When 9-year-old Desiree joined Girls Inc., she desperately needed a friend. She’d just moved from out-of-state – a world away from everything she knew – and enrolled in a school where she was the only girl. From day one, she was bullied mercilessly. When her father signed her up for Girls Inc.’s after-school program in Crestwood, she was not excited about going to another place where she felt she didn’t belong. But she was wrong. Girls Inc. quickly became a safe place for her. It gave her the desire to succeed in school and helped her work through her many hurdles, including dyslexia. Everything at Girls Inc. was focused on girls and women and their success. Desiree learned about women who looked like her and who are making a difference in science, civil rights, and entrepreneurship. She began to see that girls, and girls of color, could be powerful. She realized she had a voice and a responsibility to share it. Desiree became a Girls Inc. scholarship recipient and later went on to study psychology at Auburn University in Montgomery. The girl-only environment helped Desiree to make friends, connect socially and emotionally, and instilled in her the confidence that girls can succeed and deserve to be taken seriously. In addition, it taught her positive values that will last a lifetime. She found her voice and realized how important her contribution is to society and to this world. Most of all, she learned even though she was a girl, she could do anything as long as she put her mind to it.