and career interest) grant focus area. The initiatives of the program provide girls in middle and high school with the “skills needed to increase competency and confidence in technology, as well as sparks interest in careers in technology and prepares participants for the jobs of the future” as described in the grant focus area description. Operation SMART helps girls to develop and sustain girls’ enthusiasm for and increase skills in STEM through empowerment and experiential learning with STEM professionals. Girls Inc programming increases the presence of women in STEM-related careers, builds girls’ skills in mathematics, critical thinking, collaboration, and working in teams and increase college and career readiness for girls in science and technology courses.

Girls Inc. Operation SMART (Science, Math, And Relevant Technology) Program develops girls’ enthusiasm for and skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Through hands-on activities, girls explore, ask questions, persist, and solve problems. By interacting with women and men pursuing STEM careers, girls come to view these careers as exciting and realistic options for themselves through early exposure to technology fields and soft-skills training programs.

Through Operation SMART, middle and high school girls (ages 12-18) engage in programming that has been built around the SMART philosophy of equity, exploration, empowerment, and fun.

Both programs have a heavy emphasis on digital literacy and the use of technology as a way to explore the world around them and include access to state-of-the-art technology, coding classes, field trips, professional mentors, guest speakers, and other hands-on, engaging activities in school and after school.

For more information about Girls Inc. of Jacksonville, our projects, or how you can get involved, please visit our website at or contact Melanie Saxon at or 904.731.9933.

About Girls Inc. of Jacksonville

Girls Inc. of Jacksonville is dedicated to assuring high-impact services for a growing number of girls and expanding advocacy efforts by setting bold goals and a clear strategic direction. It focuses on the development of the whole girl. Staff members help the young ladies value themselves, take risks, and discover inherent strengths.