Nonprofit Profile: Girls; Live, Love, Laugh — teaching Newark area’s girls valuable lessons

In brief

Area served: Newark and neighboring communities.
Key members: Allison James-Frison, founder/CEO; Lt. Jamie Hendrick, co-vice president; June E. Dowell-Burton, co-vice president; Lori Philipson, development chair; Karima Onque, Community Engagement Team co-chair; Rasheedah Saleem-Muhammad, Community Engagement Team co-chair; Assemblywoman Shanique Speight, secretary; Tish Johnson, legal adviser; Regina de Heer, treasurer


Girls; Live, Love, Laugh Inc. was founded Sept. 16, 2009, by Allison James-Frison.


Girls; Live, Love, Laugh Inc., or GLLL, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization focusing on girls living with limited resources in the inner city of Newark and neighboring communities. The organization builds a safe passage for girls to come live, love and laugh. GLLL focuses on building leadership skills, developing self-esteem, entrepreneurship, acquiring college readiness skills, learning the fundamentals of saving money and teaching the importance of civic engagement. GLLL implements a variety of programs that focus on tackling many of the pressing issues girls face today. GLLL is building a culture of girls who live, love and laugh while in pursuit of excellence.


Our long-term goal is to secure a space to call home. Currently, we use different community spaces and rent transportation vans. We would like to purchase our own vehicles so we can take the girls on college tours, attend out-of-state leadership seminars and extend our services.

Girls; Live, Love, Laugh founder, Allison James-Frison.


Our key achievement within the past year was being able to mentor 65 young ladies virtually during the pandemic while many other small nonprofits had to shut their doors. The organization also worked with families who lost jobs and experienced wage cuts, as well as new and expecting mothers in Newark. GLLL provided 10,000 Newark residents with free, reusable cloth masks as part of Mayor Ras Baraka’s “Mask Up” campaign. Additionally, we provided 500 youth with Christmas toys, 1,000 families with winter coats, 400 senior citizens with Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, 1,000 diapers and wipes to Newark moms and 100 diaper bags to expecting moms full of essential needs for babies. 


GLLL hosts several programs throughout the year that focus on STEM, personal hygiene, self-esteem and literacy. One example is the Royal Readers Club, where girls can expand their minds with one of the many books in our Royal Readers Library.


We have several annual fundraisers, which consist of our annual “Women Who Clap Award Gala,” “Princess Ball” and “Applebee’s Flapjack.” Also, we receive private and community donations from individuals that believe in our mission.


Our top supporters and benefactors include the Victoria Foundation, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan Inc., Jersey Cares, MENTOR Newark, Princeton Area Community Foundation and Newark Housing Authority.


In September 2005, Mayor Ras Baraka declared Sept. 16 as “Girls; Live, Love, Laugh Inc. Day” in the city of Newark, where the entire city gets to celebrate girls. We are the first and only girls’ organization to receive such an esteemed award. Additionally, he declared Sept. 14 as “Allison James-Frison Day” in the city of Newark for her dedication and leadership to girls in the city.

Conversation Starter

For more information, please contact Allison James-Frison, founder and CEO, at; go to; or call 973-932-5724.