Press Release: New Director of STEM


Florence, SC – Girls University is pleased to announce a new Director of STEM and Specialty Programs, Christina Ellerbe at Girls University. Christina has been with Girls University since 2017.

Ellerbe will work with Girls University Scholars and Staff to help create and facilitate a fun, hands-on learning environment through the use of  STEM Curriculum and other specialty clubs: Girls Tech, Etiquette, Arts & Crafts and Master Chef.

After working with OM Ships International and holding a Public Relations Coordinator position with Keep Florence Beautiful, Christina – Joy’s passion for tinkering and empowering by use of knowledge pointed her in the direction early childhood education. Christina – Joy has worked as a Learning Support Specialist and STEM Enrichment Coordinator for Tiny Techz, a compelling STEM company built on facilitating critical thinking and STEM classes. Due to Christina – Joy’s playful nature it’s a surprise that she holds a BA in Religion, Philosophy, & Political Science.

If you are interested in joining a specialty program, please send us a note at Or join us for our Club Fair on September 7 at 6:30 pm.

Girls University has an amazing group of women, visit our website to learn more about other staff members.

About Girls University

Girls University is design to motivate, inspire and educate girls regardless of race, background and social status about STEM.  We look to motivate girls to become the next scientist, engineer and technologist.  For more information on Girls University, please visit or contact our National Director of Programs and Brand, Ashli Smart, 843.468.4710.

Press Release: New Site Director


Florence, SC – Girls University is pleased to announce a new Site Director, Melanie Collins at Girls University. Collins is a native of Coward, SC, Melanie has lived in Florence since 1999.

As a wife and mother of two, Melanie is passionate about using her abilities of leadership and organization in serving others. With an Associate’s Degree in Public Service from Florence Darlington Technical College and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Sociology from Francis Marion University, Melanie has a variety of life experiences including volunteer service in the community and being a homeschool mother.

Melanie Collins – Site Director

“This experience provides me a unique perspective in managing the Florence site to fulfilling the mission of Girl’s University, ” Collins commented. In addition, Melanie enjoys spending time with her family, serving in her local church, and reading.

Girls University has an amazing group of women, visit our website to learn more about other staff members.

About Girls University

Girls University is design to motivate, inspire and educate girls regardless of race, background and social status about STEM.  We look to motivate girls to become the next scientist, engineer and technologist.  For more information on Girls University, please visit or contact our National Director of Programs and Brand, Ashli Smart, 843.468.4710.

Girls of the Month

We had two Girls Tech “Girls of the Month”! Jaelyn and Jayda warm up to people are participating slowly. However, they learn to overcome that on their own initiative after being encouraged by their team. Now both of them actively engage in projects while they grow and learn to never “Stand in the corner.” Along with the black panther handshakes, the girls know that phrase well. It simply means that opportunities pass the people hiding in the corner.

Congrats to Jaelyn and Jayda!

These are just a few scenes from a mini play the girls put on. For the Women’s History, this group chose to reenact the Rosa Parks scene. Equipped with a camera and a little direction, they were able to catch a few black and white photos to make their scenes more realistic. At Girls University, we take research to a whole new level! No book reports here. XD
(Maddy B’s mom is watching to see if this is posted on social media, she loved it).

The Intern Perspective

Girls University is an amazing facility for young females.  This facility motivates young females to become great career women while building them academically in grade school. The facility prepares the young girls at early ages to decide what career paths they want to choose which eliminates the confusion once they reach high school and enter college.

Girls University motives the young females to believe in themselves .  The facility teaches the young girls they are beautiful no matter what they look like, what others say or the color of their skin; they are all equal. the young girls are taught to respect each other as females and they are team.  Most importantly this facility teaches them how to act and behave like a LADY!

The facility has wonderful employees to help lead each young girl along the way. Each employee has a wonderful attitude and great ambition to play a major part in teach and every young girl’s life. Each employee has a one on one with each girl and they know the good things and the bad things, the likes and dislikes of each young girl.

Not only did this facility motivate the young girls. It motivated me as an intern. Some of the basic things that were being taught to these young girls reassured me as young woman who may sometimes doubt herself or the choices I make that could affect my future. Interning at this site was a ‘bonus deal” and the best choice I could have made. I also learned a lot about myself as well. The things most of these girls learned will also stick with me as I also continue to pave my way into the world as a great career woman!

-Regina P, Intern 2017

GTech Girl of the Month

Happy Engineers’ Week… let’s celebrate by recognizing one of our upcoming STEM ladies…..

Trinity Thomas is GTech Girl of the Month! Trinity showed excitement, bravery, and willingness to do something daring! She (with help) wielded a circular saw during a field trip to the Techno Mancers workshop!


GTech strives to highlight and celebrate when a kid takes initiative, tries new things, and engages her surroundings. Way to go Trinity!

There are plenty more to come! Next stop… Badges! Students will have the ability to earn badges upon completion of a field or experience! The best is yet to come!

Interested in joining our Girls Tech Club? Read more here.

Introduce a Girl to Engineering Nights


“GIRLS UNIVERSITY: Introduce a Girl to Engineering Nights”

“Leadership tomorrow depends on how we educate our students today—especially in science, technology, engineering and math.”

— President Barack Obama, September 16, 2010

Florence, SC – January 17, 2018- Girls University, the Pee Dee’s only gender STEM afterschool program launches initiative to connect undeserved elementary and middle school girls to Engineering.

Women are a highly unrepresented in Engineering within the United States. They continue to remain a minority as STEM careers in the United States continue to increase. In 2015, women made up less than one-quarter (24%) of those employed in STEM occupations in the United States. Those numbers reflect a substantial gender gap in engineering and computer occupations especially for women of color. Asian, Black and Latinas women made up slightly less than 10% of working scientists and engineers. In 2016, women in the United States represented on 4.2% of architecture and engineering occupations.

Understanding these numbers are national, we have to create ways on a local level to expose Girls to STEM at an early age. It’s important for Girls University to partner and collaborate with agencies; Hartsville Chamber of Commerce, Darlington Chamber of Commerce, Darlington County Institute of Technology, South Carolina Department of Commerce (Florence Regional Office) and Hartsville YMCA to connect girls to STEM with free engineering workshops during Engineering Week, February 18-24.

K5- 5TH @ 5:00 PM
6TH – 12TH @ 6:00 PM

6:30 PM
Girls University, 1249 CELEBRATION BLVD, FLORENCE SC 29501

6:00 PM
HARTSVILLE YMCA, 111 E Carolina Ave, Hartsville, SC 29550

These workshops are designed to motivate, inspire and educate girls in the Pee Dee about the endless opportunities associated to STEM.


About Girls University
Girls University is design to motivate, inspire and educate girls regardless of race, background and social status about STEM. We look to motivate girls to become the next scientist, engineer and technologist. For more information on Girls University, please visit or contact our Regional Director, Ashli Smart, 843.468.4710.


Girls University Rocks

Building up Tomorrow

Girls University is a place where young intelligent scholarly young girls come to learn all they need to know to determine their own future, and to educate their brains. These young ladies gets the opportunity to learn all kinds of things during their time at Girls University. They learn new ways to love themselves and others. They also gain new knowledge each every time they step through the doors of Girls University whether it’s Math, Science, English, or History they all leave with new knowledge everyday. The motto for Girls University is Inspire, Motivate and Educate. It is not just a motto but it is what make this place the best fit for young girls who wants to become future doctors,lawyers, or nurses. Girls University teach young girls to love themselves and do not be afraid to gain knowledge. With programs like Girls University our generation of girls are choosing their own paths and building their own future. With an amazing staff of young ladies behind the girls they destined for greatness. Girls University a place where education, motivation, and inspiration are the most important. Building up today for tomorrow’s future is what Girls University is all about.

-Summer College Intern 2018, FMU


Put a Little Science in it

Shooting for the Stars this summer in Hartsville! (at Coker College)

The summer camp is off to a great start and our scholars have travel to new heights. Our scholars geared up to explore the world of Astronomy and they were not afraid to get those hands dirty while doing it. During this week, Girls University introduced its scholars to the world of stars and machine making. The scholars had the opportunity to learn the solar system, planets, and oxygen in space.

Some of the activities included the scholars making their own galaxies, and also making their own time capsules. The girls used masons jars and popsicle sticks to make it all while taking the opportunity to learn about galaxies. They also learn about mixing chemicals and learning the few ways EXPLOSIONS (safely) can happen. The scholars had the opportunity to make gummy worms dance. Who knew gummy worms had moves? The scholars used their new knowledge on chemical reactions to make the gummy worms dance.


During this week the competition was on. The scholars had an opportunity to show off their structural engineering skills by splitting into groups and building their own structures.  The goals of these activities was to give the girls knowledge on Engineering, Astronomy, and Science. The girls learned all about teamwork, the engineering design process, and how a shooting star is made. Shooting for the stars is what Girls University is all about.

My Doll and Me Summer Camp

Summer has officially arrived!

Girls University began their summer camp on June 5th. Girls grabbed their passports and travel bags and took a tour around the world!

During this week the staff introduce the young ladies to travel activities that included their own doll. Each girl was able to bring in their own dolls each day of camp. Who knew how important dressing your doll each morning with just the right outfit could be? Girls engaged in a number of activities for and with their dolls. The most popular activity was making doll cellphones.

Each doll is a representation of each girl, her personality, how she feels about herself and how she sees herself. The goal of this week was to give girls a glimpse of culture, diversity, and learn how to accept ones self. The ladies made passports for themselves and their doll. The girls also built their own London bridges and Eiffel Towers. The staff introduced the girls to different cultures by having the ladies build the London Bridges and Eiffel Towers to show them the many places that share different outlooks.

The girls were introduced to diversity through the American Girl doll series. Girls learned about a few of the different American Girl dolls, their lives and how it is okay to be yourself, no matter where you are from.

The first week of summer camp at Girls University went great and the girls now understand what it means to be inspired, motivated, and educated by taking a deeper look at the world around them. #dollstravel

Check back soon for details on our Hartsville camps and all of the fun they are having.

Summer Camps


Welcome to Summer Camp 2017!

Girls University camps are centered around improving the well-being of girls. We believe in each girl’s individuality and intentionally focus on three key areas:

We work to create a safe, interactive and hands on environment that allows girls freedom to:
– Learn and master skills that nurture their passions, talents and potential.
– Bond with new friends and positive staff role models to create lasting memories.
– Know they belong so they feel welcome and free to express who they are.

WHAT DO WE OFFER? We offer a number of camps throughout the summer for girls! We have something for every girl, all summer long! You can attend one week or more, all summer.

Locations: Florence SC and Hartsville SC (Coker College)

Day Camps  – 8:00 am – 12:00 pm or 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm with full day option available (drop off starts at 7:30 am and 12:30 pm) lunch available in Florence only.

Twilight Camps – 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm (drop off starts at 6:00 pm)

 Download registration packet and bring it with you — Parent Enrollment Packet 2016-2017- Summer

Ready to register?
Registering for summer camp at Girls U is easy! Select an option below to complete the online registration process or simply reach out to a Girls U staff member anytime during operating hours or stop by 1249 Celebration Blvd, Florence, SC 29501 – (843) 407-7937!

To register for girls 5k-6th grade day camps: (Florence)
Eventbrite - Summer Camps for Girls Grades 5K - 6TH

Eventbrite - Summer Camps for HARTSVILLE SC

For questions about the registration process please contact Ashli Smart at | (843) 468-4710