Opinion Columns & Blogs

Harnessing unique strengths of girls everywhere

Liz Workman
Liz Workman

If I could name only one thing girls learn when they’re involved with Girl Scouts, it’s that they are capable of tackling pretty much anything. From teaching other girls coding, providing children a free reading resource, to bringing awareness to teen dating violence, our girls have been making a difference for more than 100 years. With the right encouragement, guidance, training, and confidence, they grow into women who lead by example. They are G.I.R.L.s (Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers and Leaders) who do great things for our community and the world.

Girl Scouts is the best leadership experience for girls in the world, created specifically with and for girls. We provide girls with one-of-a-kind leadership experiences in a safe space where they are free to be themselves without the pressures and social anxieties that can come from a coed environment. Our leadership model is designed to meet their interests and needs, because it’s collaborative and places importance on diverse perspectives.

We care deeply about the well-being of girls and their growth into the future female leaders our community needs. That means starting young and making sure today’s girls are acquiring the skills they will need to take on 21st century leadership roles. Through more than a century of experience, we have become the experts at giving girls the tools they need to empower themselves. Girl Scouts fuels the female leadership pipeline. Fifty percent of female business leaders, 80 percent of female tech leaders, 76 percent of female U.S. senators, all female U.S. secretaries of state, and almost every female astronaut who has flown in space were Girl Scouts.

Girl Scout programs are specifically designed with girls in mind. We teach girls their voices count, they must stand up for what they believe in, and they have the strength to take the lead. Studies show Girl Scouts are more likely than their non-Girl Scout peers to have confidence in themselves and their abilities, take an active role in decision-making, identify and solve problems in their communities, seek challenges, and learn from setbacks.

The fact is, most of a girl’s life is coed. But the girl-inclusive safe space offered by Girl Scouts fosters collaboration instead of competition, and promotes support among girls. It enables them to stretch beyond their limits and transfer valuable knowledge and skills to any environment, both now and in the future.

What can you do to help girls in your community develop the courage, confidence and character they need to be tomorrow’s leaders? Support Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland as we continue to provide a supportive place where every G.I.R.L. can reach her full leadership potential and make our community and our world a better place.

Liz Workman is CEO of Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland.