Posted on Mar 12, 2018
Girls Scouts is the premier leadership organization for girls with over 100 years of service.  “In today's world, the need for and cultivation of female leadership is stronger and more relevant than it's ever been. And it all starts with Girl Scouts,” states Marla Meyer, CEO, Girl Scouts - Dakota Horizons.  The organization is committed to building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place.  
Girl Scouts - Dakota Horizons is a non-profit organization that serves more than 12,000 members (9,000 girl scouts and 3,000 volunteers) in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa. Girl Scouts - Dakota Horizons Council area includes cities, towns, and communities covering more than 164,000 square miles and includes girls on 13 Native American Reservations and 3 Air Force Bases.  In addition, the Girl Scouts of the Dakota Horizons Council sell over $5 million dollars worth of Girl Scout cookies each year.  The organization is a 501c(3) chartered by Girl Scouts USA.
Today's Program Highlights
Girl Scouts prepares every girl for a lifetime of leadership. Everything a Girl Scout does centers around STEM, the outdoors, development of life skills, and entrepreneurship, and is designed to meet her where she is now and to grow along with her from age 5 to 18 and into adulthood.
Girl Scouts are more likely than non-Girl Scouts to:
Have a strong sense of self (80% vs. 68%)
Have positive values (75% vs. 59%)
Seek challenges and learn from setbacks (62% vs. 42%)
Develop and maintain healthy relationships (60% vs. 43%)
Exhibit community problem-solving skills (57% vs. 28%).
Girl Scouts stand out significantly from non–Girl Scouts. Girl Scouts are more likely to:
Exhibit strong leadership outcomes
Earn “excellent” grades
Expect to graduate high school and college
Aspire to STEM, business, and law careers
Feel hopeful about their future
Girl Scouts provides the differentiating factors that benefit girls. Girls Scouts are more likely than non–Girl Scouts to participate in a variety of fun and challenging activities, like those involving the outdoors, STEM, and civic engagement; engage in active learning by doing activities that are hands-on, collaborative, and girl-led; and have adults in their lives who help them think about their future and pursue their goals. 
Furthermore, Ms. Meyer discussed while it is common for a girl’s sense of self to decline in middle school, Girl Scouts exhibit a slight lift in theirs during this time. During middle school, non-Girl Scouts experience a dramatic drop in interest and involvement in their communities, whereas Girl Scouts’ desire to solve problems in their communities increases.
In November 2017, GSUSA announced a pledge to bring 2.5 million girls into the STEM pipeline by 2025.  For the first time, millions of Girl Scouts nationwide are taking on hacking and cybercrime as they work towards earning newly introduced cybersecurity badges.  Women are vastly underrepresented in cybersecurity, holding only 11 percent of jobs globally, according to the 2017 Global Information Security Workforce Study: Women in Cybersecurity.
The Girl Scout Gold Award is the most prestigious award in the world for girls.  It is the most difficult to earn, and it’s only available to Girl Scouts.  Gold Award Girl Scouts are eligible for 40+ different college scholarships, feel they have had success in life (95% vs. 82%), think of themselves as a leader (81% vs. 50%), have more leadership experience in volunteer activities, school, the community and politics, and enter the armed services at one rank higher than other recruits.
Ms. Meyer holds an MBA in Marketing from the Craig School of Business, California State University, and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marketing and Management from Minnesota State University, but her biggest accomplishment is being a mom to twins, Max and Madi.
Program for March 19, 2018
Steve VanBurskirk, VanBuskirk Companies