By Jan Barker
CEO Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan
President Barack Obama recently honored Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of Girl Scouts, posthumously, with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, our nation’s highest civilian honor.
The Presidential Medal of Freedom celebrates individuals who have contributed to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other public or private endeavors.
Low’s legacy lives on through 59 million American women who are Girl Scout alumnae. Juliette believed that all girls -- regardless of culture, class, ethnic background, or economic status -- should be given the opportunity to develop physically, mentally and spiritually. In founding Girl Scouts in 1912, she made an enduring contribution to the lives of girls and to our nation. It is fitting that during Girl Scouting’s centennial year, Juliette should be honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Girls today are as eager to lead as they were in Juliette’s day. In Girl Scouts, we see evidence of this all the time. But girls aren’t crossing the divide to lead as women. They aren’t leading where society needs them most. This is not acceptable.
Right now, America needs an organization that understands girls and appreciates how girls lead. American needs an organization with a track record of helping girls reach their potential and ascend to leadership. America needs Girl Scouts.
Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan is committed to taking on the challenge of bringing women to leadership. We challenge everyone to promote a gender balance in the workplace, and in the organizations they touch. When people talk about diversity and inclusion, we need them to talk about gender inclusion, as well.
We need to share, with everyone, the great leadership examples we see every day in Girl Scouts—from our littlest leaders, our Girl Scout Daisies, to our Girl Scout Gold Award recipients in high school.
One-hundred years ago, Juliette Gordon Low founded Girls Scouts with a goal to enable girls to do things they had never done before. We carry on her legacy of leadership and ask you to join us. To find out more, call Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan at 1-800-297-2688 or visit www.gshom.org.