Empowering the lives of girls has always been a career goal for Kareemah Rose, Program Coordinator of Grants at Girl Scouts of North East Ohio (GSNEO). Rose became inspired about this after late U.S. representative Stephanie Tubbs Jones spoke at her high school during an assembly.
“I remember feeling empowered that day,” Rose said. “I decided on that day that I wanted to empower young girls.”
One of Rose’s main responsibilities includes implementing the Girl Scouts Leadership Experience (GSLE) to girls who reside in the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA). These weekly and bi-weekly troop meetings include a collection of engaging, challenging, and fun activities such as earning badges, going on trips, selling cookies, exploring science, getting outdoors, and doing community service projects.
Earlier this year, Rose had the honor of taking eight girls to see Michelle Obama at Playhouse Square during her “Becoming” book tour. The former First Lady donated tickets to GSNEO to allow girls in underserved communities the chance to see her during the book tour.
“One of the girls even had the opportunity to go on stage and tell the audience what she is becoming,” Rose said.
During the past 15 years, Rose has served more than 400 girls in CMHA and has noticed growth from both the girls and the parent volunteers.
“The girls are developing a stronger sense of self, forming healthy relationships, and learning from their setbacks,” Rose said. “The parent volunteers are also being empowered. Over the years, I’ve had parent volunteers return to school to earn their high school diplomas, college degrees, GSNEO Appreciation Pin, and become better stewards of their community.”
Rose also noticed growth in her personal life. “As I try my hardest to help my girls discover who they are, I have discovered my passion for helping others.” As a result, Rose received the Caring Adult Award from MyCom and was recognized by her councilwoman for the work she’s done in her neighborhood.
Like all members of Girl Scouts, girls in CMHA troops are empowered to believe in themselves, build sisterhood with each other, and understand they have the potential to make the world a better place. These girls exemplify what it means to be a G.I.R.L (Go-Getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)TM.
Girls regularly visit local nursing homes, read stories to children, and serve as girl members-at-large on the GSNEO Board of Directors. Several girls earned the Girl Scout Bronze and Silver Awards, and many girls are working towards the Gold Award, the highest honor a Girl Scout Senior or Ambassador may earn.
“What inspires me the most is when I see a girl from a few years ago come back and share some of the amazing things she’s doing in college,” Rose said. “I look forward to seeing the girls make a positive impact in their community and world.”
Written by Erica Fowler Summer 2019 Intern