Friday, March 27, 2015

Join me “On the Road”

Welcome to the first installment of “On the Road with Anna”, where we follow Girl Scouts of the USA CEO Anna Maria Chávez.

As I travel around the country, I not only get to meet the most amazing girls and volunteers, but also the council teams who help make Girl Scouts a powerful force for change. I want you to be able to share these experiences with me, so every so often, I’m going to send you updates from the road.

Recently, I got to spend some time with the wonderful team at Girl Scouts Texas Oklahoma Plains. They shared their excitement about how we’re innovating on behalf of girls, and gave me an inside look at how Girl Scouts is helping to propel girls at Fort Worth’s Cesar Chavez Elementary School toward a brighter future.


At the council, I met the amazing Ruth Owen—92 years young and still proud to call herself a Girl Scout volunteer after almost 30 years. If you ask her why she still volunteers several times a week, she has a simple answer.

“There’s just so much that’s good about Girl Scouts. It truly pleases me to get to do this as much as I can.”

Ruth is an amazing woman, someone who has dedicated herself to our Movement, and who has helped develop generations of leaders! 

During my afternoon at Cesar Chavez, I also spent some time with Principal Monica Ordaz, who makes sure that the school’s hallways are filled with banners from the best colleges and universities. Principal Ordaz works every day to inspire her students, many of whom come from neighborhoods where they face big challenges, and to make sure they know that education has the power to take them wherever they want to go in life.

But even the best educators need a little help putting their students on a path to success. For the girls in her school, Ordaz believes in the power of Girl Scouts.

“As an educator, why wouldn’t you partner with the Girl Scouts? We both want girls to step out of their comfort zones and try new things. It’s great opportunity to partner with a community organization, to partner with parents, to make girls feel special—that’s what I want for my girls and what Girl Scouts helps me bring to my school.”

Finally, I learned a new kind of “pattycake” from some of the 50 Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors who participate in Girl Scouts through Cesar Chavez.

Until my next stop…

Girl Scouts Celebrated by the White House!

As reported by pretty much every news outlet possible, Girl Scouts rocked the 2015 White House Science Fair. If you missed it, check out this awesome video via Mashable.


Girl Scouts were represented by “The Supergirls,” a team of six-year old Girl Scout Daisies from Girl Scouts of Eastern Oklahoma who invented a battery-powered page turner for people with arthritis, people who are paralyzed, or “people who have no arms”; and Lauren Prox, a Girl Scout Gold Award recipient whose project “Reaching New Altitudes” aims to reverse the small percentage of minorities and females participating in the fields of aviation and STEM.

The White House even tweeted about it!

But why is this work so important to Girl Scouts? According to Generation STEM: What Girls Say about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, girls are aware that gender barriers persist: 57 percent say that if they were to go into a STEM career, they’d “have to work harder than a man to be taken seriously.”

And they’re right. Girls will still have to struggle with inequalities between the sexes. Girl Scouts is committed to doing something about this.

Along the way, our goal is to help millions of highly qualified young women launch and sustain careers in any field that attracts them, overcome barriers that confront them, and enter the ranks of senior leadership and thrive there. It’s what our country needs.
Wednesday, March 25, 2015

5 Tips to Help You Remember You’re AWESOME

You’re AWESOME—that’s easy to remember, right? It should be, but we all know every day isn’t a great day, and sometimes we need a little reminder to get our happy, I’m-so-AWESOME vibes going strong again. Here are 10 tips to help you remember you’re AWESOME when you might not be feeling quite that way.

Do something you love.

Investing your time and energy into something you’re good at and love doing is a great way to bring back your AWESOME. If you’re feeling in a bit of a funk today, try setting aside an hour or two to write, paint, read, play a game, take a class—anything you’re passionate about that can help you regain that almighty AWESOME center and remind you that yes, you are in fact AWESOME.

Hang out with people who see and bring out the best in you.

Sometimes we need those we love to remind us of our AWESOME. Surround yourself with people who care about you, who see you and appreciate you for who you are, who support you and lift you up. Spend time with those who bring out the best in you, and watch your AWESOME return to you in no time!

Exercise.

Exercise is a great way to collect your thoughts, spend time with yourself and your feelings, and detox from stress. Feeling not-so-AWESOME? That’s OK! Go for a scenic walk or run, take a fun exercise class, go on a hike, or do some quick at-home cardio. A little active, solo adventure is just what the doctor ordered to get you feeling like yourself again—your AWESOME self, that is!

Make a list.

Sometimes the most effective thing to do on a stressful day is to get literal and actually make a list of all the reasons you’re AWESOME. So go! Grab a pen and paper, and jot down 10 reasons your awesomeness is so real. Then put the list up on the fridge, on your bathroom mirror, in your glove compartment—anywhere you’re likely to run into it when you need a reminder.

Have a selfie date.

Selfies aren’t only for Instagram posts! Planning a selfie date is a great way to remember all your AWESOME. Carve out a little time and make yourself a nice, quiet lunch or dinner, watch your favorite movie with a big tub of popcorn, go to the library or a great bookstore and spend some time exploring, do some cool arts and crafts—whatever your heart desires! Dedicate just a few solid hours to your very first friend—YOU!—and watch how quickly you start to remember just how AWESOME you are.
Monday, March 23, 2015

Girl Scouts Rock the 2015 White House Science Fair

Girl Scouts are at the 2015 White House Science Fair today. If you didn't get a chance to stream the event, check out what one very important person had to say!





A transcript from President Obama's remarks about "The Supergirls":

“I should give special mention to our Girl Scouts from Oklahoma. Where are those Super Girls?  (Applause.)  They’re standing up, but you can’t really see them -- (laughter) -- because they’re in kindergarten and first grade.  They are today’s youngest scientists at six years old.  They built their device out of Legos.  They realized that some people who might be paralyzed or arthritic might have trouble turning pages on a book so they invented this page turner.  It was awesome.  It was working so well, despite the fact, as they pointed out -- this is a quote, they said, “This is just a prototype.”  (Laughter.)  That’s what they said.  I said, well, how’d you come up with the idea?  They said, well, we had a brainstorming session.  (Laughter.)  And then one of them asked, “Mr. President, have you had brainstorming sessions?”  (Laughter.)  I said, yes, but I didn’t come up with something as cool as this -- (laughter) -- an automatic page turner.  Unbelievable.”

We agree Mr. President!

One Girl, Major Impact

When you invest in girls, they change the world! Just look at Jamielee Bueneman, a Girl Scout from Eastern Missouri. For her Girl Scout Gold Award project, Jamielee designed prototypes, gathered materials, and drafted plans to construct a residential-scale wind turbine.

“In order to meet the growing energy consumption of the technology-savvy world, we need to promote new sources of energy,” she said. “If students of our generation become informed and call for a change, the future of cleaner energy may soon be here.”

During the many months she spent on the project, Jamielee followed scientific procedure and the engineering design process to devise the project, collect data, and construct the wind turbine. She shared her research at the Mastodon Regional Science and Art Fair, the largest fair of its kind in the country. And she not only competed at two international science fairs, she also gave a presentation to fourth-graders about wind energy, which enabled her project to reach an even wider audience.

“When I witnessed them realizing they could make a difference as students, I was thrilled to have been able to ignite that thought process in these young scientists,” she said. “I hope my message on renewable energy will continue to spread, exposing more citizens to the benefits of renewable energy.”

Thanks to our investors, Girl Scouts continues to be a place where girls like Jamielee are encouraged to explore creative solutions to local and even global problems. Each of our funders has joined with Girl Scouts as a part of the ToGetHerThere campaign, the largest fundraising campaign for girls in history, because they know that when girls succeed, so does society.