Thursday, May 24, 2012

Indianapolis 500 Driver Katherine Legge to Support Girl Scouts

Yahoo reports that while competing in "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" on Sunday, IZOD IndyCar Series driver Katherine Legge will honor millions of Girl Scouts by wearing the Girl Scout logo on her helmet during the 96th Indianapolis 500 Mile Race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Legge, who attributes much of her success to the confidence and character she developed while growing up as a Girl Guide in the United Kingdom, will become the ninth woman to race in the Indianapolis 500.

The logo will be worn to call attention to Girl Scouts' ToGetHerThere campaign, and Legge's partnership with the Girl Scouts will continue beyond Sunday's race as she becomes Girl Scouts' inaugural STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) Ambassador and Girl Scouts' first motorsports athlete as a national spokesperson.

"Without a strong belief in myself, I would not be one of the few women to compete at the highest level in the male-dominated world of motorsports," said Legge. "Carrying Girl Scouts' logo on my helmet reminds me of what got me here. When I was a young girl, Girl Guides inspired me to believe that if I set my mind to it, nothing could prevent me from achieving my dreams."

Girl Scouts of the USA is celebrating its centennial this year and is using this moment to engage all members of society--mothers, fathers, all adults and IndyCar fans, corporations, government and nonprofits--to help girls reach their leadership potential. To support this effort, Girl Scouts has launched the ToGetHerThere cause campaign, the boldest advocacy initiative dedicated to girls' leadership issues in history. The goal of the campaign is to create balanced leadership in one generation.

"At Girl Scouts of the USA, we want all girls to have the opportunity to be leaders in their own lives and realize their full potential," said Chief Executive Officer, Anna Maria Chavez. "But girls can't get there alone. We're thrilled Katherine will carry Girl Scouts' logo with her during her first Indianapolis 500 race because it draws much needed attention to the cause of girls' leadership. It also shows girls that if you have a dream, and if you believe in yourself and work hard to accomplish that dream, you can do anything."

Girl Scouts of the USA has been helping girls break career barriers for 100 years. In 1913, Girl Scouts encouraged girls to consider becoming professional aviators. Today, the organization is focused entirely on giving girls the skills they need to become leaders in their own lives.

One of the ways Girl Scouts is helping encourage leadership skills is by supporting girls who wish to pursue a STEM career. Girl Scout Research Institute's recent study, Generation STEM: What Girls Say about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, found that girls are aware that gender barriers persist in today's society. The study found that 57 percent of girls agreed that if they were to pursue a STEM career, they would "have to work harder than a man to be taken seriously." The study also found that 89 percent of all girls agree that "obstacles make me stronger."

The Girl Scouts named Legge the inaugural STEM Ambassador because she exemplifies the qualities needed to succeed in a STEM field by succeeding in the male-dominated sport of racing. These qualities include having a strong understanding of math and the sciences, being team-oriented, and working diligently toward a defined goal.