Belluck & Fox encourages our attorneys to give back to society and our communities. That philanthropic spirit is part of what differentiates our firm from the pack. Lori Garber has indeed risen to the challenge.

A counsel at Belluck & Fox, Garber has been a Board Member of Girls Inc. of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey since 2018 and a mentor to the Rising STARS (middle school-age girls) since 2016. Recently, she has taken on the role of Chair of the Board.

In our interview, Garber shares her experience with Girls Inc. and what it was like transitioning into her role. She discusses the accomplishments of the organization and of the girls they help. And she talks about how Belluck & Fox has been a supporter of this vital work. 

When did you get involved with Girls Inc.?
I was Chair of the Temple Law Alumni Association’s Women’s Leadership Committee. About five years ago, I felt it was important for our group to focus on opening doors for girls in a meaningful way, especially for girls from underserved and low-income communities. One of our members recommended contacting Dena Herrin, Executive Director of Girls Inc. of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey. We then became mentors to the Girls Inc. Rising STARS, a middle school leadership program. 

Why does the mission resonate with you?
1 in 5 girls live in poverty in the US; 1 in 6 will not finish high school; 1 in 20 teens become pregnant. Each year, Girls Inc. of Greater Philadelphia & Southern NJ engages over 3,000 girls beginning at age 5 to post-secondary from more than 40 schools, juvenile justice facilities, and shelters for women and children.Girls Inc.’s mission is to inspire girls to be Strong, Smart, and Bold. And they focus on the development of the whole girl. As a result, girls learn to value themselves, take risks, and discover and develop their inherent strengths. The combination of long-lasting mentoring relationships, a pro-girl environment, and research-based programming equips girls to navigate gender, economic, and social barriers and grow up healthy, educated, and independent.

How did you become Chair of the Board? What does that role entail?
After a few years of my involvement with the organization, I was asked to become a board member, and last year they asked me to be the First Vice-Chair of the board. Unfortunately, the new Chair had to step down due to health reasons, and I was voted in as Chair. The Chairperson presides at all meetings of the Board of Directors and has the usual duties of a chief executive officer with general supervision and direction of the organization’s affairs. 

What are your plans for Girls Inc., now that you’re at the helm?
Our Board of Directors finalized our five-year strategic plan, and my job is to ensure the team stays on track year by year. Along with the governance committee, I need to make sure our members are diverse, talented, and committed. Finally, my overarching goal is to focus on the fund development committee to build relationships with those who align with our mission to sustain and grow the organization’s resources to ensure the organization is positioned for financial health, security, growth, and sustainability for many years in the future.  

Where does your passion for the organization stem from?
As a female attorney, I realize and am grateful for the support and encouragement I received from family, friends, and mentors throughout my career. So often, women and girls are marginalized and do not have the opportunities that many of us take for granted. Mentorship is not only invaluable but critical to success. I am proud to support this organization where ALL girls are valued and shown that they can make their own choices with limitless opportunities.

What are the impacts on your’s and the girls’ lives being a part of Girls Inc.?
As a mentor, I hope I can positively impact the girls I work with to give them the confidence they need to be whatever they want to be. The truth is the girls inspire me. Although the girls in our mentor group are in middle school, they are bright, engaged, and attuned to the environment where they come from and the difficulties they face now and could face in the future.

What are some success stories you’ve witnessed because of Girls Inc.?
There are so many success stories at Girls Inc. What speaks most to me is experiencing first-hand the transformation of the girls, often reticent and unsure of themselves, to blossom into self-assured, positive, and optimistic young women. I know they will share their successes with other girls, and their leadership will allow them to go into the world and make a real difference. 

How has Belluck & Fox supported Girls Inc. and your endeavors with the organization?
The firm encourages and highly values community service. Joe Belluck and the other attorneys are deeply committed to numerous issues that support the community. I’m proud that Belluck & Fox has been a donor and incredible supporter of Girls Inc. and its work.

Learn more about how Belluck & Fox supports the communities we serve.