Vickie's Story

Vickie Madison developed the idea for the Excellence Girls' Club, Inc. while working as a Student Diversion Counselor in a Virginia school system during the 1997-98 school year. A Student Diversion Counselor whose charge was diverting elementary and middle school students from the juvenile court system through counseling in the school setting.

While working with the students, Vickie noted a number of recurring themes among the female students. The girls had poor relationships—or no relationships at all—with their mothers, sexual relationships with older boys, and low-self esteem manifested in self-destructive behavior including abusive relationships, alcohol, tobacco and other drug use.

Vickie formed a girls' group that met weekly for eight sessions. During the weekly sessions, the girls' group discussed the following topics: relationships with mothers, relationships with boys, self-esteem and school. After just one eight week session, parents and teachers noticed improvement in the girls' overall attitude and behavior.

The following school year, Vickie served as a high school Student Assistance Counselor and continued the girls' group. The participants found the program so helpful that one member recommended that the group become an after school club. Unlike the initial girls group, the high school group was not restricted to students who were at risk of becoming juvenile offenders. The girls group was open to all girls despite their race, socioeconomic status, grade point average, etc. In fact the participants at the high school level typically were not exhibiting behavioral issues.

In November 2000, the girls' group became the Excellence Girls' Club. By June 2004, Excellence Girls' Club was incorporated. The following year, 501(c)(3) status was granted to the Excellence Girls' Club, Inc.