Monday, October 3, 2011

Keys to Leadership By Guest Blogger Eliza Zipper

Eliza Zipper, Advocacy and Critical Issues Coordinator
Girl Scouts of Nassau County is committed to building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place.  Our “Keys to Leadership”: Discover, Connect, Take Action, encourage girls to learn about important issues and raise awareness about them. 

The Girl Scout Leadership Experience finds its foundation in a series of   Leadership  Journeys, that focus on 15 outcome measures; 5 of which are designed to help girls identify community needs, promote cooperation and team-building, as well as educate and inspire others to act.  Girls who participate in our Journey program develop the tools and tactics to make meaningful and sustainable change in their communities.

The skills the girls develop in our Journey program prepare them for Girl Scout’s highest award, the Gold Award.  Girls spend up to 80 hours on their project researching, developing and implementing a plan of action, and inspiring others to take action.  Recent Gold Award projects have raised awareness about many important social issues including, environmental conservation, bullying, anti-Semitism, as well as safe sex and domestic violence. Gold Award recipients learn to identify their passion and to create positive change by pursuing this passion.

Girls in our Pathway programs also develop strong advocacy and leadership skills.  The Icebreakers, one of our FIRST Lego League (FLL) Robotic Teams, demonstrated this skill when they discovered a hazardous traffic pattern in their community.  They researched ways to improve the pattern, came up with a recommendation to resolve the safety issues, and refused to stop until the situation was fixed.  They took their plan to the State Capitol in Albany and won support from state legislators.  Through programs like our FLL Teams, girls gain the confidence to stand up for what they believe in.

Girl Scouts of Nassau County continues to provide increasing advocacy opportunities for girls.  In our new program, Girl Speak, girls in grades 6-12 will discuss important issues that impact themselves and their peers as well as develop a plan of action to educate younger girls, parents, educators, and community members about these issues.  Through our new collaboration with the Regina Residence, we will help pregnant teens and teen mothers living at the residence learn how to identify issues that impact their lives, speak up for their needs, and take action against these issues in their community.  In both of these new programs, girls will build their confidence and develop a better sense of self and their communities by advocating for the needs of themselves and others.

Girl Scouts of Nassau County helps girls develop the tools and tactics with which to become their own advocates.  Through innovative programs, such as our Journeys, Gold Awards, and community outreach initiatives, girls engage in advocacy experiences that help them gain a better sense of themselves and the needs of their communities.

For more information about Girl Scouting or the programs mentioned contact Eliza Zipper, Advocacy and Critical Issues Coordinator at 516 741-2550 ext 254 or email mail her at zippere@gsnc.org.

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