• In 1969, the Dothan Service League met in response to a survey showing the community needs, and began discussing the need for a girls only program. Thus, Girls Club was created, and met one afternoon a week at Henry Green apartments with about 6-10 members. In 1970, the girls and their volunteer teachers met wherever they could, but by 1971 the Dothan Service League rented a small frame house on E. Savannah Street for the Club. The Girls Club was open Monday through Thursday in the afternoons with a total enrollment of 24 girls.

    In 1976, the Board of Directors incorporated Girls Club, and after many fundraisers the Dothan Service League rented what was once the Gingerbread House to Girls Club, Inc. for $1 a year.

    In November 1976, the first Executive Director was hired, and by 1978 the first Summer program was held averaging 50 girls a day. By Fall 1978 the club was open everyday for activities afterschool, and full day activities on school holidays. And in October 1981, Girls Club became a United Way agency.

    Fast-forward 8 years, and in the Summer of 1989 Girls Club had the highest enrollment ever with 270 girls! The waiting list reached 165 and still there were phone calls and drop ins with questions about joining the program.

    In May 1990, the National Girls Club of America held its national conference and voted to change the name to GIRLS INCORPORATED after a long court battle with National Boys Club over the use of the name “Girls Club” in conjunction with their name. The vote carried and we became known as Girls Incorporated of Dothan. Programming had become the core of the organization and there were 6 core program areas (Health & Sexuality, Sports & Adventure, Self Reliance & Life Skills, Careers & Life Planning, Culture & Heritage, and Leadership & Community Action) that were in effect in every center across the United States to some degree.

    In September 1997, Charles G. Taylor donated a 13,000 square foot building located at 785 South Foster Street to the organization for use as their new center. Girls Incorporated of Dothan’s Board of Directors took on their first ever capital campaign for $250,000. Renovations began in January 1998 and by August 1998 Girls Incorporated of Dothan was open for their first Fall Afterschool Program in the new facility.

    In 2006, Girls Incorporated of Dothan was awarded Affiliate of the Year in our region in the small budget category! This award was due to the hardwork of the staff, and the focus on academic support and parental involvement.

    2010 was a great, record breaking year for Girls Inc. of Dothan with attendance at its highest ever during the Summer and Afterschool Program.  Thanks to support from the Human Resource Development Corporation, Girls Inc. was able to provide much needed scholarships during the Summer and after school.

    In 2011, three alumnae received Girls Inc. National Scholarships!  Ariel Tillman received $15,000; Ashley Cainion received $2,500; and Alexis Cochran received $2,500.  It had been 10 years since our affiliate had any alumni to receive this scholarship!  Ariel Tillman is selected to represent our affiliate at the Girls Inc. Luncheon in New York City.

    Our first Mother Daughter Tea fundraiser was in December 2012, and was a great success!

    In 2013, we received a Challenge Grant through the United Way and Wiregrass Foundation in the amount of $50,000 to renovate our playground.  This allowed us to get sod, new mulch, new equipment and the addition of a concrete slab for basketball and 4 square.  Another alumni receives a National Scholarship – Alicia Duke is awarded $20,000 and is selected to represent our affiliate at the Los Angeles Girls Inc. Luncheon.  In addition, Ariel Tillman receives $15,000 through the first ever collegiate scholarship offered by Girls Inc. made possible through The Pearl Fund and Georgina Chapman.  Dr. Bertha Roberts (Troy University Dothan professor) is awarded the Region IV Volunteer Program Adult Award for 6 years of continued collaboration and impacting the lives of over 600 girls.