Friday, April 24, 2015

Guest Blogger: Joan Schueller, Girl Scout Cadette

Guest post from Joan Schueller, a Girl Scout Cadette from Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles. Joan participated in the “Driving My Financial Future” national kick-off event at the Toyota Campus in Torrance, California, on April 16.

Picture this: CEOs, financial service advisors, and financial managers all gathering to teach you personally how to budget, save, and invest.

Talk about a special opportunity! Well, that’s just what I was able to experience at the “Driving My Financial Future” launch event at the Toyota Campus last week. And thanks to this new program, 26,000 more girls across the country will also be able to gain access to the tools necessary to feel confident in their financial decisions.

Driving My Financial Future is a program created and sponsored by Toyota Financial Services (TFS) to teach Girl Scouts how to budget, build their credit, research, and comparison shop. TFS recently pledged $2.1 million to Girl Scouts to help us develop our financial knowledge. Not only was our Greater Los Angeles CEO, Lise Luttgens, at the event, but our national CEO Anna Maria Chávez was also there to join in the fun. It was awesome!

Before coming to this event, I had already learned about saving money and budgeting through the Girl Scout Cookie Program. In my Cadette troop, we work toward specific financial goals, right down to the pennies spent on food for trips. This has helped me budget in my personal life, from saving for new electronics to figuring out how much I can spend on Christmas presents.

Driving My Financial Future takes it a few steps further. At the kick-off event, financial experts from TFS (most of them were Girl Scouts as girls—super inspiring!) helped me and 140 other Girl Scouts in my area learn how to research and comparison shop. What I discovered: simply taking the time to investigate my favorite products on the Internet could save me a lot of money! And I need to remember to check shipping costs before making my final purchasing decision. We also learned about putting together a monthly budget and the importance of anticipating emergencies. I need to know ways I can save money if in the future I miss work because of these emergencies. And I don’t want to ever forget my responsibility to give to charities I believe in—especially Girl Scouts!

The skills I learned at the Driving My Financial Future event will be helpful to all Girl Scouts when we are shopping for a car or a home or  putting together our college budget. I really liked the fact that the TFS volunteers leading the badge workshops with us were Girl Scouts as girls—it confirmed to me that Girl Scouts definitely builds the leaders of tomorrow. The advice they gave us—like keep saving so you can pursue your dreams and help others—really stuck with me! Every Girl Scout should get this experience, because the skills they will learn are necessary for building a better future.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Girl Scouts Celebrates International Girls in ICT Day

So, what is International Girls in ICT day, you ask? Every fourth Thursday in April, International Girls in ICT Day is celebrated to create a global environment that empowers and encourages girls and young women to consider careers in the growing field of information and communications technologies (ICTs). All around the world, girls with growing interests in TV, radio, computer software systems—the list goes on!—are encouraged to keep at it! These fields are rapidly growing, and fostering girls’ interest is key to closing the gender gap in all tech-related fields—and to ensuring that ICT companies have a secure pipeline of the talent they will need to thrive in the future.

Since the beginning, Girl Scouts has introduced girls to information and communications technology fields with a wide range of badges and activities. Today, we’re proud to join Google in Made with Code, an initiative designed to inspire millions of girls to experience the power of coding. Through this exciting new partnership, Google, Girl Scouts, and a host of nonprofits are joining forces to demonstrate how coding can help girls pursue and reach their dreams. Today, on International Girls in ICT Day, encourage girls to write their own future and show them that coding can take them anywhere!

Ready to start coding? Click here to get inspiration from female coders, complete hands-on coding activities for all levels, and connect with fellow coders in your community.

Girl Scouts and Microsoft Bring Girls and STEM Role Models Together on Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day

Today is national Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day! It's a day when parents across the country are showing their daughters and sons what their jobs are all about.

It’s an experience that can spark the imagination of a child and help them see new possibilities for their futures. Inspired by President Obama’s call to make sure young people get to experience different kinds of careers, Girl Scouts and Microsoft are teaming up to host a “Girl and STEM” event at the Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center in Washington, D.C.

Over 30 girls ages 14 and up from Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay, Girl Scouts of Central Maryland, and Girl Scouts Nation’s Capital are participating in an interactive “Hour of Code,” which will give them a hands-on learning experience in basic coding using Microsoft technology.

Hoping to provide girls with inspirational female role models and encourage more girls to enter the STEM world, Microsoft will also host a roundtable featuring their own women leaders, as well as Dr. Ellen Stofan, who serves as NASA’s chief scientist and the principal advisor to the administrator on the agency’s science programs, planning, and investments.

Data clearly shows that girls are interested in STEM, but the lack of female role models and encouragement can be a huge roadblock to their choosing STEM as a career path. On Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day, Microsoft and NASA are stepping up to help Girl Scouts foster these connections and empower girls to succeed in the STEM world of tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Anna Maria Chávez: Thank You, Girl Scout Leaders!

Happy Girl Scout Leader Day!

Volunteers are the lifeblood of Girl Scouts. They're everyday heroes who empower girls to believe in themselves. In honor of Girl Scout Leader Day, our CEO, Anna Maria Chávez, has a message just for our incredible volunteers, thanking them for their dedication to building girls of courage, confidence, and character.

Volunteers: These Girl Scouts have two words for you

Thank you.

It’s a very simple message and one you might not hear enough, so these Girl Scouts from Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore and Girl Scouts of Central and Southern New Jersey want to make sure it reaches you, wherever you may be.

During everything from camp to their first sleepover, robotics to hiking, their first Daisy project straight through to their Gold Award, you hold their hand when they’re nervous, encourage them to consider new possibilities, teach them to pick themselves up when they fall, and help them reach heights they never thought they could reach.

We second the girls. Thank you, for all that you do.