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March 14, 2014

Girl Scouts of Connecticut is hosting The State of Girls Speaker Series throughout the state in the months of May, June, September, and October, featuring moderated conversations among local experts on the state of girls today.

The Speaker Series, generously sponsored by First Niagara Foundation, a not-for-profit charitable foundation funded by First Niagara Bank, will focus on a groundbreaking report recently released by the Girl Scout Research Institute (GSRI) entitled “The State of Girls: Unfinished Business.” Girl Scouts of the USA is the first to compile information on the well-being of girls in the United States on a number of key indicators, including health, education, and leadership.

There is promising news for girls around educational attainment, extracurricular activities, and risk behaviors. However, there is still unfinished business – many girls are still falling behind. Black/African American girls, Hispanic/Latina girls, and girls of low-socio-economic status face significant challenges in making successful transitions to adulthood. In addition, girls everywhere are struggling with their emotional health, with 34% of high school girls self-reporting symptoms of depression. The Speaker Series will discuss this research and community solutions that can be implemented to help move the needle and finish the job for girls’ empowerment everywhere. There will be five events scheduled in the state and all will be held from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.:

May 21, 2014 – Gateway Community College, New Haven
Emcee: Anne Worcester, Chief Marketing Officer, Market New Haven

May 29, 2014 – Goodwin College, East Hartford
Emcee: WFSB-3 Anchor Kara Sundlun

June 4, 2014 – Naugatuck Valley Community College, Naugatuck
Emcee – Kristen Jacoby, President/Chief Professional Officer, United Way of Greater Waterbury

September 10, 2014 – Fairfield University, Fairfield
Emcee – Teresa C. Younger, Executive Director of the state’s Permanent Commission on the Status of Women

October 1, 2014 – Eastern Connecticut State University, Windham
Emcee – Chion Wolf, Producer/Announcer, WNPR

“These events are the first of its kind for Girl Scouts of Connecticut,” said Mary Barneby, CEO, Girl Scouts of Connecticut. “As Girl Scouts of Connecticut is the state’s largest girl-empowerment organization in the state and an expert on girls, we are uniquely positioned to lead this conversation and continue to move girls forward. We are grateful for the generosity of First Niagara, as with their help, we are able to reach out to many communities across the state. We have made many strides, but have much further to go. Girl Scouts is a solution to offer all girls a safe place to grow as a person and as a leader – because when girls succeed, so does society.”

“The life skills, confidence and sense of community that I gained from my participation in Girl Scouts cannot be overstated, and that is why I am so pleased to announce First Niagara’s support for the State of Girls Speaker Series,” said Marlene Piche, New England Retail Banking Director for First Niagara. “These events will draw attention to the the myriad of challenges facing young girls today, and will reinforce the continued need for organizations like Girl Scouts of Connecticut, that engage and empower young women in our state.”

For more information about The State of Girls Speaker Series, visit the event webpage.  

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About First Niagara Foundation

First Niagara Foundation is the not-for-profit charitable foundation, funded by First Niagara Financial Group, a multi-state community-oriented bank with approximately 420 branches, $38 billion in assets, $27 billion in deposits, a


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