The Girls Scouts lead the way

The Girl Scouts are leading a national conversation on the state of girls in America.

A panel discussion at the annual meeting of the Community Fund for Women & Girls.

The Girl Scouts has provided generations of girls a place to build character and gain courage and confidence while forming lasting friendships.

According to its® profile, the Girl Scouts has shown that its leadership development program has provided a strong platform from which girls have been given the tools to mature into successful, contributing members of the community; Girl Scouts alumnae comprise 80 percent of women business owners, 69 percent of female U.S. senators and 67 percent of female members of the House of Representatives.

Today, Girl Scouts is also leading conversations about how to ensure that girls' wellbeing is more widely shared.

Girl Scouts USA Chief Girl Expert, Dr. Andrea Bastiani Archibald, brought this discussion in June 2016 to the annual meeting of the Community Fund for Women & Girls, Greater New Haven's permanent charitable endowment dedicated solely to advancing women and girls. Archibald presented data from the soon-to-be updated report The State of Girls: Unfinished Business produced by Girl Scouts USA.

Dr. Archibald was joined by a panel of five girls from the Greater New Haven community who shared their thoughts, particularly about study data demonstrating disparities experienced by girls of color. The panelists recommended investments in girls' emotional and mental health to increase confidence levels and leadership by girls.

"With 21% of girls living in poverty and 42% of girls living in low-income families nationally according to the data presented by Dr. Bastiani Archibald, it is imperative we continue to support girls and invest in them," says Susan Garcia Nofi, the Community Fund for Women & Girls Advisory Board Chair. "A good portion of the more than $135,000 awarded from the Fund this year, over 40%, is specifically targeted at girls in our region. Each of the nine partner organizations receiving grants was selected for the gender-specific work they do in the areas of health, leadership, legal rights, STEM, and more."

Connecticut ranks 6th among the best states for a girl to live, and 4th among states for girls succeeding in education according to the data that was presented and that will be included in 2017 The State of Girls: Unfinished Business report. Each state was ranked based on a girls' well-being index which considered physical health and safety, economic well-being, education, emotional health, and extracurricular activities. For Connecticut, a sample size of 293,252 girls, between the ages of 5-17 was surveyed.

To see Dr. Bastiani Archibald's presentation on the status of girls, please visit

Did you Know?

The Girls Scouts was founded in 1912 and now has 3 million participants in 92 countries and more than 59 million alumnae. Source: Girls Scouts

This story is part of the Inspiration Monday story series produced by The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.