Virginia Girl Scout councils hosted their annual Legislative Day on Monday, February 20 in Richmond. The day was an opportunity for Girl Scouts to speak to legislators about issues affecting girls and young women. Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast, which serves girls in southeastern Virginia, sent a 16-member delegation to Richmond, including Tracy Keller, CEO; Carolene Goodwyn-Harris, chair of the board of directors; members of the Advocacy Committee, and girl members. Girl Scout Cadette Jasmine Barbour-Bassette of Williamsburg was among the delegation from Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast who traveled to Richmond on February 20 for Girl Scout Legislative Day.
The day started with a Cookies and Milk reception, where Girl Scouts met with their local legislators to share information about programs offered by Girl Scouts. They also shared findings from The State of Girls 2017: Emerging Truths and Troubling Trends, a report recently released by the Girl Scout Research Institute about the overall well-being of girls in the United States. According to the report, the well-being of girls in Virginia ranks number 13 in the country, moving up from number 23, as ranked in 2007. Girl Scouts shared that despite an overall growth of well-being for girls in the commonwealth, there are still issues that need to be addressed, such as the 64 percent of eighth-grade girls who are not proficient in math and the 28 percent of girls ages 10 to 17 who are overweight or obese.
Later in the day, Girl Scouts were introduced in the Senate by Senator Janet Howell and in the House of Representatives by Delegate Daun Hester, who are both Girl Scout alumnae. A joint resolution was passed to acknowledge the 2017 Girl Scout Cookie Program as marking the 100th year of the first know sale of cookies by Girl Scouts.
Girl Scouts then visited the Executive Mansion, where they met Governor Terry McAuliffe and he presented them with a Certificate of Recognition for the success of the Girl Scout Cookie Program, which has taught girls financial literacy and entrepreneurship skills for 100 years. Girl Scouts then took a tour of the Executive Mansion.
Representatives from Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast, including Tracy Keller, Carolene Goodwyn-Harris and Marcy Germanotta, director of marketing and communications, along with Molly Fuller, CEO of Girl Scouts of the Commonwealth of Virginia and Denise Stewart, interim CEO of Girl Scouts of Virginia Skyline, met with Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore. They spoke with him about ideas for workforce development opportunities for youth.
Legislative Day is just one of the ways that Girl Scouts works across party lines to educate and raise awareness about issues important to girls and young women. Through their advocacy efforts, Girl Scouts demonstrates to policymakers that the organization is a resource-and an authority-on issues affecting girls and Girl Scouting.
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