Latest posts by Makeba Giles (see all)
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One of the things that I wish I would have had the chance to do as a child was be in Girl Scouts. That is one of the reasons why I registered my two daughters for the program as soon as they were old enough to join.
Another reason why it was so important to me that they join Girl Scouts is because of the program’s values for building courage, confidence,and character through a wide array of activities and events that fostered health, wellness, and girl empowerment. I knew that such programs would play a great role in shaping my daughters’ lives into adulthood and beyond.
And I was right. My oldest daughter earned the Silver Award in Girl Scouting – the organization’s second highest honor. She successfully completed a variety of tasks to earn her award, including making needed items by hand for nursing homes and daycare centers. Now at age 23, she still receives engagement opportunities from our local Girl Scout Council.
My youngest daughter started as a Daisy Scout several years ago. She is now entering her sophomore year of high school. She volunteers regularly, serves as a mentor to younger girls, and is active in our community.
She has taken a great interest in forensic science, and has dreams to pursue a career in the field. I am grateful that the Girl Scout organization in our local area has programs on the community level that promote exploration in the areas of math and science.
I am very proud of my girls. They are both leaders in their own right, and exude confidence in everything they do. I know without a doubt that their involvement in Girl Scouts made the difference.
Qualities such as confidence and leadership abilities are critical today. This is especially true for girls. No matter the age, when girls head back to school, they are oftentimes faced with a variety of life’s social challenges – new cliques forming, relationships, bullying, confidence issues, etc. Lack of knowledge of how to successfully handle such situations can lead to a decline of overall self-confidence – which can negatively impact their opportunities for leadership roles in their future.
It is no secret that the traditional view of leadership continues to lock out women and people of color. For example, even though women have outnumbered men in college since 1988 and in earning undergraduate business degrees since 2002, they still represent just 10 – 20 percent of all leadership roles (depending on industry). While other factors certainly contribute to the problem, another factor could very well be a young woman’s lack of confidence in her own leadership abilities.
Confidence, leadership, and determination are all essential skills that girls need to be successful and to handle difficult social and future career challenges. Sadly, these are necessary life skills that are not taught in the classroom in conjunction with math, science, writing, and reading.
I really wanted to give my daughters the opportunity to be in an all-girl, girl-led environment outside of school that provides that extra escape from a normally coed world. This is exactly the type of program that Girl Scouts provides.
That is why I am super excited about Girl Scouts’ newest initiative. With their new G.I.R.L. campaign, the organization is challenging leadership stereotypes and promoting Girl Scouts’ unique vision of leadership like a G.I.R.L.
G.I.R.L. stands for: Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader
Girl Scouts is challenging leadership stereotypes and promoting Girl Scouts’ unique vision of leadership like a G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader). G.I.R.L. promotes awareness of the importance of girls’ leadership and the types of leadership most needed today. It represents the leadership potential of every parent and professional, adult and adolescent.
I love that Girl Scouts offers a safe space for girls to tackle the issues they face both inside and outside of the classroom, as well as provide fun and educational activities focused on leadership to help girls empower themselves. Not only do they get the chance to learn crucial lessons and skills to implement in their communities and throughout their lives, they also establish Amazing friendships and connections that will last a lifetime.
I will always be grateful for the role that Girl Scouts played in inspiring my two girls to be the go-getters, innovators, risk-takers, and leaders that they are today. They inspire others to get active in their communities and build a better world, and I am extremely proud. Because of this and the multiple other benefits of Girl Scouts, their G.I.R.L. initiative is one that I fully support and encourage everyone who has a daughter to get involved in.
Through Girl Scouts, every girl will learn to lead like a G.I.R.L. and gain skill that will last a lifetime.