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What would you give to change the world?

Outreach Brings Girl Scouting to Girls Who Are

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“Capable of Being So Much More Than Ordinary”

Four years ago, Carol stood in front of a flyer wondering what Girl Scouts could offer her. Since then, the 17-year old has become the first in her family to attend a four-year university, she has sat in the same room as Michelle Obama and Maria Shriver, and she created a business plan for an eco-friendly film developer.

Plus, she threw herself off of a thirty-foot platform and soared through a Sierra forest screaming like a girl. A strong, confident, empowered, successful girl.

Carol is one of approximately 8,500 girls who are part of the Girl Scouts of Northern California’s Hispanic Initiative. The Girl Scout Hispanic Initiative was born out of concerns that while the Hispanic population was rapidly increasing, Girl Scout Hispanic membership numbers remained proportionately lower.

 

That’s what brought Carol to Girl Scouting. She attended a Hispanic Initiative meeting at her Hayward high school with Girl Scout representatives who were promoting an outdoor camping and a leadership event in the High Sierras called Camp CEO.

“I had always thought that the business world was male dominated,” Carol says. “Seeing and working with all these successful female CEOS – it was eye opening.”

At Camp CEO, Carol teamed up with dozens of successful female businesswomen from throughout Northern California who signed up to spend time at camp with teenage girls and offer their support, guidance, and advice on everything from resume building to college planning to financial literacy. For Carol, Camp CEO broke the gender perceptions that she had been exposed to while growing up.

“They pitched the fun stuff – horseback riding, swimming, climbing the adventure tower,” Carol says. “I thought it sounded fun so I decided to go. I found out that Girl Scouts was all of that and a whole lot more!”

 

 

“I have learned so much – friendships, connections with different people, lots of leadership, courage – I definitely would not have had these experiences if it wasn’t for Girl Scouts,” Carol says. “I just love Girl Scouting! It’s the best.”

Carol brought Girl Scouting back to her community...

After four days of teamwork and workshops – plus the fun camp stuff that drew her in – Carol was hooked on Girl Scouting. Inspired to bring the Girl Scout experience she enjoyed so much at Camp CEO to others, Carol returned home to her community and convinced her mother to help her start their own all-Latina Girl Scout troop that eventually grew to 100 girls. Carol’s bilingual abilities were especially helpful in assisting with translation for her troop members’ parents.

Carol’s natural leadership abilities stood out, which opened up further opportunities through Girl Scouting. She was invited to join other Girl Scout teens from Northern California to attend The Women’s Conference hosted by California First Lady Maria Shriver, where she again found herself in the midst of successful women including soon-to-be First Lady Michelle Obama.

“It just builds your confidence, and it’s inspiring, to see women go so far,” Carol says.

Growing stronger and more empowered every day, Carol graduated a year early and was accepted at Chico State. She is the first person in her family to attend a university, where she’s involved in an educational outreach program and pondering a degree in psychology or child development. She also explored the fields of business and environmental entrepreneurship this summer at a two-week Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship BizCamp. There, Carol and other Girl Scouts met with successful environmental entrepreneurs to create and sell their business plans for eco-friendly products.

Looking back on her opportunities over the past four years...

Carol laughs when she thinks back to the day when she wondered if Girl Scouts was for her. Bringing Girl Scouting into her own community for other girls who hadn’t experienced it definitely stands out as a high point.

“Working with 100 kids taught me I am a leader, helped me know my capabilities and what I can handle, and I really wanted these girls to have an experience that I wish I had,” she says. “When I was a kid, I thought Girl Scouting was too expensive, that it would cost lots of money that we didn’t have.”

Girl Scouts of Northern California Outreach

Girl Scout outreach programs like the Hispanic Initiative take economic concerns into consideration and, thanks to financial support from donors throughout Northern California, Girl Scouting is available to every girl, everywhere, regardless of her socioeconomic status.

Carol is grateful to those who make Girl Scout outreach available, and she has a message for anyone considering making a donation to Girl Scouting:

“If you believe in girls and that women are the future, then please help support Girl Scouts. We are capable of being so much more than ordinary.”

The Girl Scouts of Northern California makes Girl Scouting available to all girls, everywhere, through innovative outreach programs that serve 6,000 girls. Led by volunteer leaders from our Girl Scout Corps, we reach out to girls in migrant work camps, homeless shelters, rural areas, low-income communities – and to rapidly-growing populations of girls where Girl Scout involvement is lower. Of our 50,000 girls, 13 percent for from low income families, eight percent are both low-income and in rural areas, and 90 percent of our girls in outreach program receive free lunches at school.

Donate to the Girl Scouts of Northern California

You can make a donation online by clicking here, or by mail to the Oakland Girl Scout office, 7700 Edgewater Drive Suite 340, Oakland, CA 94621. If you have questions about giving options, please contact Stephanie Chew, Senior Director of Gifts at schew@girlscoutsnorcal.org or (510) 562-8470, ext. 115.

Gifts are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. Please consult your tax advisor as individual situations vary.