Girl Scouts from the Roanoke Valley and girls throughout Girl Scouts- North Carolina Coastal Pines are showcasing how girls lead.

Founded in 1912, Girl Scouts of the USA is the preeminent leadership development organization for girls with 3.6 million girl and adult members worldwide. As it approaches its 100th anniversary, Girl Scouting is the leading authority on girls’ healthy development, and builds girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place.

Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines, which serves Halifax and Northampton counties, boasts a membership of more than 32,000 girl members and over 9,000 adult volunteers, and covers 41 counties in eastern and central North Carolina.

Girl Scouts reaches out to all girls – kindergarten through high school – from every background. During its 2008-2009 program year, Girl Scouts served a total of 634 girls in Halifax and Northampton counties, 472 of whom are racially/ethnically diverse. Of the total membership, fully 62% were girls from under-resourced backgrounds and underserved communities whose family circumstances presented barriers to their participation.

“Girl Scouts is profoundly grateful for funds from Roanoke Valley United Way,” said Grazia Mostella, membership executive for the area. “These funds are used to help continue and expand traditional Girl Scout troops in Halifax and Northampton counties, as well as to continue and expand outreach to the girls who need the Girl Scout program most – girls in Halifax and Northampton counties who are most at risk for a host of negative consequences: educational failure, substance abuse, lack of physical exercise and healthy eating habits, and youth violence, to name just a few.”

Youth from every walk of life often engage in non-productive and even risky behaviors during non-school hours. Girl Scouting fills that void in a girl’s day and meet the tremendous need of parents for safe, affordable, enriching and fun opportunities for youth who would otherwise be home alone and unattended after school, on teacher work days and during holidays and summer months – times when youth are most vulnerable.

“Never in our almost 100 years has Girl Scouts’ Mission been more important,” said Girl Scout board member Lucy Austin. “Courage, Confidence. Character. Service. These are values that transform girls lives. Though our country has entered a period of uncertainty, Girl Scouts faces these challenging times with a strong and clear vision, and a commitment to every girl, everywhere.”

Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines is a Roanoke Valley United Way, Inc. Agency. For more information on membership or volunteer opportunities, call 919-782-3021.