July 7, 2011
Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona-Sahuaro
Contact: Maria Manibusan
Tucson- Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona-Sahuaro (GSSA) has been selected by Girl Scouts of the United States of America (GSUSA) to be a part of the inaugural class of STEM Advocacy Champions. Together with thirteen other state council networks, the 2011 Advocacy Champions will participate in a national STEM advocacy initiative and use the legislative policy and advocacy process to become the leading voice for girls in their community and state. The 2011 class was chosen based on their readiness for increased advocacy around girls and STEM.
Michelle Higgins, the GSSA STEM Manager, is excited to take the Council’s work to another level. Higgins has served on GSUSA’s STEM Advisory Team since 2009 and has worked endlessly to foster opportunities for girls in Southern Arizona to explore STEM careers in an approachable, fun, and relevant manner. In addition to being named a STEM Advocacy Champion, GSSA was recently selected by the National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP) to be the Convening Organization for STEM Collaboratives in the region. GSSA CEO, Debbie Rich, is also eager to start this new line of work, “Our new direction in STEM advocacy will allow us to reach even more girls in Southern Arizona. Moreover, with our NGCP partnership, we will be in an even better position to help our volunteers, parents, and local educators feel more comfortable in exploring STEM.”
As a Regional Collaborative Leader, Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona will host STEM conferences and forums, highlight local programs, award mini-grants, provide professional development, and continue to inspire students and to generate interest in science-related careers. This selection also comes at a fitting time as Arizona is considered a High Need Priority State. Arizona is home to a large population of underserved girls. It lags behind the U.S. averages in bachelor degree attainment, and it is above average in the percentage of persons who live below the poverty level. The Sahuaro Council hopes to change this pattern through its increased advocacy of STEM initiatives and believes it is in a great position to do so as a result of its Advocacy Champion and NGCP Convening Organization selections.
About the National Girls Collaborative Project
The National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP) is designed to bring together organizations throughout the United States that are committed to informing and encouraging girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Their goals include maximizing access to shared resources within projects, strengthening the capacity of existing and evolving projects, and using the leverage of collaborations to create the tipping point for gender equity in STEM. To learn more about NGCP, please see www.ngcpproject.com.
About Girl Scouts
Girl Scouts is the world’s preeminent leadership development organization dedicated to helping build girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. Our goals are to provide a wide range of contemporary programs that reflect the unique needs and interests of all girls living in Southern Arizona, to empower girls to reach their full potential, and to give girls a voice in their community and in their own lives. For more information on Girl Scouting advocacy efforts in Tucson, please contact Maria Manibusan, Advocacy Specialist, at email@example.com or at (520) 319-3175.