For the Sake of Our Girls
Have you taken time to study the most recent statistics about girls in our state? I hadn't, either, until recently, and I was appalled. I share the following with you not to be depressing or inflammatory, but to remind us all of the importance of Girl Scouting in the lives of those to serve. We have the power to change these stats and make the world a better place for our girls. It's simply what we do.
The Girl Scout Research Institute's "State of the Girl" report details the harsh realities of life for many girls in Alabama. Girls in Alabama ranked 30th in terms of overall well-being. Girls ranked 21st in terms of emotional health, 33rd in physical health and safety, 34th in economic well-being, and 42nd in education. The report also notes that roughly 26 percent of school age girls in the state are currently living in poverty and around 8 percent of girls, ages 6 to 17, have experienced some form of neighborhood violence. Clearly, these numbers leave much room for improvement.
This report is the first of its kind to focus exclusively on girls, which allows Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama to direct its efforts toward bettering their lives. With programs focusing in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), financial literacy, healthy eating and exercise, and reading readiness, GSSA has a positive impact on every girl we come into contact with. However, with decreases in funding and a lack of volunteers, our ability to serve girls is in serious jeopardy.
Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama has the tools it takes to instill leadership skills into the girls of our future, but volunteers are desperately needed to put these tools to use. They are vital for the survival of our organization.
I want to thank the many volunteers who have joined us in this effort. Please spread the word to others about how rewarding this work is and how greatly it is needed in our communities. Together, we will change the outlook for southern Alabama's girls.