Core to making things better for women is creating more opportunities for girls in order to make systemic change for the next generation of women.
At Lunya, we are driven by an internal mission statement—to make women's lives better through product, experience, and example. After learning that California's public school system ranks 42nd out of 50, we were inspired to find a way to support the girls in this broken system and discovered Girls Inc. of Greater Los Angeles, an affiliate chapter of the national organization Girls Inc., whose organization provides support and programming to girls in low income areas of South Los Angeles, Compton, and Watts.
1 in 4 girls will not finish high school
78% of girls are unhappy with their bodies by age 17
3 in 10 girls will become pregnant before the age of 20
1 in 5 girls will be a victim of childhood sexual abuse.
What does Girls Inc. LA do?
The mission of Girls Inc. is to empower girls in high poverty areas by keeping them excited about school and optimistic about their future. By providing in and after school programming and a sustained presence throughout the school day, Girls Inc. LA gives girls the knowledge and tools to be strong, smart, and bold. Many Girls Inc. participants are considered "at risk" due to circumstances outside of their control - poverty, gang surroundings and homelessness. These experiences make them less likely to graduate high school, become pregnant sooner than they are ready, and generally less prepared to face adulthood.
Currently Girls, Inc. LA has programs at 6 Title I schools* - 3 elementary schools, 2 middle schools, and 1 high school, with plans to expand to more schools through fundraising and grants. Some of the programs provided at these schools include art, gardening, health and wellness, theater, and economic literacy.
How does Girls Inc. LA achieve this?
As mentioned before, Girls Inc. LA provides knowledge and tools for the girls to empower themselves to be strong, smart, and bold.
Strong (Healthy) - Girls gain knowledge to embrace physical activity, positive body image, and nutrition while decreasing or delaying substance use and risky sexual activity.
Smart (Educated) - Girls increase their love of learning, improve performance in school, explore STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering, Math] classes and non-traditional careers, and aspire to and plan for education beyond high school.
Bold (Independent) - Girls build life skills to set and achieve goals, have healthy relationships, and increase resilience in the face of obstacles to live productive and fulfilling lives.
Girls Inc. Statistics...
79% of Girls Inc. girls are on track to graduate HS
90% are hopeful about the future
96% believe that getting pregnant would interfere with their education
How does Lunya contribute to Girls Inc. LA?
Lunya supports this incredible organization in almost any way we can. We donated all of the proceeds from our first profitable month toward opening a new Girls Inc. LA campus. Our founder, Ashley Merrill, is on the board of Girls Inc. LA and advocates for new programs, funding, and grants to perpetuate the growth and strength of the campuses. Finally, every Lunya employee has the opportunity to visit Girls Inc. LA campuses to volunteer in the classrooms, spend time with the girls and aiding the teachers in any way that they need us.
Is there anything you can do to help?
Tons! Not only is Girls Inc. LA always looking for capable and passionate ambassadors, they are always looking for funding. You can donate here, or you can purchase Lunya's limited-edition Pima Muscle Tee printed with Girls, Girls, Girls - 100% of the proceeds from this shirt will be given to Girls Inc. LA, so you can rest easy knowing your purchase is giving back.
Additionally, in honor of Women's Day on March 9th, Lunya has partnered with three female-lead and run brands - Janessa Leoné, Vrai & Oro, and Jenni Kayne - to donate 10% of our total revenue earned from March 2nd through March 9th to Girls Inc. LA. Shop any of our websites during that week and 10% of your purchase will go toward helping this amazing organization!
*Title I is a classification issued by the US Department of Education. If classified as a Title I school, supplemental funding is provided to meet the needs of at-risk and low-income students.