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About Us

About Us

The Benton Harbor Girls Academy (BHGA) offers broad-based knowledge and superior education
that empower young girls to better themselves and their community.

Welcome to the Benton Harbor Girls Academy

The Benton Harbor Girls Academy was created by the Benton Harbor Girls Association for Learning & Self-esteem (BHGALS), a non-profit corporation dedicated to enriching the educational opportunities of middle school girls in the Benton Harbor community. BHGALS aims to foster growth and development in girls from 4th through 8th grades, when they are most at risk of disengaging in education.  

During these four years, BHGALS looks forward to providing the support and enriching experiences fundamental to the growth of young girls. In addition to academics, BHGALS works to develop in each girl the self-confidence, self-esteem, self-awareness, and self-efficacy needed to be independent and self-reliant young women.

Our Academy offers non-graded, single-sex classes featuring individualized instruction and The Workshop Way. The day begins at 8:00am and ends at 6:00pm. This focused, supportive environment encourages students to participate and take risks in the classroom to begin building a strong vision for their future.  

Traditional classwork is augmented by multicultural perspectives, information on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) experiences and careers, arts and visual performance, and physical activities. After-school sessions offer academic and arts enrichment as well as homework time. Summer Girls Discover programs include reading enrichment, STEM and arts sessions, and planting, cultivating, and harvesting a vegetable garden.


We swim at the Y every week!



We test scientific concepts at Curious Kids Museum & Discovery Zone.


We learned how the Humane Society of Southwestern Michigan saves cats and dogs and helps them find new furever homes.



We brought holiday cheer in the forms of music and crafts to our friends at The Willows.



We learned how early Americans lived then visited the dunes at Indiana Dunes State Park.



Spelling bees teach us good sportsmanship and expand our vocabularies.

“When you educate a girl, you change the world.” -Oprah Winfrey

Why is the Benton Harbor Girls Academy Important?

Research shows that, around the age of 11 years, many girls start to turn away from math, science, and even learning itself.  They often silence themselves, losing their confidence, self-esteem, and self-worth.

Benton Harbor is one of Michigan’s economically challenged communities with a high rate of teenage pregnancies, drugs, alcohol abuse, and low educational achievement. 

The overall goal of the Association is to increase the academic and life opportunities for the girls and to give them the tools to be successful in school and in life.  The school has small class sizes — a maximum of 15 girls– and follows the non-graded concept.

Why Should I Give?

The Academy is a private, nonprofit corporation. We receive no federal or state funding. Unlike most private schools, however, our students come from the inner city and cannot afford the $7,000 annual tuition, so dedicated sponsors pay each girl’s bill. Every dollar you contribute to the Benton Harbor Girls Association benefits each young woman enrolled at the school.

Operational fees, such as teacher and support staff salaries and utilities and upkeep, also come from donations and fundraisers. Field trips and the summer Girls Discover program are sponsored by grants and donations.

We are a non-profit 501 (c) (3) corporation, so your gift is tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law. Please consider a leadership gift of $2,500 or above.  

What is the $1 Million Campaign?

Dr. Patricia Ann Quattrin, Founder and Executive Director of the Benton Harbor Girls Association for Learning & Self-esteem, recently announced the launch of a $1 million dollar capital development and endowment campaign for their Benton Harbor Girls Academy. The lease on the current academy building expires at the end of the school year.

Why is the $1 Million Campaign Necessary?

The current Academy space will not be available to us when the 2016-17 school year begins. Fortunately, over the years we were donated and purchased seven connecting parcels of land at the intersection of Catalpa, Pearl, and Broadway in Benton Harbor. Our friends at Cook Nuclear/Indiana Michigan Power generously donated 14 modular office buildings to create the rooms for the school we will put on this land. While we can educate five or six students in our current Academy, we will have space for up to 45 in our new school, allowing us to help more young women to fulfill their potential.

Half of the $1 million is needed now for the necessary relocation, landscaping, and site preparation costs to enable the school to open for the 2016-17 school year so the students do not experience an interruption in their education. The additional $500,000 is needed to establish an Endowment Fund to assure the success and longevity of the Academy.  It will be used to sponsor the tuition of young women for years to come.

Contact Information

For more information on the Benton Harbor Girls Association, or to make a gift over the phone, please call 269-925-9922

How You Can Help

How You Can Help

  • 1

    Make a Donation

    Your tax-deductible gift will ensure an Academy education is available to all girls who need it.

  • 2

    Become a Volunteer

    Talk about your career experience, teach a skill, or help in the classroom.

  • 3

    Tell Your Friends About Us

    The more who know, the quicker we can realize our urgent goals to create a lasting impact in the lives our girls.

Contact Us

Contact Us



580 Columbus Avenue
Benton Harbor, MI 49023



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