SAISD a national model for the 'new' Girl Scouts

SAISD a national model for the 'new' Girl Scouts

History was made when teens representing 10 District high schools took the iconic oath of one of the nation's oldest service organizations for girls.

But while the words including the promise "to help people at all times" may be the same as those spoken by the fledgling members in 1912, this isn't their great-grandmother's Girl Scouts. Or even their mother's.

For these young women have the privilege of pioneering an all-new breed of Girl Scouting that has been re-branded for a new generation as Gamma Sigma Girls.

The 261 SAISD inaugural inductees were welcomed into the organization during a Nov. 11 candlelight pinning ceremony reminiscent of a sorority.

As the national pilot, the District will serve as a model to gauge success of the new endeavor whose focus is on advocacy, college readiness, and community service.

"We are honored and very excited that SAISD has been chosen to pilot the Gamma Sigma Girls project," said Cora Johns, executive assistant to the superintendent.

"This is a very unique opportunity to engage our high school girls in high-quality experiences that will help shape and define them as leaders.

"This program will benefit our girls by exposing them to girl-led experiences that build courage, confidence and character, which results in strong girl leaders for today and tomorrow," Johns said.

Initiated through Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas, the program goes far beyond the group's traditional practice of completing tasks to earn badges.

Meetings will feature guest speakers, and members also will attend workshops and participate in other activities designed to bolster their self-esteem and decision-making skills.

“Our research shows that today’s girls aspire to positions of leadership and want to effect social change," said Anna Maria Chávez, CEO for Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas.

"Gamma Sigma Girls is the platform for teens to develop the confidence and skills to do so. It’s a modern twist on the core values and traditions of Girl Scouting."

Chávez also expressed appreciation to everyone at SAISD who made this opportunity possible.

Staff members from each of the 10 campuses oversee the program for their respective high schools as advisors.

Following a leadership path is a key component of Gamma Sigma Girls membership, of which they are four choices with themes including: how to create a perfect world for girls; global food and land issues; the power of advocacy; and exploring the issue of environmental justice through a global perspective.

In addition to the fresh focus, Gamma Sigma Girls is part of a Girl Scout campaign to attract more Hispanics into the organization.