Girl Scouts - Diamonds of Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas

Lead Like a G.I.R.L.: Full STEAM Ahead

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Girl Scouts - Diamonds of Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas

Little Rock, Arkansas, United States

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To learn more about – or provide significant funding to – this project, please contact Lever for Change.

Project Summary

We are Girl Scouts – Diamonds of Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas. The problem we are resolving is threefold: 1)Most girls graduate high school feeling they are not leaders, and little interest in technology careers.2)More than 2.4 million technology jobs will be unfilled by 2028, with a potential impact of $2.5 trillion. 3)In 2019, only six percent of all Fortune 500 companies have women CEOs. Girl Scouts - Diamonds is scaling up to meet all these challenges, by expanding our already-proven impact on girls' STEM interest through the Girl Scout Leadership Experience (GSLE).The GSLE unleashes the leader within girls of every race, ethnicity and socioeconomic background, building a leadership pipeline for Arkansas and the U.S. We focus on STEM/STEAM, Entrepreneurship, Life Skills and the Outdoors, and our emphasis on the whole girl has shown statistically significant, positive leadership outcomes for girls and the women they become.

Problem Statement

An acknowledged skills gap is already underway in the United States, with millions of high-tech jobs forecast to be unfilled by 2028. A large part of that is because so few girls express interest in STEM. Girl Scouts is already addressing this issue, as, while only 31% of non-Girl Scouts are interested in tech careers at graduation, 59% of Girl Scouts remain interested, and 74% of Girl Scouts are still expressing STEM interest overall.We know part of the reason for the lack of interest is that girls are bombarded with messaging that they are worth less and not as able as their male classmates in science, technology, engineering and math. Every media channel from magazines to television to the Internet reinforces that message without mercy or validity. We know boys are called on more in school settings, for varying reasons, including the teachers' subconscious preference, no matter whether that teacher is male or female. In Girl Scouts, a girl at the crucial formative stage of age 5-17 learns, in an all-girl setting, to raise her hand, her voice, and her confidence. Combining supportive adult relationships with the soft skills and STEM/STEAM skills development of the Girl Scout program, a girl evolves into a leader and rises to meet the challenges before her--first in a supportive Girl Scout troop, and then launching successfully into the wider community. Even more importantly, girls of every socioeconomic strata, race, and ethnicity achieve the same leadership outcomes, leveling the playing field in earnest.

Solution Overview

Girls and their communities will benefit, both from the capital investment we're proposing and from the leadership outcomes generated through Girl Scouts. Your specific investment will benefit the girls of Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas now, but the broader impacts ripple through the years, into the larger U.S. population and the next generations as well. Girl Scouts are more likely to be digital leaders than boys (64% vs. 50%) and non-Girl Scouts (43%), and to maintain that leadership, as proven by the fact that 80% of female tech leaders are Girl Scout alums. Unfortunately, only 20% of tech leaders are women.Technological skills and interest are just the beginning. National statistics show the Girl Scout Leadership Experience has proven outcomes for our alumnae that include greater degrees of volunteerism, community work, civic engagement, education, sense of self, and income/socioeconomic status. Even more importantly, these positive outcomes are valid irrespective of ethnicity, race and the socioeconomic status of the girl's family--Girl Scouts levels the playing field.The just-analyzed results from our current partnership with AmeriCorps in southern Arkansas show positive changes in attitude from pre-test to post-test across every single survey question. Statistically significant positive changes showed in questions such as "I am confident in my STEAM abilities," and "When I see a problem in my community, I figure out who can help me solve it," among others. While that sample size is still small, we expect significant, positive changes for girls to continue and grow as we expand Girl Scout membership.

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Project Funders

  • WindGate Foundation

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