Girl Scout Alums Remind the World That Girl Scouts Grows Female Leaders Who Drive Powerful Change

Girl Scouts of the USA recently released a new national PSA, “Lifetime of Leadership,” heralding the organization’s legacy of fostering female change-makers and preparing girls for a lifetime of leadership, success, and adventure. Featuring notable Girl Scout alums in fields such as technology, politics, media, and sports, the PSA showcases the positive change these powerful female leaders have created through activism, speaking up, breaking glass ceilings, and more—and illustrates the importance of Girl Scouts in providing girls with the leadership experiences they need to make their voices heard and effect change.

From philanthropist Melinda Gates and athlete Venus Williams, to supermodel and entrepreneur Karlie Kloss, Girl Scout alums highlighted in the PSA have inspired people worldwide. Narrated by Queen Latifah, the PSA also features Dolores Huerta, Barbara Walters, Katie Couric, Senator Tammy Duckworth, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Ellen Kuras, Dr. N. Jan Davis, Tyra Banks, Sheryl Crow, Céline Dion, Dakota Fanning, Susan Wojcicki, Senator Susan Collins, and Cassandra Levesque, a 19-year-old Girl Scout alum who worked to ban child marriage in New Hampshire.

“Lifetime of Leadership” brings to life what recent studies have shown: Girl Scouts have better life outcomes than their non–Girl Scout peers. They are more confident, seek challenges to a greater degree, are more active decision-makers, and are more proficient problem-solvers in their communities. The PSA also shows how civic engagement is a core part of the Girl Scout DNA—which is why it premiered today at G.I.R.L. Agenda 2018: Leading Change Through Civic Action. This unique event, which took place in Philadelphia, featured a keynote address from educator and former second lady of the United States Dr. Jill Biden, and a panel moderated by writer, professor, and television host Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry. Thousands of girls and those who care about them joined in-person and virtually for a conversation about preparing girls to lead positive change. The PSA brought to life what a Girl Scout’s leadership journey can look like as she grows into a woman, and it inspired all in attendance to take the lead and take action in support of causes they care about.

“We are proud to premiere our powerful new PSA and showcase the impactful change that Girl Scout alums have created to make the world a better place,” said Sylvia Acevedo, GSUSA CEO. “We know that leadership and meaningful civic action start at a young age—at home, at school, and in local communities. This PSA is a rallying cry for more girls to realize their leadership potential with Girl Scouts. The world is counting on them, and we hope our more than 50 million alums will be inspired to reconnect with us and share their leadership journey with the next generation of girls who will lead our country into the future.”

“I have no doubt that the girls of today will become the leaders and change-makers of tomorrow. Supporting them, empowering them and ensuring they have the opportunities they deserve is good for all of us,” said Dr. Jill Biden. “My Girl Scout experience taught me confidence, perseverance, and gave me skills that inspired me to pursue public service and helped me become a better leader. Girl Scouts is the preeminent organization that gives girls the place and the opportunity to develop their powerful voices.”

The new Girl Scout PSA was created and written by Girl Scout alum, Rachel Howald, founder and CCO, Invisible Man.

To watch the PSA and for more information about Girl Scouts, visit www.girlscouts.org/leadership. To join or volunteer, visit www.girlscouts.org/join.

Cookies with the Mayor 2018

Girl Scout Cookie Season in Western New York isn’t complete without our visits to see mayors throughout our council counties. This year, we had the privilege of visiting seven area mayors, having our troops ask them questions, and enjoying our delicious cookies with them!

In fact, the mayors are just as enthusiastic as we are each season.

“Each year, I look forward to the Girl Scouts of Western New York visiting Buffalo City Hall with their Girl Scout Cookies,” said Mayor Byron Brown of Buffalo. “I’m a strong supporter of this program because it is dedicated to supporting our shared goal of helping young people build confidence, foster community support, while teaching our youth the importance of entrepreneurship and the skills needed to be successful.”

Through our 5-Question Challenge, the girls can ask the mayors about a variety of things. In Lockport, the girls asked about what specific advice she’d give them about finding their future career paths.

“Read as much as you can. It doesn’t matter what aspect of work you get into,” said Mayor Anne McCaffrey of Lockport. “It’s important to understand the world around you. And establish a good work ethic. The more you put into a certain task, you’ll get the payback from that.”

Eleventh-grade Ambassador Girl Scout Erin Fisher found meeting the mayor so inspiring she’s now considering a future career in politics.

From March 7 to 15, 2018, we visited the cities of Lockport, Niagara Falls, Buffalo, Dunkirk, Batavia, Rochester, and Jamestown.

We planned to take Troop 60095 to meet with Congresswoman Louise Slaughter in Rochester, but she was called back to Washington. We’re so incredibly sad to hear of her passing, and wish to express condolences to her family. She was a force of nature and she will be greatly missed.

Our council CEO Judy Cranston expressed her gratitude to Mayor Brown for his support, and her words ring true for all who welcomed us over the past few weeks.

“The Girl Scout Cookie Program is the largest girl-run business in the world. We thank Mayor Brown for his support, as we work to build the next generation of leaders who embody courage, confidence, and charter, who make the world a better place.”

Click the pictures below to see more images from each event!

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Lockport Mayor Anne McCaffrey (left) meets with Troops 70923 and 70245, as well as Judy Cranston (right) March 15
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Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster (left) meets with Troops 70074, 70023, 70127, 70016, 70400, and GSWNY Chief Operation Office Alison Wilcox (center back) March 15
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Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown (center) meets with Troop 30022 and Judy Cranston March 12
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Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas (center) meets with Troops 20010 and 20033 March 7
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Batavia Interim City Manager Matt Worth (center) meets with Troop 42003 and Judy Cranston (left) March 8
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Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren (second from right) meets with Troop 60420 and Judy Cranston (far right) March 7
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Jamestown Mayor Samuel Teresi (center) meets with Troop 20044 and Judy Cranston (right) March 8

Cookies are HERE!

Cookie season is one of the most anticipated times of the year. The much beloved Girl Scout cookies are only available for a few months, causing the mania to set in when the sale finally begins. But what about the actual delivery?

In order to bring those delicious cookies to Western New York, a mega drop is held at several warehouses across the council. A truly incredible amount of cookies are dropped off, organized, and given to our Girl Scouts to deliver to their supporters.

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It’s a collaborative process between Council and the troops to ensure each drop is a success every year. This makes it a great time to interact with leaders and girls as well as bring the joy of cookies to Western New York.

This year, a nor’easter threatened part of the drop Friday, March 2. While winds and rain assaulted the East Coast, that precipitation turned to snow in Western New York bringing more than a foot overnight in some areas. Conditions were terrible, and Council actually closed all of their locations due to the weather.

But cookies couldn’t be stopped.

Despite the snow and closings, the drops continued as scheduled, and everyone received their cookies. Hopefully you’ve had a chance to enjoy some of your own!

Thank you everyone who supports our girls as they learn valuable leadership and business skills through cookie sales. You’re helping to raise the leaders of tomorrow, and that tastes as good as it feels.

Girl Scout brand ranks #2 on World Value Index

Every year, the World Value Index is assembled to show which brands ‘do the most and least good for the world.’ Unlike many reports, the information for this ranking comes from people, not shareholders.

According to enso’s website, “the World Value Index measures brand on awareness of purpose, alignment with purpose, whether people will actively support that purpose, and if that purpose impacts purchase.”

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Image via enso.co

What this show us is that in a world with Google, Amazon and Disney, we outrank almost everyone when it comes to our commitment to our purpose. We work tirelessly to ensure what we stand for is always represented by our efforts.

Our mission is to build girls of courage, confidence and character, and our legacy is built on the results we’ve seen for more than 100 years.

Half of all female business leaders were Girl Scouts.

More than 75 percent of female U.S. Senators with Girl Scouts.

100% of female U.S. Secretaries of State were Girl Scouts.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Joining Girl Scouts places your girl in an all-female environment, providing a safe space where she can learn, grow and try new things. In a world finally seeing the way in which the sexes are separated, now is the time to show your girl all that she can be and accomplish, and we’re here to help her along the way.

Now is the time to continue the shift toward equality, and raising empowered girls who are ready to see the world and how they can make it better. We offer a one-of-a-kind leadership development program for girls, with time-tested methods and research-backed programming.

Simply put, we’re more than crafts and cookies. We’re dedicated to changing the world, one girl at a time. Join us in fulfilling our mission today.

Does Financial Literacy Really Matter?

Did you know over 13,000 girls across Western New York joined forces in participating in the world’s largest girl-led business?techgirlsmagsmunchies

From kindergarten to high school seniors — girls have the opportunity to learn business and financial skills that will last a lifetime while also raising money for their organization.   And while building these business skills, Girl Scouts learn to become self-reliant, future leaders.

For more than 100 years, the Girl Scouts have been building leadership in girls.  And as we experience current and future economic challenges it’s important that our children learn basic financial concepts.

To address this gap, the Girl Scout Research Institute conducted a nationwide survey with more than 1,000 girls ages 8−17 and their parents to better understand girls’ level of financial literacy and their confidence about, attitudes towards, and experiences with money. Having It All: Girls and Financial Literacy reveals that girls need and want financial literacy skills to help them achieve their dreams, with 90 percent saying it is important for them to learn how to manage money. However, just 12 percent of girls surveyed feel “very confident” making financial decisions.

How do we increase girls confident in making financial decisions? Girl Scouts does this through the “learning lab” of the product sales program (cookie sale and magazines and munchies sale).

When girls participate in these product sale programs they learn and develop these essential Five Skills:

GOAL SETTING

DECISION MAKING

MONEY MANAGEMENT

PEOPLE SKILLS

BUSINESS ETHICS

My son turned sixteen last month.  I, like other parents of teenagers know that our teens’ “want list” increases dramatically in cost. Not a bike but a car; not a pair of “boat shoes”, but Sperry’s; not a fishing pole, but a boat.  So it is up to us parents to give them the knowledge and discipline they need to be financially responsible.

Fundraising involves terms such as selling, price, cost, and profit.  All these terms are valuable to the financial literacy of our children.