Friday, March 31, 2017

Girl Advocates Take to Capitol Hill to Champion Girls

On March 29, representatives from Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) and Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast (GSCCC) joined forces with Girls Inc. and YWCA USA to put the crucial issues that American girls face front and center in the minds of members of Congress. The meeting was the first in a series of upcoming briefings that will focus on the challenges girls encounter and how the organizations work with Congress to help girls succeed. The briefings aim to elevate policies, strategies, and innovative programs that inspire and empower girls and young women to become our nation’s future leaders.

In addition to highlighting the 2017 Girl Scout Legislative Agenda, the kickoff event gave leaders in Congress background about the vital role that girl-serving organizations play in helping girls develop leadership skills outside academic settings. Representatives from GSUSA and GSCCC discussed their programs and policies that enhance and augment the lessons girls learn in the classroom, as well as teach girls how to negotiate difficult situations in their lives. The speakers particularly highlighted the Be a Friend First program (BFF), a national bullying-prevention initiative designed to help middle school girls develop healthy relationship skills, understand relational aggression, and learn about conflict resolution.

Marcy Germanotta, communications and marketing director for GSCCC, and Savannah Williams, a Girl Scout Ambassador from Newport News, Virginia, discussed the impact and benefits of BFF. Savannah’s experience helping a friend in an abusive relationship prompted her to research teen dating violence, an issue that she went on to address as part of her Gold Award project.

GSUSA and its councils are committed to ensuring that all girls develop to their full potential, and we look forward to continuing this exciting partnership with Girls Inc. and YWCA to advocate and advance programs on behalf of girls. Through our work with Congress, we can craft powerful policy that delivers these unique experiences for girls so they can thrive and prosper.