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Girl Scouts develop courage,

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character and confidence

By JESSICA WILLIAMS-GIBSON

Throughout the years, Girl Scouts has evolved into a program that’s designed to give each girl an opportunity to work with her peers, a caring adult and develop lifelong skills around courage, character and confidence.

Girl Scouts learn to make choices, find their inner strength, appreciate their power within, and celebrate their uniqueness.

“We help girls set goals and aspire to be great and then provide a path to get there,” said Deborah Hearn Smith, CEO of Girl Scouts of Central Indiana.

While participants understand the program’s potential they’re now striving to inform the public of its effectiveness.

From learning financial literacy, through their cookie program to helping the homeless, Girl Scout officials are hosting the inaugural Where Dreams Can Lead luncheon Wed., Oct. 10 at the Indiana Roof Ballroom to reacquaint the business community with all of the possibilities Girl Scouting can offer a child.

Many involved in the event are either a current or former Girl Scout. The planning committee wants to achieve three objectives during the luncheon: celebrate girls, uplift their theme of leadership, and encourage the business community to join Girl Scouts in impacting the life of a young girl.

“There’s a lot of programming and opportunities for girls to learn and grow as young women as well as become leaders in the community,” said Yvonne Perkins, vice president of community relations, Citizens Gas & Coke Utility and event chair for the luncheon.

Perkins and others on the planning committee selected female leaders in the Indianapolis community to solidify their message and exemplify Girl Scouts’ core values of courage, character and confidence. Some believe the women chosen have used those skills to make the world around them better.

Angela Brown, operatic soprano, Dr. Virginia Caine, director of the Marion County Health Department; Dr. France Cordova, president of Purdue University; and Cindy Simon Skjodt, civic volunteer, were chosen to share the message of courage, character and confidence.

Ann Murtlow, president and CEO of Indianapolis Power and Light, a fellow Girl Scout and also a featured speaker decided to support Where Dreams Can Lead because she believes it’s important to support girl empowerment. Without it, she states she wouldn’t be where she is today.

“I wasn’t always as confident as I am today. I’m very thankful for those organizations and people that led me to believe I could do anything I worked hard to achieve,” said Murtlow. “When women like me who finds herself in a prominent position of leadership in a community, we have a unique ability to be visible mentors for other girls. That’s a role we should take full advantage of.”

Girl Scouts hopes to attract the attention of the business community and urge them to take a genuine interest in the future leaders of tomorrow as well as understand the value of supporting such an impactful program.

Those who have experienced the positive outcomes of Girl Scouts believe the organization provides great possibilities in a young girl’s life. Through volunteering, financial support and understanding its value, the business community can make a difference.

“I love organizations like Girl Scouts that provide a safe environment in which a girl can try new things and gain new skills. It’s wonderful and critically important,” said Murtlow.

For more information, call (317) 924-6915 or www.girlscoutsindiana.org.

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