It all began with a tragic incident in Cobb County, in 1974. That year, a 9 year old Cobb County girl, Debbie Randall, was abducted. She was found 2 weeks later, raped and murdered. Her misfortune stemmed from a lack of a safe, after-school environment for girls in her area. At the time, the most popular place to be during non-school hours was the local Laundromat. Having decided that this was unacceptable, Lenore Dunaway and Joyce Dunaway Parker appealed to the Marietta City Council to provide a safe place for girls in the form of the Cobb-Marietta Girls Club. The Cobb County Commission then helped the Club acquire land in the Larry Bell Civic Center Complex, where the Cobb-Marietta Center still resides today.
The Cobb Marietta Girls Club
The Club began as a one-room trailer, lent to the organization by the Marietta Savings and Loan. Girls Club staff, at that time, consisted of one paid staff member, a Director, and several volunteers. Programming, facilitated by volunteers, began in 1976. The same year, the Cobb-Marietta Girls Club became a United Way agency and elected its first Board of Directors. The following year, construction was completed on the new facility and the Cobb-Marietta Girls Club joined with Girls Clubs of America.
Girls Incorporated of Cobb County
Five short years later, Girls Clubs of America officially changed its name nationally to Girls Incorporated. The new name had a more business like feel, “because growing up is serious business.” Girls Clubs of Cobb County became Girls Incorporated of Cobb County
Girls Incorporated of Greater Atlanta
Girls Incorporated of Greater Atlanta was organized in 1998 when two outstanding programs, Girls Incorporated of Cobb County and Girls Incorporated- Urban Girls Initiative/Atlanta, were combined.
As Girls Incorporated of Greater Atlanta, the organization has turned its attention to the needs of girls in the greater Atlanta area..
It is the expressed mission of Girls Incorporated of Greater Atlanta to “Inspire all girls to be strong, smart and bold.” We envision reaching this goal by becoming the premier organization that helps girls to realize their potential and exercise their rights.