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United Way Bringing Girl Scouts to More Girls


Blog_2018_United-Way

Thanks to the generosity of United Way donors, nearly 2,000 girls in Omaha’s underserved areas will have access to the life-changing benefits of Girl Scouting in their schools and community centers.

A $115,000 grant from United Way of the Midlands will provide Girl Scouts to girls who need it most through our Community Outreach Program, which provides structure, volunteer support, and financial assistance to girls who would otherwise not have the resources to participate.

“We know that Girl Scouting has a tremendous positive impact on the lives of the girls who participate,” said Fran Marshall, CEO of Girl Scouts Spirit of Nebraska. “United Way’s support of this program is greatly appreciated. Because of donations to United Way, we can deliver a meaningful leadership experience to many more girls who need us.”

Research shows that Girl Scouting works. According to the 2017 Girl Scout Impact Study, Girl Scouts are more likely than their non-Girl Scout peers to exhibit strong leadership skills; earn excellent grades; expect to graduate college; aspire to STEM, business and law careers; and feel hopeful about their future. The study shows that 73 percent of Girl Scouts have a positive expectation of their future, compared with 64 percent of non-Girl Scouts.

Beyond the data, staff who work with Girl Scouts see the impact first-hand. Outreach Specialist Savana Yale-Barton observed a dramatic change in a middle school girl, who was struggling with personal problems when she began coming to Girl Scouts through the Community Outreach Program.

“I watch her interact with her peers now compared to when I first met her, and it's like somebody put the light back into her,” Savana said. “She's there – awake and aware – and she's excited for just about everything that we do. She stands up for people who need that support.”

As part of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, all Girl Scout activities are girl-led, age appropriate, and girl-centered. Girls work together to determine which badges they will earn, how to design and complete community service projects, which outdoor adventures to pursue, and so much more.

With support from this grant, Girl Scouts can continue to offer weekly and bi-weekly leadership programming to serve girls like the middle schooler who found her light again.

“She's just genuinely excited to be involved regardless of what we are doing,” Savana said. “In fact, she even recruits people simply because she likes it, and she makes sure to remind her peers to sign up for the next session. I think our program has been extremely beneficial to this young woman's life."