Girls Inc. of Holyoke Becomes Girls Inc. of the Valley
HOLYOKE — Poised to boost its reach three-fold over the next five years, Girls Inc. of Holyoke has chosen a new name — Girls Inc. of the Valley — to embody its bigger, wider impact across Western Mass.
The agency will keep its headquarters in Holyoke, said Executive Director Suzanne Parker at a press conference this morning at WGBY’s headquarters in downtown Springfield, and stay as committed as ever to the city of its origin. But with Girls Inc. members now hailing from Springfield, Chicopee, South Hadley, and other surrounding communities, a name change was certainly needed.
“Girls Inc. of the Valley gives a message of inclusivity and will help us move forward,” said Parker, adding that the agency now serves more than 500 girls across the Pioneer Valley. “Not everyone realizes that we serve girls from several communities. As we continue to grow and expand our footprint, we are proud to have a name that better shows who we are.”
Girls from area communities will continue to benefit from Girls Inc. of the Valley programs held at the Holyoke center headquarters on everything from literacy to leadership, said Parker, but the agency is also expanding into surrounding communities and has partnered to work inside 10 schools, including Springfield’s Chestnut Academy Middle School and Chicopee’s Bellamy Middle School and Dupont Middle School.
“We began in Holyoke and will always be in touch with our deep legacy there,” said Melyssa Brown-Porter, chair of the board of directors of Girls Inc. and an alumna herself. “But our strategic goals all center around impacting more lives through growth in the Valley, and going where the girls need us the most. And the new name gives us the most room for growth.”