Providing girls with learning opportunities and the inspiration to change the world
Cool Girls is dedicated to helping girls in the Atlanta area make smart choices that deter risky behaviors while giving guidance for positive transformation. Having served over 6,000 girls throughout its 27-year history, Cool Girls develops bonds with girls and their parents, empowering Atlanta girls by breaking the cycle of poverty, low self-esteem, and teen pregnancy.
In keeping with their mission, all Cool Girls are in under-served communities, with 90 percent of the girls attending Title 1 schools. Of the girls they serve, 85 percent are African American,13 percent are Hispanic, and two percent are Asian. Cool Girls has also supported high school girls by providing college prep activities and over $30,000 in scholarships to high school graduates heading off to college.
Grant funding from the Maximus Foundation purchased Empowerment Boxes, which are filled with school supplies, art supplies, journals, and a curriculum workbook to ensure girls can continue participating in life skills programs via Zoom. Since most of the girls’ families have experienced higher unemployment rates, the grant funding also provided gift cards to families to help meet basic needs.
There are many amazing success stories, and Raven’s is just one:
Raven was enjoying her first year in Cool Girls when the pandemic hit in the spring semester of second grade. Everything closed, and to make matters worse, Raven’s mom had to stop working at her job in a group home to keep her live-in grandparents safe from the deadly virus. The family experienced financial hardships, and Raven found remote learning to be a disappointing alternative to an in-person school experience.
When Cool Girls start in the fall with a virtual program called Virtual Girls Club, Raven jumped to re-enroll and receive her hot pink Empowerment Box full of supplies. She logged on dutifully every Wednesday afternoon, excited to see her friends on Zoom and participate in the hands-on activity of the week. Raven loved talking and learning about important topics, such as self-esteem, coping with difficult emotions, and dealing with change. She felt her voice was of value in this space, where she shared openly and often.
Virtual Girls Club wasn’t the only support Cool Girls could provide for Raven and other youth. Cool Girls also reached out to girls’ families with COVID-19 relief through items such as gift cards to grocery stores. According to Raven’s mom, these cards were a huge help with already strained finances.
When Atlanta lifted eviction moratoriums during the summer of 2021, Raven’s family of two children and two elderly parents were evicted. Cool Girls provided them with an emergency gift card to help cover some of their needs and connected them with a housing agency. Raven’s family found a new apartment and a fresh start. Months later, Raven and her mom were all smiles and said they were “doing great!” Their strength and resilience throughout such a tough year made Raven and her mom some truly Cool Women.
Learn more about how Cool Girls is empowering Atlanta girls.
Giving back to the communities we serve
The Maximus Foundation is one of the ways Maximus employees are doing something greater together. Established by the Maximus Board of Directors in 2000, the Maximus Foundation is an independent, employee-led, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Employee donors pool their contributions together through the Foundation, increasing their community impact by supporting nonprofits that serve the same communities we do. Employee donors double their impact through Maximus’ dollar-for-dollar matching pledge and make their voices heard by nominating and voting for future grantee partners. Learn more at maximus.com/foundation.