Each week, we’d like to take time to do a #FeatureFriday on an organization that is doing big things for child poverty in our community. We at the United Way of NWA are fortunate to have many, many organizations that we’re proud to come alongside and make a difference on a daily basis, impacting children in our own backyard.
Girl Scouts Diamonds of Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas is thrilled to become a partner agency with the United Way of Northwest Arkansas in hopes of bringing the Girl Scout experience to girls from every area of our community. United Way funding will enable us to expand our reach into new communities, schools and populations through Girl Scouts Rise and our Imagine Your STEM Future program, at no cost to the girls or their families.
Girl Scouts Rise serves girls who find themselves in or on the brink of the juvenile court system. During these weekly programs, girls have access to strong female role models who invest their time and talents into the girls. Discussion-based programming, with an emphasis on positive relationships, self-esteem and better decision-making, allows the girls to discover all they have to offer in a safe, encouraging environment. Mentors encourage and empower these young women in Benton and Washington Counties to use the skills and talents they already possess to rise to their full potential and become positive leaders in their community.
The Girl Scouts Rise program in Arkansas and similar Girl Scout programs throughout the country helps girls regulate their emotions and manage their anger, while fostering their ability to develop healthier relationships overall. Studies have shown a reduction in incidents of fights or altercations in school, a decrease in violent intentions, and very low rates of recidivism among girls who complete the program.
Through our Imagine Your STEM Future program, girls in Gentry, Decatur, Farmington and other surrounding schools will receive enriching STEM activities that promote an interest in STEM careers. One aspect of the program that sets us apart is the focus on STEM career development. We bring in female STEM professionals from the community to speak to the girls about their career and encourage the girls on their journey down the same path. Girls will not only experience the transformative power of the Girl Scout experience, but they will receive supplemental academic work in an engaging way. Programming revolves around hands on learning in a supportive and encouraging environment which we believe will promote a higher STEM interest for girls within our community.
The Imagine Your STEM Future program has been in place since 2013. Since that time, almost 100 percent of volunteers considered it likely that girls became more curious to find out how things work and demonstrated more confident in their science skills. Indicating that the program’s focus on women in STEM careers made an impact, volunteers also thought it likely that after the program girls better understood that women can be successful STEM professionals.”
Girl Scouts is an inclusive organization that believes all girls deserve the opportunity to become leaders in their community and world. We believe the benefits girl reap through both our STEM and Girl Scouts Rise programs are skills each girl can take with them throughout their lives to make them courageous and confident women, and we are grateful for the support of the United Way of Northwest Arkansas in helping us achieve our mission.