Empowering our next generation of Latinas, One Girl Scout at a Time

As reported on AZbilingual.com

The Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona is committed to give every opportunity to our state’s growing population of Hispanic daughters. Girl Scouts share those same values to create successful women with strong leadership skills ready to make our world a better place.

This is also what every “mama,” “nana” and “tia” wants for the next generation of our Latina daughters in taking these positive, leading roles in our society. We are a growing vibrant part of our state’s culture. The last reported study by the Arizona Department of Education showed that 86 percent of all school enrollments from Kindergarten through eighth grade were Hispanic.  And who best to lead these girls, but family members and devoted adults — the perfect candidates to become Girl Scout troop leaders — because they understand what these young women need to succeed. These volunteers want to give their time to help prepare the girls in building courage, confidence and character.

Once placed in a troop, the girls will discover fun and friendships. They instantly realize the power of what a group of girls can do together which above all will boost their self-esteem. Through many enriching experiences, such as extraordinary field trips, community service projects, cultural exchanges and environmental stewardships, girls grow courageous and strength.

The Girl Scouts Cultural Initiative program was created to encourage more diverse groups to grow in the southern Arizona region, especially in the Hispanic demographic. The Initiative offers school-based troops a specialized nine-week program bridging Girl Scouts staff leading the troop to parents and local community adults. All the steps are there to build that strong foundation for a successful local troop. Materials are in English and Spanish to help with any language barriers. The Girl Scout bilingual staff assists in the girls’ activities while training the future troop leader and co-troop leader to take over once the training is complete and they feel ready to lead. The staff continues to be an ongoing resource, giving the new troop leaders the support and resources needed to keep the girls engaged and interested in learning and organizing fun activities.

Tucson area schools participating in the Cultural Initiative program include Gallego Basic Elementary School, Carillo K-5 Magnet School, Los Ranchitos Elementary School, and Raul M. Grijalva Elementary school. With troops varying from 15-20 girls, the overreaching mission is to engage more bilingual parents and adults, who will, in turn, foster the growth of more participation in these communities.

Girl Scouting helps girls develop their full individual potential and to relate to others with increasing understanding, skill, and respect. Through the different Girl Scout levels and badges, the girls develop values to guide their actions and provide the foundation for sound decision-making and understand how they can contribute to the improvement of society through their abilities, leadership skills, and cooperation with others. Overall, Girl Scouts are an integral part of the important skills needed for these girls to continue their education and grow to become the definition of a successful Hispanic woman.

Girl Scouts ayuda a las ninas a desarrollar el valor, la confianza en si misma, y los principios para hacer del mundo un lugar mejor.
Contact Reina Ravago, Cultural Initiative Coordinator for the Girl Scouts, at 520-319-3156, visit www.girlscoutssoaz.org, like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter or find them on Pinterest.

14, 2013


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