Youth Development


Chicago, IL


GirlForward is a community of support dedicated to creating and enhancing opportunities for girls who have been displaced globally by conflict and persecution.

Ruling Year


Executive Director

Karnika Iyengar

Main Address

PO Box 607516

Chicago, IL 60660 USA


girls, refugees, adolescent, education, empowerment





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

IRS Filing Requirement

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

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2017, 2016 and 2015.
Register now

Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

Add a problem overview to your profile.

Update now

Our programs

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Mentoring Program

Camp GirlForward

Safe Spaces Program

Where we work

Charting Impact

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

Through three core programs, GirlForward addresses the biggest challenges faced by refugee girls resettled in the United States: poverty, language barrier, limited/disrupted education, social isolation, trauma, and a need for role models.

GirlForward supports girls through three core programs.

Our Mentoring Program pairs girls with mentors to engage in "4W" activities (Wellness, Wisdom, Wallet and World) in order to explore their passions and graduate from high school.

Camp GirlForward provides a space for girls to simultaneously build their English skills while exploring their identities and learning about the world around them.

The Safe Spaces Program provides safe spaces for girls to explore their identities, connect with other girls, and access the resources they need.

For more information about the team carrying out our work, visit

Our Mentoring Program aims for girls to graduate from high school and pursue their passions. Each year for the past several years, 100% of our Mentoring Program graduates have graduated from high school with around 80-90% going on to attend college.
Through Camp GirlForward, girls improve their English language skills during summer out-of-school time. Each summer, 100% girls demonstrate growth in English comprehension and fluency. On average, girls increase skills by one grade level.
In the Safe Spaces Program, we track girls' reported learning as well as frequency of attendance at our tutoring and in-school programs.

Since 2011, GirlForward has served nearly 300 girls. We aim to continue to serve girls in Chicago and Austin while looking to expand to new locations in the near future.

External Reviews



Need more info on this nonprofit?

Need more info on this nonprofit?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2017, 2016 and 2015
  • A Pro report is also available for this organization.

See what's included


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

Need more info?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2017, 2016 and 2015
  • A Pro report is also available for this organization.

See what's included

Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


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?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?



Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?