It’s a great time to be a girl! Our daughters have incredible role models in women at the top of their game, from the USWNT World Cup Champions to more women running for president than ever before. Raising tomorrow’s leaders means encouraging confidence, teaching life skills and exposing them to empowering programming as they grow. Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles—the largest girl-serving nonprofit in its area—knows what it takes to inspire girls in grades K-12 to be Go-getting, Innovating, Risk-Taking Leaders (a.k.a. G.I.R.L.s!). Read on for five ways being a Girl Scout will help your girl thrive.

1. She Will… Be Herself

Girls transform over their school years, and it’s critical that their self-esteem is cultivated and given opportunities to shine. In order to develop a strong sense of self, Girl Scouts acquaints girls with their “I will!” (rather than their “Can I?”) with girl-led programming for all grade levels, beginning with K-1 “Daisies,” grades 2-3 “Brownies,” and grades 4-5 “Juniors.” By trying and succeeding at something she might not have thought she could (like coding an app), confidence becomes a natural (and familiar) by-product.

2. She Will… Practice Positive Values

Girl Scouts is all about instilling the positive values needed to be a good person, a considerate friend and responsible citizen. This social-emotional learning (SEL) is a fantastic supplement to what girls learn in school, and Girl Scouts provides ample and age-appropriate settings where she can practice those values—as she camps out with her friends, tells her story in a creative way or thinks like a scientist on a nature walk.

3. She Will… Learn From Challenges

As Girl Scouts try new and different programming, they experience challenges as well as what it takes to overcome them. With Girl Scout Cookie goals, for instance, even the littlest CEOs learn how to make a sales pitch, describe flavors and answer questions about cost—and that perseverance pays off with added confidence and understanding. Not to mention the satisfying feeling of earning that next badge!

4. She Will… Make Lifelong Friends

As adults, it’s second nature to network and build connections that enrich our social and professional lives. Girl Scouts helps build that foundation for our daughters—giving them a sense of belonging across age ranges, cultures, and interests. As they program a robot or zip-line through the treetops, they are also forming invaluable friendships. Whether she becomes an architect, athlete, or artist, she is also a Girl Scout, a sister among a true sisterhood she can lean on in life.

5. She Will… Help Her Community

With lots of options for troops to pursue, girls continue to express their identities as they experience the outdoors, dial in STEAM skills, or select service opportunities. As young girls practice leadership in the program, they also have pathways to extend collaborative and critical-thinking skills to their community. On a Girl Scout Journey at any grade level, she can team up with friends to identify a problem, think up a sustainable solution and put a plan into action to make a difference!

Choose Girl Scouts for your G.I.R.L. The skills she learns today will help write the story of who she will be: a Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader. Join, volunteer, or support at girlscoutsla.org/join.

— Jennifer Massoni Pardini

all photos courtesy of Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles