Girl Scouts of the USA has announced a national fundraising initiative in support of a new program aimed at closing the gender gap in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Building on its earlier efforts, GSUSA hopes to raise $70 million to meet the Girl Scout STEM Pledge, with the goal of engaging 2.5 million girls in its STEM programs by 2025. To that end, the organization earlier this year launched twenty-three new STEM and outdoor badges and over the next two years plans to launch eighteen cybersecurity badges and a series of space science badges, all with the aim of encouraging girls' interest from an early age in STEM subjects and environmental conservation.
The initiative was announced at the annual Salesforce conference in San Francisco, where GSUSA also was revealed as the company's trailblazing "nonprofit of choice" for its efforts in STEM education and to transform the lives of girls across the country. According to GSUSA, Girl Scouts are almost twice as likely as non-Girl Scouts to participate in STEM activities (60 percent vs. 35 percent), while 77 percent of girls credit the organization for their interest in a tech-related career.
"Girl Scouts has the largest pipeline of future female leaders available, and no place is this more important than in STEM fields," said GSUSA chief executive Sylvia Acevedo. "By working with individuals and companies that understand the importance of investing in all girls, we can fundamentally change the STEM pipeline and the future of its workforce. Girl Scouts is the only organization for girls with the expertise and reach to help pave the way for any young girl — no matter if she lives in Middle America or a major city — to break barriers and achieve any dream she may imagine. For millions of girls, this means excelling in STEM — and I'm incredibly proud that the Girl Scout STEM Pledge will make that dream a reality and change the dynamics of women in these exciting fields."