Silver Award Project Turns into Annual Empowerment Symposium with Help from Toyota Financial Services

IMG_0066.JPGThis spring, six G.I.R.L.s from Troop 476 in Jessup launched an Empowerment Symposium with the goal of providing a forum for middle and high school girls in their community to speak with top female professionals.

According to their troop leader, Kelly R: “The symposium is a result of the girls’ research and planning to find a need in the community and how they can help address it. They realized that girls their age struggle with many issues including lack of self-confidence and confusion as to what route they should take for their future careers. They felt like the symposium would be an excellent way to bring people in the community together.” The girls successfully achieved their Silver Award for their planning and implementation of this 2018 symposium.

After a successful event, their Girl Scouts of Central Maryland (GSCM) membership specialist asked the troop to consider submitting a proposal to GSCM for possible funding to repeat this project later in the year.  With hopes of making it an annual conference, the troop worked with staff members from GSCM to apply for a grant that has been made available from GSUSA and Toyota Financial Services.

In their proposal they wrote:

“Our plan is to annually host an empowerment symposium in the Meade Middle/High School district. This school zone is home to four Title 1 schools, all of which feed into Meade High School. One of the goals is to provide resources for the young ladies in this underserved community that will empower them to financially be prepared for college. In addition, we would provide leaders who can teach the girls how to budget their money, how to save, how to spend their money wisely and possibly even steer them in careers where they can help the community that they live in.”

After a bit of deliberation, it was decided that the troop would receive $1,300 to fund transportation so that girls from all over the area could attend their next event, which will be held in August. Watch this video to see the moment they heard that they’d been given their award.

Read more about their inaugural event here.

Your troop can apply for a TFS grant too! Look over the following criteria and contact for more information and to apply! The deadline to apply is July 31, 2018.  All projects must be completed by December 1, 2018.

What are the criteria for a project to be funded? Each project must (a) have strong financial empowerment and economic impact components for underserved* communities or (b) contain a thorough budget that clearly details how the money will be used to support the community and that incorporates fundraising tactics and strategies for underserved communities.

Which projects qualify for this grant? The Girl Scout Bronze Award, Silver Award, and Gold Award may qualify for the grant if their focus is financial empowerment for underserved communities. Take Action projects completed individually or by a group qualify for funding as long as they fall in line with the above criteria.

If a Financial Empowerment Take Action project is being completed, but not to meet the requirements for one of these metal awards, girls may work individually or as a troop or group.

* Toyota defines “underserved” as those attending Title I schools, those that have a high percentage of free school lunch programs, and/or those with low family income or resources.


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