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Girl Scouts Announces National Young Women of Distinction
New York Ag Connection - 10/05/2017

Leading up to the International Day of the Girl and start of G.I.R.L. 2017, Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) recognized 10 Gold Award Girl Scouts from across the country as the 2017 National Young Women of Distinction. From the thousands of exceptional Gold Award Girl Scouts each year, GSUSA recognizes ten girls as inspiring leaders who have transformed an idea and vision for change into an actionable plan with measurable, sustainable, and far-reaching impact at the local, national, and global levels.

From supporting menstrual hygiene for girls in rural India to creating water conservation technology to help farmers in California, this year's National Young Women of Distinction are creating positive change to address society's most pressing issues. They exemplify how Girl Scouts confidently stand up for what they believe in, advocate for causes, and take action to solve community problems, showcasing Girl Scouts' commitment to civic engagement, which will be the focus of an upcoming national initiative launching later this week.

"Girls have the power to effect real change, and each year, we see Girl Scouts across the country do that by taking measurable actions that improve our world," said GSUSA CEO Sylvia Acevedo. "Whether it's creating a bee-pollination program in Upstate New York or spearheading STEM programs for children in underserved communities in Orange County, California, these young women have worked tirelessly to create sustainable and lasting change. I am immensely proud of what these ten incredible Girl Scouts have accomplished. They embody the extraordinary leadership, grit, and collaborative efforts that are the cornerstone of Girl Scouts."

A new report from the Girl Scout Research Institute, The Girl Scout Impact Study (2017), confirms that participating in Girl Scouts helps girls develop key leadership skills they need to be successful in life. Compared to their non--Girl Scout peers, Girl Scouts are more likely to be leaders who have confidence in themselves and their abilities (80 percent vs. 68 percent), identify and solve problems in their communities (57 percent vs. 28 percent), seek challenges and learn from setbacks (62 percent vs. 42 percent), and take an active role in decision making (80 percent vs. 51 percent).

The 2017 National Young Women of Distinction will be celebrated at G.I.R.L. 2017, a gathering of girls and women from around the world, taking place October 6--8 in Columbus, Ohio. The event will provide every participating girl and girl supporter with unique opportunities to celebrate achievements, get inspired, and gain the tools they need to empower themselves and create change in their communities?both locally and globally.

Applications for National Young Women of Distinction are judged by previous honorees, leaders from a range of fields, GSUSA executives, and a representative from the Kappa Delta Foundation. To honor Girl Scouts' National Young Women of Distinction, the Kappa Delta Foundation grants the selected girls a combined $50,000 in college scholarships, reflecting its commitment to girls' leadership and pursuit of education. Susan Bulkeley Butler, founder of the Susan Bulkeley Butler Institute for the Development of Women Leaders, provides an additional $100,000 in college scholarships.

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