Macedonia, OH — According to a new Girl Scout Research Institute report, Girl Scouting Works: The Alumnae Impact Study, women who were Girl Scouts as children display significantly more positive life outcomes than non-Girl Scout alumnae.
Approximately one in every two adult women (49%) in the U.S. has at some point been a member of Girl Scouts; the average length of time a girl spends in Girl Scouting is four years. There are currently an estimated 59 million Girl Scout alumnae living in the U.S.
The study, which was not identified to participants as a Girl Scout project, surveyed a sample of 3,550 women aged 18 and older, roughly half of whom were Girl Scout alumnae and half drawn from the general population. The sample was chosen to be representative of the U.S. population in terms of race/ethnicity, household income, education, marital status, and type of residence.
Compared to non-alumnae, Girl Scout alumnae display significantly more positive life outcomes on several indicators of success. These success indicators include:
Perceptions of self. Of Girl Scout alumnae, 63% consider themselves competent and capable, compared to 55% of non-alumnae.
Volunteerism and community work. Of Girl Scout alumnae who are mothers, 66% have been a mentor/volunteer in their child's youth organization, compared to 48% of non-alumnae mothers.
Civic engagement. Of Girl Scout alumnae, 77% vote regularly, compared to 63% of non-alumnae.
Education. Of Girl Scout alumnae, 38% have attained college degrees, compared to 28% of non-alumnae.
Income/socioeconomic status. Girl Scout alumnae report a significantly higher household income ($51,700) than non-alumnae ($42,200).
In addition to collecting quantitative data, the researchers conducted a series of live interviews with Girl Scout alumnae. Overall, alumnae say Girl Scouting was positive and rewarding for them.
Former Girl Scouts:
"Girl Scouts turns 100 this year, and we couldn't ask for a better birthday present than this kind of validation," said Anna Maria Chávez, chief executive officer, Girl Scouts of the USA. "We declared 2012 as the Year of the Girl to help bring attention to girls and the value of encouraging and supporting them. To strengthen that support beyond the boundaries of Girl Scouting, we've launched ToGetHerThere, with the goal of reaching gender-balanced leadership in one generation.
"One kind of support we know girls in Northeast Ohio need is role models—successful older women they can learn from and emulate,” said Daisy L. Alford-Smith, Ph.D., chief executive officer, Girl Scouts of North East Ohio. “There is no group of women better suited to do that than our Girl Scout alumnae. We're asking them to join our alumnae association and let us know if they'd be willing to visit schools and talk to girls who want to be leaders, but don’t know how to go about it.”
“The challenges girls face in the 21st century are complex. Girl Scouts is developing the leaders of tomorrow at a time when it is critically needed,” said Alford-Smith. “This generation of girls deserves to lead tomorrow’s board rooms and courthouses and run our hospitals and technology start-ups. But she might not get there, unless we create the environment needed to support her.”
Every girl deserves the opportunity to be the leader she can be, the leader the world needs her to be. We all have a role to play in helping girls achieve their full leadership potential, because when girls succeed, society does too.
The 100th Anniversary Campaign for Girls will raise $5 million dollars over five years. Every dollar stays in Northeast Ohio and will help us serve more girls, recruit and train more volunteers, increase the quality and diversity of program opportunities and create a Fund for the Future. Unlike many philanthropic causes that address a problem, the Campaign for Girls is a proactive means to prevent problems. Google: gsneo.org/donate.
Learn more about Girl Scouting Works: The Alumnae Impact study, or to obtain a copy, visit http://www.girlscouts.org/research. To join the Girl Scout Alumnae Association, visit gsneo.org/alumnae. To learn more about ToGetHerThere—and to take the pledge to support girls and girls' leadership—visit http://togetherthere.org.
Girl Scouts of North East Ohio is the premier leadership development organization for girls. GSNEO serves 40,000 girls and 15,000 adult volunteer members throughout an 18-county region including Medina, Portage, and Summit counties; Cuyahoga, Geauga, and Lake counties; Carroll, Stark and Tuscarawas counties; Ashtabula, Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull counties; and Erie, Huron, Lorain, Sandusky and Seneca counties.
Founded in 1912, Girl Scouts of the USA is the preeminent leadership development organization for girls, with 3.2 million girl and adult members worldwide. Girl Scouts is the leading authority on girls' healthy development, and builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. The organization serves girls from every corner of the United States and its territories. Girl Scouts of the USA also serves American girls and their classmates attending American or international schools overseas in 90 countries. For more information on how to join, volunteer or reconnect with, or donate to Girl Scouts, call 800-GSUSA-4-U (212-852-8000) or visit www.girlscouts.org.