Kaitlyn Cole has come out of her shell through Girl Scouts, a United Way partner agency. After changing schools, she found herself not knowing anyone and trying to make friends. Girl Scouts helped her find her place and taught her about community service and leadership. As a Gold Award recipient, Kaitlyn is more than an active participant in Girl Scouts. She has become a leader.
“Girl Scouts showed me how to be kind to everyone, regardless of their attitude, background or even past experiences,” Kaitlyn said. “Girl Scouts has made me into the best version of myself and I wouldn’t trade that time with my troop for the world.”
The Gold Star award is the highest honor a Girl Scout can earn. Past Girl Scouts Gold Star Award recipients have gone on to achieve their personal goals and excel in life. Two past recipients also received scholarships from the Juliette Low Leader Society to help them achieve their goals. In 2015, JLLS scholarship recipient Clara Gomez Moran utilized her scholarship to take flight lessons toward her goal of becoming a pilot, and in 2016, JLLS scholarship recipient Samantha Potts utilized her scholarship for books and her study abroad program in Italy.
Girl Scouts has been building future leaders across the country. An Alumnae Impact study found that over half of women CEO’s and business owners had been Girl Scouts, as well as two-thirds of women in Congress and every female astronaut. Girl Scout alumnae also reported a stronger sense of self and were more likely to volunteer. They also received more education and reported a higher income than non-Girl Scout alumnae.
Locally, 452 girls participated in Girl Scouts last year. These girls earned 540 patches and badges recognizing their learning and their progress towards their personal goals. Each Girl Scout picks a Journey topic that interests them, whether it’s animals or robotics or fitness or taking a stand for girls or creating community. They team up with other girls to create a plan to achieve their goal.
Girl Scouts fits into United Way’s focus on education. Thirty-three percent of United Way allocated funds are spent on education. United Way fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in our community. The United Way board, partner agencies and staff work to unite the community towards a common goal: building a better future and improving lives.
“United Way is proud to support the efforts of Girl Scouts to build girls into community leaders,” CEO and President Lisa Cary said. “We know the importance of teaching children to value volunteerism and goal-setting at a young age, and are excited to see what our local Girl Scouts will accomplish in the future!”