Being a Girl ROX!

aka ROX   |   Columbus, OH   |


ROX is the national non-profit leader on research, education, and programming for girls. \n\nThe mission of ROX is to create generations of confident girls who control their own relationships, experiences, decisions and futures. \n\nROX executes this mission this through 3 pillars of expertise: \n• Conducting innovative research with girls, \n• Educating the community on issues impacting girls, and \n• Implementing evidence-based programming for girls.

Ruling year info


Founder/Executive Director

Lisa Hinkelman Ph. D.

Main address

1335 Dublin Road Suite 18A

Columbus, OH 43215 USA

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NTEE code info

Girls Clubs (O22)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Girls experience a decline in how they think about themselves, their bodies & their abilities as they progress through their adolescent years. They experience immense pressure to “fit in" to the unrealistic and often disempowering societal standards set for them, leaving them with a sense of inadequacy when compared to others. By the time girls are in middle school their self-esteem is likely at its lowest point ever. Girls who once were outgoing and confident suddenly become sullen & introverted. Others who loved math & science now proclaim that they 'hate' those subjects & become disinterested in school. \n\nAdditionally, more than ever, girls are struggling with depression, anxiety, forming healthy relationships & isolation. Nearly 30% of high school girls find themselves in an unhealthy or controlling dating relationship & nearly as many are victims of sexual violence. Many girls lack the support & resources to know where to turn & are left feeling confused & alone.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?


The complete ROX program is a 20-lesson curriculum that is generally delivered once a week by a licensed ROX facilitator. An elementary and secondary curriculum are available and have been validated with girls in grades 5-12. Lesson topics focus on team building, healthy communication, dealing with girl drama/bullying, healthy relationships, navigating social media, body image, support systems, stress and coping, academic and career development, and leadership.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Women and girls

Facilitated workshops with mothers, fathers, parents, significant adults, and girls provide opportunities for girls to connect in meaningful ways with the important adults in their lives. Workshops can be conducted as part of a full ROX program or as a stand-alone activity. These 2-3 hour workshops are delivered by two trained facilitators and are effective in improving communication and connections between adults and teens. Adult only activities, teen only activities, and joint activities provide an opportunity for honest discussion and a safe place to explore new ways of relating.

Parent symposiums provide adults with research on what is going on with girls and strategies to communicate with and relate more effectively with the girls in their lives.

Population(s) Served

ROX provides professional development and training to educators, counselors, and other helping professionals on a variety of issues facing girls. Workshops and professional development offerings are tailored to the specific group. Popular training topics include:

-Got DRAMA!: Dealing with Relational Aggression & Girl Bullying
-Critical Issues Impacting Girls
-What’s Going on With Girls and How Can We Help Them?
-Effective Strategies for Educating Girls
-Teen Dating Violence Prevention & Intervention
Building Strong, Confident, and Competent Girls

Population(s) Served

ROX staff members are certified women's self-defense instructors and have a combined 16 years experience teaching self-defense to girls and women. Self-defense education is a component of the ROX curriculum and the ROX team also provides stand-alone workshops for schools, organizations, teams, and businesses. The safe, female-only environment allows participants to explore myths and facts about violence, learn emotional, verbal, and physical strategies for staying safe, and experience their own strength and confidence in a supportive setting.

Population(s) Served
Women and girls

The ROX program is delivered by trained and licensed facilitators. Women who facilitate ROX are professional counselors, school counselors, intervention specialists, and educators. The 3-day facilitator licensure training takes place in Columbus, Ohio throughout the year and can also be delivered in communities across the country. The training covers our philosophical approach to working with girls, research on effective interventions with girls, and experiential learning on all of the curricular components.

Population(s) Served
Women and girls

Where we work


5 Nonprofits to Watch 2020

The Columbus Foundation

Affiliations & memberships

5 Nonprofits To Watch, The Columbus Foundation 2020

Social Enterprise of the Year, The Metropreneur and SocialVentures 2018

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

At Ruling Our eXperiences, Inc. (ROX) we focus on the area of a girl's life where she has the potential to be held back by society, media messages, traditional expectations or other systems that restrict girls' opportunities and access. ROX is​ ​the​ ​national​ ​leader​ ​on​ ​research,​ ​education​ ​and​ ​programming​ ​for​ ​girls and we:\n1. Implement evidence-based programming for girls;\n2. Conduct relevant and innovative research focused on adolescent girls; and\n3. Educate the community on issues impacting girls through education, training and professional development\n\nUnfortunately, without intervention, the confidence crisis that girls experience can persist for girls through high school and beyond and impact not only their self-esteem, but also their academic achievement, post-secondary options, interpersonal relationships and career aspirations. In order to fully actualize their potential, girls need the tools to effectively and healthily manage these intense challenges.

1) IMPLEMENTING EVIDENCE-BASED PROGRAMMING FOR GIRLS: Our 20-week ROX Program for Girls allows girls in grades 5 through 12 to develop the skills to find value and worth in themselves and their abilities and then focuses on teaching the skills necessary to negotiate the challenges they will face during their adolescent years, including: difficulty in friendships with other girls, sexual harassment, coercion and violence prevention, social media and sexting, concerns related to body image and the media, managing stress and pressure and societal messaging regarding girls' abilities in specific academic and career areas. Though the elementary and secondary curriculum, we target the areas of a girl’s life where she has the potential to be held back by restrictive messages and we equip her with concrete and evidence-based skills to navigate these challenges more effectively. Specifically, through impacting the self-esteem, self- concept and self-efficacy of girls, we can impact girls' healthy decision-making and confidence and provide them with the skills to rule their experiences.\n\n2) CONDUCT RELEVANT AND INNOVATIVE RESEARCH FOCUSED ON GIRLS: In 2017, ROX published and disseminated The Girls Index™, the first-ever, large-scale national survey designed to develop a deeper understanding of the thoughts, experiences, perceptions, beliefs, behaviors and attitudes of teen girls throughout the United States. Surveying 10,678 girls, 'The Girls' Index: New Insights Into the Complex World of Today's Girls' delves into the lived experiences of girls and provides the opportunity for girls to share their thoughts and opinions related to a variety of relevant issues currently impacting their lives. Through this research with a large and representative sample of girls, we have developed high-level insights into girls’ lives and have established strong national statistics surrounding key areas impacting girls.\n\n3) EDUCATE THE COMMUNITY ON ISSUES IMPACTING GIRLS THROUGH ADULT EDUCATION, TRAINING, & PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Through The Girls’ Index, our national survey of 10,678 girls, we learned that girls’ lives are tremendously complicated and they need support and understanding from the adults in their lives. We also learned that adults are looking for tools and resources to help them more effectively teach, parent, mentor and support the girls in their lives. In response to these needs, ROX launched The ROX Research and Training Institute, the nation's first multidisciplinary institute focused on girls that will put research into practice through accessible, timely and impactful in-person and virtual workshops, trainings, and courses.

We use the best practices in sociological, educational and psychological research to implement our evidence-based empowerment program in schools with girls to directly address the common challenges they may face during adolescence. Through providing comprehensive, professionally-delivered, evidence-based programming we are able to equip girls with the knowledge and skills that they need to more confidently and effectively navigate these challenges.\n\nThe ROX Program for Girls is delivered as a co-curricular activity in schools across the country. ROX trains and licenses females who hold a state issued license in counseling, social work, psychology and education and who have a demonstrated interest in and commitment to working with girls. Facilitators attend the 3-day ROX Facilitator Licensure Training to become a certified and licensed ROX Facilitator. The training mirrors the ROX program for girls by engaging participants fully in the research, content, theory and experience of the critical issues facing girls and provides the opportunity to explore one's own beliefs and behaviors as they relate to the education, safety, development and empowerment of girls. \n\nAfter completing the 22-hour training, facilitators are licensed to implement the ROX program at their approved school, in conjunction with ROX, Inc. ROX partners with facilitators and their school community on the implementation and provides ongoing support for their program. ROX Facilitators receive ongoing program support, including: 5 one-on-one coaching sessions with an expert ROX coach; assistance with evaluation & reporting; program scheduling; alignment with school goals, metrics and standards; increasing parent & staff involvement; funding and sustainability.\n\nThis training and implementation model has allowed ROX to scale nationwide and serve a total of over 20,000 girls since 2011. We currently have interest from schools across the country and a waiting list of communities who would like to bring the ROX program their schools.

ROX has made strides in increasing awareness and sharing our work with individuals, schools, families and community organizations across the country. For example, over the past year ROX has:\n• Initiated a Confidence Is Not Cancelled initiative to transfer our evidence-based curriculum to an interactive online learning platform— giving ROX girls access to continued support and connection during school closures and remote learning. \n• Trained and licensed over 200 new ROX Facilitators to deliver our 20-week curriculum through their schools in remote, hybrid and in-person settings \n• Educated 631 participants through webinars and virtual workshops offered through The ROX Institute for Research & Training, the nation's first multidisciplinary institute focused on girls \n• Conducted and published 'Girls & COVID' a national research brief outlining the impact of COVID on girls' experiences \n• Conducted and published 'Girls, Diversity & The Future' which reflects insights of nearly 11,000 teen girls throughout the United States. The in-depth survey and analysis captures insights from 5th through 12th grade girls and offers parents, educators, mentors and policymakers a glimpse into the world of today's girls and their unique beliefs, behaviors and barriers across demographics.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection



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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Board of directors
as of 01/22/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Nici Workman

Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP

Term: 2018 -

Kimberly Cooper

Hilton Corporation

Kari Harkins


Erika Latham

Huntington National Bank

Diana Stein


Leslie Vesha


Brooke Wilson


Nici Workman

Vorys, Sater, Seymour & Pease LLP

Val Greer

Bread Financial

Gelena Libin

Headspace Health

Julie Rosen

Bath & Body Works

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/22/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/22/2023

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.