Girl Scouts Fo­cus On Hawai‘i’s Fu­ture

MidWeek (Hawaii) - - Front Page - MOONLIGHTING Jade Moon

Make no mis­take, Girl Scouts are se­ri­ously pro-mis­sion, and they’ve spelled out their agenda — G=Go get­ter, I=In­no­va­tor, R=Risk taker, L=Leader — to prove it. In fact, if you still think Girl Scouts are all about cook a wee bit be­hind the times.

Girl Scouts are about the fu­ture.

I had a chat with the ir­re­press­ible Shari Chang, Girl Scouts of Hawai‘i CEO. She’s a fourth-gen­er­a­tion scout, and her en­thu­si­asm flows from her in a tor­rent of words. She speaks pis­tol-fast and my poor

“We are the or­ga­ni­za­tion cre­at­ing the fe­male lead­er­ship pipe­line,” she declares.

Right now, she says, they are fo­cus­ing on some less-thanstel­lar news for girls in Hawai‘i. Ac­cord­ing to the 2017 State of Girls re­port re­leased by the Girl Scout Re­search In­sti­tute, Hawai‘i girls rank 23rd in the na­tion when look­ing at fac­tors such as eco­nomic well-be­ing, phys­i­cal and emo­tional health, education and ex­tracur­ric­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties out­side of school.

When you break down the Hawai‘i num­bers a lit­tle more,

• 68 per­cent of Hawai‘i’s fourth- and eighth-grade girls math.

• 11 per­cent of girls ages 6-17 have ex­pressed they don’t feel safe in school.

• The rate of girls ages 5-17 liv­ing in poverty has al­most dou­bled since 2007.

Chang knows girls in Hawai‘i can and de­serve to do bet­ter, and the or­ga­ni­za­tion is

They’re dou­bling down on what Chang calls the “four pil

1. STEM — which stands for sci­ence, tech­nol­ogy, engi­neer­ing and math. Chang says the Girl Scouts’ na­tional aim is to put 5 mil­lion more women in the STEM pipe­line.

2. En­trepreneur­ship and fi­nan­cial lit­er­acy. Those kids aren’t just sell­ing you cook­ies; they’re learn­ing how to be en­trepreneurs!

3. The out­doors. They learn team build­ing, and how to take risks in a safe en­vi­ron­ment. They push them­selves to achieve. They learn how to be ad­vo­cates for the en­vi­ron­ment.

4. Life skills. Com­mu­ni­ca­tion, ser­vice and sup­port­ing the com­mu­nity. Be­com­ing ad­vo­cates. Tak­ing ac­tion.

Those four pil­lars are sup­ported by 100 years of re­search-backed pro­gram- ming in girl lead­er­ship de­vel­op­ment. It works, Chang says. They have their own re­search to back it up. When you think about it, it makes sense that girls who learn self worth and lead­er­ship early in life get bet­ter grades, have more suc­cess and more con­fi­dence in their fu­ture.

In the spirit of this em­pha­sis on ser­vice and achieve­ment, the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s high­est award is also the hard­est to get, harder even than the Ea­gle Scout award for Boy Scouts.

The Girl Scout Gold Award re­quires girls to “en­gage in a rig­or­ous process that calls for lead­er­ship at the high­est level as they tackle is­sues they feel pas­sion­ately about.” And it’s not just a one-time pro­ject — the pro­ject must be sus­tain­able the fu­ture.

Chang says one big push they’re mak­ing is to ex­pand Girl Scout pro­grams into Ti­tle I schools and un­der-re­sourced ar­eas. They’ve part­nered with the Boys & Girls Clubs and de­serves the chance, she says, no mat­ter where they live.

The Girls Scouts are cele- brat­ing their 100th birth­day in led and girl- friendly Girl Scouts. We need you now more than ever.

Shari Chang, CEO of Girl Scouts of Hawai‘i, and Troop 536 mem­bers pose with pal­lets of the iconic cook­ies.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.