Girl Scouts Honored
by William Van Ornum, Ph.D. on
Two important areas in mental health are prevention and resiliency. Prevention includes all efforts to prevent a person from developing a mental-health problem. One of the most effective prevention programs has been Head Start—from the 1960s, these centers have been a path for positive adjustment for many young persons of disadvantaged backgrounds. Another prevention program is the AMHF grant to Astor Services—we are hoping and trying to learn how to prevent schizophrenia and other serious psychoses among at-risk teens.
Related to prevention is resiliency: the quality of bouncing back from stress, staying at a high level or even becoming stronger when facing adversity. In the past decade numerous books have been written on how to inspire the development of resilient children.
These scholarly based endeavors are laudatory. But are we missing the great efforts in prevention of mental health problems and resiliency-building in an organization so well known to everyone that it risks becoming a mere brand of favored cookies?
A new commemorative coin, authorized by Public Law 111-86, honors the centennial of the founding of the Girl Scouts by Juliette Gordon Low in Savannah, Georgia on March 12, 1912. Current CEO Anna Maria Chavez said, “The Girl Scouts is committed to girls’ leadership development and training and being the best leadership experience for girls. That will certainly continue to drive our work.” The unveiling of a commemorative coin, the USA Centennial Silver Dollar of 2013, was noted in the November 2012 issue of The Numismatist.
Marilyn Reback, in the article “Girl Scouts Centennial Dollar Designs Unveiled,” notes—
“In addition to the honor of the…silver dollar, says Chevez, ‘We declared 2012 as the Year of the Girl, and as part of that we launched [this website: To Get Her There,] which is designed to bring about balanced leadership across all sectors in a single generation by supporting girls and their leadership development. And we’ve had some wonderful celebrations around the country, including about 250,000 Girl Scouts in Washington, DC, this summer to “Rock the Mall.”‘
“Since heading up the organization, Chavez says she has learned the importance of supporting girls. ‘I have seen them do amazing things—from driving community programs, to inventing a prosthetic hand device that is getting a patent. These young women are one of our country’s most valuable resources. Yet as they grow up, many girls opt-out of leadership positions. According to a survey we commissioned GFK Roper to conduct, nearly three in five girls believe a women can rise up in a company, but only rarely will she be elevated to the top job. We can do better.'”
The coin, to be minted and released next year, shows three girls of different ages who also represent the diversity of the Girl Scouts. The inscription of COURAGE CONFIDENCE CHARACTER represents the mission of the Girl Scouts. About 350,000 of these proof and uncirculated coins will be minted in .900 silver. Surcharges will be paid to the Girl Scouts of America. The exact date of the release will be announced at the Mint Web site.”
About Girl Scouts of the USA
Who We Are
“Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) is the largest organization for girls in the world. Our mission is to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. Through activities in science and technology, business and economic literacy, and outdoor and environmental awareness, Girl Scouting provides girls with opportunities for fun and friendship while fostering the development of leadership skills and self-esteem.”
Founded by Juliette Gordon Low in Savannah, Georgia, Girl Scouts of the USA was chartered by the United States Congress on March 16, 1950. Today, there are 3.2 million Girl Scouts: 2.3 million girl members and 890,000 adult members working primarily as volunteers.
What We Do
“In Girl Scouts, girls develop their leadership potential through activities that enable them to discover their values, skills, and the world around them; connect with others in a multicultural environment; and take action to make a difference in the world.
“Headquartered in New York City, Girl Scouts has 112 chartered councils nationwide. These councils provide direct services to girls and the volunteers who work with them, and to the communities they serve. Girl Scouting is open to all girls from kindergarten through high school.”
AMHF congratulates the Girl Scouts for their centennial celebration, for the work they foster regarding mental health generally, for their work with those with special needs; and AMHF acknowledges the U.S. Mint for recognizing the work of this organization and this special event.
I hope the coins and celebration will remind everyone of the preventative work in mental health accomplished by the girls scouts this past century—and their success in creating resiliency in the young ladies whose lives have been graced by being a girl scout.