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Media

We always invite our local media to ask us about Girl Scouting- whether it has to do with a troop project, recognizing a dedicated volunteer or our Girl Scout history, we are delighted to assist media outlets with a story, sharing the impact our program has on the local community.

If you represent a media outlet, please contact Meghan Cochrane, Director of Marketing & Communications or call 800-239-6636 to set up an interview.

Two Citronelle Girl Scouts Find Different Ways to Go Gold

Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama (GSSA) congratulates two Citronelle High School Alumna, Erin Jones and Katelyn Nelson for earning their Girl Scout Gold Award. The Gold Award is the highest award a Girl Scout Senior or Ambassador may earn.

Nelson’s goal was to create a spark within the community to fully preserve the history of Citronelle by creating the Citronelle Historic Society at Citronelle High School.

“History is something I have always been passionate about,” said Nelson. “At the Surrender Under the Oak festival, I noticed a lack of knowledge of the history of Citronelle. I knew my towns history would be lost within years unless I stepped up and took initiative to save it.”

Jones’ Gold Award focused on Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD). SADD raises awareness about destructive decisions that have effect the community.

“We have lost a lot of students in my community, and it affected a lot of my friends lives.” said Jones. “With this project I got to educate my peers on the positive effects of making better decisions that advance their health and safety.”

Since earning their indivials Gold Awards, Jones and Katelyn both received schloarships from Girl Scout of Southern Alabama to higher their education at Troy Univerity.

“At GSSA we strive for every young woman to represent a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader),” GSSA CEO Karlyn Edmonds said. “Erin and Katelyn are prime examples of this acronym, and I am proud to call them Girl Scout Alumna.”

Through Girl Scouting, girls learn to face challenges head-on, embrace failure as a learning opportunity, and find solutions to social issues all while building the skills and courage they need to take the lead every day. To join or volunteer, visit www.girlscoutssa.org.

Local Girl Scout Earns Bronze Award

Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama (GSSA) is honored to present Mika Gaskill of Skipperville with the Girl Scout Bronze Award, the highest recognition for achievement in Girl Scouting for girls in grades 4 through 5. 

Gaskill built individual play boxes for cats at a local animal shelter. The boxes included a blanket, cat scratcher, and multiple hanging toys. 

“I felt accomplished when I finished my project. I loved seeing the cats, employees, and my troop leader happy,” Gaskill said. “It made me realize I made a small, but positive, difference in my community.” 

The Bronze Award recognizes Girl Scouts who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through sustainable and measurable Take Action projects that address important community needs. 

“Mika used great strength, talent, and skill to put her plan into action to earn her the Bronze Award.” GSSA CEO Karlyn Edmonds said. “Her passion for leadership shines through her project, and in the future I hope she decides to “Go Gold and earn her Girl Scout Gold Award. 

Girl Scouting’s highest awards—the Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards—are a girl’s chance to make a lasting difference in the world. 

Through Girl Scouting, girls learn to face challenges head-on, embrace failure as a learning opportunity, and find solutions to social issues all while building the skills and courage they need to take the lead every day. To join or volunteer, visit www.girlscoutssa.org

Auburn Girl Scout Earns Gold Award

Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama (GSSA) is honored to present Elizabeth Turochy with the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest recognition for achievement in Girl Scouting for girls in grades 9 through 12. 

Turochy created a PSA to address the lack of seat belt usage in her community to earn her Gold Award. 

“Many people in my community either had misconceptions or were simply unaware of the benefits of wearing a seat beat,” Turochy said. “After the PSA was published, I got a lot of positive feedback. People were even telling me they couldn’t even put their car in drive without hearing the video in their head.” 

By earning the Girl Scout Gold Award, Turochy has become a community leader. Her accomplishments reflect leadership and citizenship skills that set her apart. 

“Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama’s mission is to build girls of courage, confidence, and character to make the world a better place.” GSSA CEO Karlyn Edmonds said. “Elizabeth has made her corner of the world a better place, and I am beyond proud to say she is a Girl Scout from southern Alabama. We can’t wait to see the amazing things she accomplishes in the future.” 

Through Girl Scouting, girls learn to face challenges head-on, embrace failure as a learning opportunity, and find solutions to social issues all while building the skills and courage they need to take the lead every day. To join or volunteer, visit www.girlscoutssa.org

Local Girl Scout Receives Girl Scouts Highest Award

Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama (GSSA) congratulates Adrianna Gramelspacher for earning the Girl Scout Gold Award. Gramelspacher created the Thomasville Reusable Instrument Program (T.R.I.P.) to earn her Gold Award. T.R.I.P. focuses on the lack of instruments at Thomasville High School. 

“I realized that my school did not have a lot of instruments to borrow and students couldn’t afford new instruments,” Gramelspache said r. “The school and band boosters helped me make this PSA and get the community to donate old instruments.” 

By earning the Girl Scout Gold Award, Gramelspacher has become a community leader. Her accomplishments reflect leadership and citizenship skills that set her apart. 

The Gold Award represents the highest achievement a Girl Scout can achieve. It recognizes girls in grades 9 through 12 who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through sustainable and measurable Take Action Projects. Since 1916, girls have successfully answered the call to “Go Gold,” and act that indelibly marks them as accomplished members of their communities and the world. 

“Earning the Girl Scout Gold Award is truly a remarkable achievement, and this exemplifies leadership in all its forms,” GSSA CEO Karlyn Edmonds said. “Adrianna saw a need in her community and around the world and took action. Her extraordinary, dedication, perseverance, and leadership are making the world a better place.” 

Some universities and colleges offer scholarships unique to Gold Award recipients, and girls who enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces may receive advanced rank in recognition of their achievements. 

Through Girl Scouting, girls learn to face challenges head-on, embrace failure as a learning opportunity, and find solutions to social issues all while building the skills and courage they need to take the lead every day. To join or volunteer, visit www.girlscoutssa.org

23 New STEM and Outdoor Badges Enrich Girl Scout Programming, Helps Girls Excel in Life

Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama (GSSA) and Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) recently released new badges in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and the outdoors, areas girls are not typically encouraged to explore outside of Girl Scouting. The badges will debut on the organization’s first digital platform for volunteers, making it more accessible than ever to unleash the power of every girl.

At a time when 81 percent of American voters think preparing girls for leadership roles should be a national priority, GSUSA—the preeminent leadership development organization for girls—offers girls even more opportunities to learn skills and empower themselves with the experiences they need to succeed in life. And as the Girl Scout Research Institute releases new findings that confirm the outstanding leadership outcomes that Girl Scouts exhibit compared to their non-Girl Scout peers, there has never been a better time to join.

New Programming in STEM and the Outdoors

Through hands-on and age-appropriate experiences for girls as young as five, Girl Scouts is both enhancing the important outdoor opportunities the organization is known for and addressing the lack of exposure many girls have to STEM. In fact, Girl Scouts are almost twice as likely as non–Girl Scouts to participate in STEM (60 percent versus 35 percent) and outdoor activities (76 percent versus 43 percent). With the introduction of 23 new badges, which marks the largest programming rollout in almost a decade, Girl Scouts can design robots and racecars, go on environmentally conscious camping trips, write code, collect data in the great outdoors, try their hand at engineering, and so much more. GSUSA created programming that included contributions from many notable organizations. Collaborators include the STEM-focused Code.org, GoldieBlox, SciStarter, Society of Women Engineers, and WGBH/Design Squad Global, as well as the outdoor-focused Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics.

The new Girl Scout programming builds girls’ skills and encourages their interest in STEM and environmental conservation from an early age, increasing their confidence in these areas—in an all-girl environment where they feel comfortable trying new things, taking appropriate risks, and learning from failure. For more information about the new badges, visit www.girlscouts.org/ourprogram.

Girl Scouts Excel in Important Aspects of Life

A new report from the Girl Scout Research Institute, The Girl Scout Impact Study, shows that participating in Girl Scouts helps girls develop key leadership skills they need to be successful in life. Compared to their peers, Girl Scouts are more likely than non-Girl Scouts to be leaders because they:

·       Have confidence in themselves and their abilities (80% vs. 68%)

·       Act ethically and responsibly, and show concern for others (75% vs. 59%)

·       Seek challenges and learn from setbacks (62% vs. 42%)

·       Develop and maintain healthy relationships (60% vs. 43%)

·       Identify and solve problems in their communities (57% vs. 28%)

·       Take an active role in decision making (80% vs. 51%)

Importantly, what girls gain through Girl Scouting positively affects all areas of their lives. For example, Girl Scouts do better than their non–Girl Scout peers in the classroom, earning better grades and aspiring to higher educational attainment, and are more likely to seek careers in STEM, law, and business—industries in which women are underrepresented. And the benefits of Girl Scouting are not exclusive to any particular demographic, which means that no matter where girls live or what their age or background, Girl Scouts can help them develop to their full potential and excel in all aspects of life.

Digitizing the Volunteer Experience

The new Girl Scout program elements are now available to more members than ever before via the recently expanded Volunteer Toolkit, Girl Scouts’ first “digital assistant” for troop leaders and parents, allowing them to more easily plan meetings and activities, keep track of important information, and, ultimately, make it easier to support amazing experiences for girls. In the toolkit, most Girl Scout programming for girls in grades K-5 is auto-populated so that troop leaders can view activity plans and necessary materials, customize meeting plans, track troop finances, and more, all in one place. Further, the instructions that are included throughout make subjects that might otherwise intimidate some volunteers—like STEM—accessible and understandable, so that they can confidently lead troop activities.

 “When people think of Girl Scouts, cookies and camping often come to mind. However, we are much more than that; we are the number one girl-led leadership development program in the world, Karlyn Edmonds, CEO of Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama, said. Based on the research study Generation STEM done by the Girl Scout Research Institute, 57% of girls say they think STEM related careers are typically for males. Furthermore, 57% say they would have to work harder than a man to be taken seriously. We’re here to give girls the confidence they need to be the next engineer, scientists, or computer programmer. It’s time for girls to dream even bigger!”

Through Girl Scouting, girls learn to face challenges head-on, embrace failure as a learning opportunity, create lasting relationships, and find dynamic solutions to social issues—all while building the skills and courage they need to take the lead every day and empower themselves for life.  To join or volunteer, find a membership event going on in your area at  www.girlscoutssa.org

Rehobeth Girl Scout Becomes Top Seller

REHOBETH GIRL SCOUT BECOMES TOP COOKIE SELLER

The Girl Scout Cookie Program is the nation’s largest girl-led business and leading financial literacy program for girls. Designed for girls in grades K-12, it is a key element of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience.

Abbigail Arnold, a first grader at Rehobeth Elementary School, was named Top Cookie Seller in southern Alabama for selling 3,230 boxes. This is the first year Arnold has won this award.

“I did many hours at cookie booths. It was hard work but lots of fun in the end,” Arnold said. “I set goals throughout cookie season and tried my hardest to meet each one.”

Arnold from Troop 9105 proved that the Girl Scout Cookie Program teaches girls to strive for excellence and become their own entrepreneur.

“This is my favorite time of year. There is nothing I enjoy more than honoring girls like Abbigail for all their hard work throughout the Cookie Program,” Karlyn Edmonds, CEO of Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama, said. “This program is more than cookies; it’s teaching our young leaders the importance of goal setting, decision making, people skills, business ethics, and money management.”

The Girl Scout Cookie Program also supports girls in achieving the goals they set for program activities and community service projects.

For more than 100 years, the Girl Scout Cookie Program has provided life changing leadership opportunities for every G.I.R.L (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-Taker, and Leader.) For more information, visit girlscoutssa.org.

Trump Tree Inspires Local Girl Scouts
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TRUMP TREE INSPIRES LOCAL GIRL SCOUTS

An Alabama cedar tree was cut down during then president-elect Donald Trump’s final victory tour rally in Mobile. Immediately, questions started emerging about what would happen to the tree.

Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama (GSSA) Troop 8274 thought this would be the perfect time to live out the Girl Scout Law by using our resources wisely.

“The Girl Scout law tells the troops to use their resources wisely,” Troop leader, Bernadette Toler, said. “We have studied the Girl Scout Law a lot this year, so I wasn’t surprise when the troop asked me immediately if we could repurpose the tree.”

Troop 8274 has now reconstructed the tree into eight scratching post for cats at local animal shelters, including Project Purr and Mobile Animal Shelter.  

“The reconstruction brought the community together. Parents helped cut and clean branches, local businesses donated carpet, and Lowe’s discounted the wood needed for bases,” Troop leader, Rashonda Brackett, said.

Troop 8274 learned basic construction concepts, how teamwork is necessary to put a component into place for a finished product and serious glue dries very quickly!    

Through experiences like this, Girl Scouts can learn and inspire others to unleash their inner G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader). For more information on how Girl Scouts can help your girl become an innovator, visit girlscoutss.org. 

What GSSA Stands For
Volunteer of the Year
GIRL SCOUTS OF SOUTHERN ALABAMA ANNOUNCES VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR

Longtime Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama (GSSA) volunteer Sue Williams has been honored as Volunteer of the Year at GSSA’s annual In Your Honor Award Ceremony in April.   

Williams’s passion for volunteering began during her childhood experiences in Girl Scouts, but unfortunately her time in scouting was cut short due to the lack of volunteers in her community.

“I never wanted girls in my community to miss out on the opportunities Girl Scouts provides because of a volunteer issue,” Williams said. “I strongly believe that when you invest in girls, even if it is just time, it can change the world.”

After raising two Girl Scout alumnae and serving in leadership positions for two troops at the same time, her passion is still thriving. Williams is currently a Service Unit Manager of Service Unit 804 in Mobile.

“Whether it’s planning a camporee, participating in service unit projects or leading a troop, Sue is always there,” GSSA CEO Karlyn Edmonds said. “That is why our council had no debate over who deserved the honor this year.”

Williams also received the Thanks Badge, which represents commitment, leadership, and exceptional service to Girl Scouts.

Volunteers like Sue Williams are an invaluable resource to Girl Scouts, parents and the community. It is through their dedication that girls are able to unleash their inner G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader).

GSSA welcomes adults 18 years of age and older, who are willing to volunteer their time to help mentor girls through the Girl Scout program. To get started, visit girlscoutssa.org. 

GSSA Selects New Board Members
GIRL SCOUTS OF SOUTHERN ALABAMA SELECTS NEW BOARD POSITIONS

Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama’s membership unanimously approved Carrie G. Shaw to serve as its new Board President. Shaw has been involved with the board since 2014, but decided she wanted a bigger role in transforming young girls lives.

“I am thrilled to be the new Board President of an organization that shapes our future G.I.R.L.s (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)” Shaw said. “I want to honor the women that have shaped my life and to be a part of shaping the future generations of women.”

Carrie has worked as a Deputy District Attorney for the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office for eight years, with the majority of her time there spent prosecuting violence against woman.

Angela James was also named the new Vice Board President of GSSA. James is a Senior Manager/Head of Department for Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama in Montgomery.

“I am honored to help lead GSSA and to work among the 13 other passionate board members,” said James. “We are all unique, but have the same overwhelming passion for our future G.I.R.L. leaders in Alabama to succeed.”

James had been a part of GSSA for the past two years serving as board member-at-large.

To learn more about how Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama gives girls opportunities to create positive change in their communities, or to join, volunteer, or donate, visit www.girlscoutssa.org

Local Girl Receives Silver Award

LOCAL GIRL SCOUT RECEIVES SILVER AWARD

ENTERPRISE- Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama is pleased to announce that Faith Stadler of Coppinville Jr. High School has earned the Girl Scout Silver Award, the highest award that a Girl Scout Cadette can earn.

To earn this award, a Cadette Girl Scout, ages 11-14, works to complete a series of leadership challenges and an extensive service project in her community. It takes a minimum of 50 hours of preparation, planning, and work to accomplish the Silver Award goals a girl sets for herself.

Faith’s Silver Award project involved creating travel bags for pediatric cancer patients that were filled with items that allowed kids to have a better experience inside and outside of the hospital. The bags consisted of fleece blankets, fuzzy socks, stuffed animals, crayons, hats, scarves, snacks, and hygiene items.

“My project educated the community about the needs of children and their families while they are receiving chemotherapy and radiation,” Faith said. “Not only did this project help others, it helped me, as well. It improved my public speaking and leadership abilities tremendously.”

The Girl Scout Silver Award is one of countless awards and programs in Girl Scouting where developing and displaying leadership takes center stage. Service is built into all aspects of Girl Scouting with the hope that girls like Faith will carry a commitment to serving others into their adult lives.

“We are very proud to honor Faith’s accomplishments with in earning the Silver Award,” said Karlyn Edmonds, CEO of Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama. “This award requires tremendous effort at a young age, and it represents a girl’s commitment to herself and to her community, as she focuses on leadership, personal challenges, and completing a lasting project that will help benefit her community.”

For information on Girl Scout leadership programs, please visit girlscoutssa.org.

media outlets: press release (pdf file)

Girl Scouts Give a Taste of Home to Soldiers
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GIRL SCOUTS GIVES A TASTE OF HOME TO SOLDIERS

Thanks to our generous community and businesses, such as American Apparel, Inc. and Caddell Construction, more than 7,000 boxes of Girl Scout Ccookies were sent to deployed military troops through the Operation Cookie Care Package (OCCP) program.  

During the Girl Scout Cookie Program, girls promote OCCP, which, allows customers to make donations that are used to purchase Girl Scout Cookies for deployed military troops. Girls collected enough donations for 4,680 boxes, and Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama donated another 2,400 boxes. Once the annual Girl Scout Cookie Program ended, all donated cookies are were delivered to designated military organizations, such as the USO. 

“There are not enough cookies in the world to properly show our appreciation for our military troops and veterans,” said Karlyn Edmonds, Chief Executive Officer of the Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama, said. “We just hope our cookies leaves these courageous individuals with a smile and little taste of home.”

The Girl Scout Cookie  Sale Program allows girls to develop five essential skills, such as: goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics.  However, in addition to those skills, Operation Cookie Care Package allows Girl Scouts to learn how to give back to those who give so much – our armed forces.

Media outlets: press release (pdf file) photo

Advocacy Day
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Girl Scout Advocacy Day Honored by Alabama Legislators

MONTGOMERY - Legislators and other state elected officials gathered at the Alabama State House on Thursday, March 9, with more than 100 Girl Scouts, volunteers, and staff from throughout southern Alabama to celebrate Girl Scout Advocacy Day.

Girl Scouts Abigale Boehm and Abbie Bishop from Baldwin County led the Pledge of Allegiance, while Emily Munro from Elmore County led the prayer. A Coffee and Cookies Reception followed.

“Girl Scout Advocacy Day is our chance to share updates on the Girl Scout Programs we’ve implemented all year, and share our vision for the years to come, Karlyn Edmonds, Chief Executive Officer of Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama (GSSA), said. “Also, it is inspiring watching our young future leaders interact with our state elected officials.”

In an effort to build tomorrow’s leaders, GSSA prioritized the following public policy issues and initiatives:

•  Encourage Healthy Living Opportunities for Girls

o Promoting safe and healthy living opportunities for girls by increasing access to outdoor activities

o Prevent bullying/relational aggression and build healthy relationships 

• Promote Economic Opportunities for Girls 

o Increase girls’ involvement in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)

o Strengthen girl’s financial literacy and entrepreneurial skills

• Foster Global Citizenship and a Global Voice for Girls

• Support a Thriving Nonprofit Community 

Alabama State Treasurer Young Boozer spoke to the Girl Scouts on the importance of numbers and gaining leadership skills, and encouraged the girls to aim for the highest honor in Girl Scouts, the Gold Award.

“Hearing Mr. Boozer talk about his achievement really inspires me to start working on earning the Gold Award,” Abbie Bishop, a 6th grader at Fairhope Intermediate, said. "He showed me just how much the leadership and life skills he gained through the Boy Scouts helped him throughout his life, and how the Girl Scouts can do the same for all of us."

Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama seeks to partner with policymakers to ensure that all girls have financial literacy skills and support the role of youth-serving organizations in providing real-world financial literacy experiences for girls, in addition to encouraging policymakers and community leaders to work with human services organizations to ensure a healthy, effective, and strong non-profit community. 

Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama serves more than 7,000 girls, ages 5-17 and 2,700 volunteers across 30 counties. For more information, please visit www.girlscoutssa.org.

Media outlets: press release (pdf file) photo

Ozark Girl Goes Gold
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Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama has recognized Carroll High School student Maya Harlow with the organization’s highest recognition of achievement, the Gold Award – putting her into an elite group of Girl Scouts from around the country.

Harlow received the Gold Award for her community presentations and events demonstrating the public training of her future service dog, CCI Adobe V, which reached more than 35,000 people. Harlow says her passion for service dog awareness has grown tremendously through the training by knowing she is educating someone new each day on the importance of service dog etiquette. However, she says that she had some initial concerns about her Gold Award project.

“At first, I was a little intimidated,” Harlow said. “My project was going to require a lot of public speaking and before my Gold Award project, this was something I was not completely confident in. Thankfully, earning my Gold Award changed me, just as it changed my community.”

Harlow is now setting a new goal to attend Auburn University where she would plans to major in pre-veterinarian studies and eventually get her D.V. in Veterinary Science, and plans to continue raising future service dogs.

Since 1916, girls have successfully answered the call to “Go Gold,” an act that indelibly marks them as accomplished members of their communities and the world.  Nationwide, less than 6 percent of eligible Girl Scouts earn the Gold Award.

Earning the Gold Award is just one of the amazing things girls can do as part of Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama. To join or learn more about volunteering, please visit www.girlscoutssa.org

Media Outlets: press release (pdf file)

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