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Girl Scouts of Connecticut Teams up With Merrill Lynch to Help Local Girl Scouts Gain Confidence – and a New Patch – in Financial Matters

April 18, 2014

 Merrill Lynch advisors and girls
To see more photos from the event, visit our Facebook Page.
Girl Scouts of Connecticut teamed up yesterday with Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, part of Bank of America, to mentor a group of Girl Scouts from Southern Connecticut and Scarsdale, N.Y. in a financial empowerment workshop, and to help the girls complete requirements for financial literacy badges. Merrill Lynch advisors and managers volunteered their time to help the 18 participating Girl Scouts receive the new Merrill Lynch-branded “Money Matter$” patch. The new workshop and patch were the result of both organizations’ commitment to helping individuals build better money habits early for future success. 

Leading the workshop was Linda Houston, managing director, New England market executive for Merrill Lynch, who will be the honoree at Girl Scouts of Connecticut’s 2014 Woman of Merit dinner this June. The Woman of Merit award recognizes leaders who demonstrate the Girl Scout values of leadership, personal achievement and service to the community.

“The workshop and patch align with our company’s commitment to promoting better money habits for people of all ages, from all walks of life,” said Houston. “In addition, by working with these girls we can help them understand that women can – and do – succeed in the financial services industry.”

During the workshop, which took place at Merrill Lynch’s Stamford office, Houston and her colleagues taught the girls lessons in buying power and establishing good credit. Similar lessons and more can be found on, a website launched last year through a partnership between Bank of America and Khan Academy to deliver free and unbiased financial know-how to anyone, anywhere. The site connects individuals to the tools they need to make good financial decisions, covering topics from “Strategies for paying down your debt” to “Building credit and keeping yours healthy” to “How does a mortgage work?”

For Girl Scouts of Connecticut, the organization has been moving beyond teaching girls about fundraising to broader financial literacy. Last year Girl Scouts Research Institute conducted a study, titled Having it All: Girls and Financial Literacy, to better understand girls’ financial literacy and their confidence about, attitudes towards and experiences with money. The study found that the vast majority of girls (94 percent) would rather make their own money than rely on their parents, and 80 percent would rather make their own money than marry someone who would support them financially. However, only half (51 percent) of girls feel confident making financial decisions, with far fewer (12 percent) considering themselves very confident.

“While most girls expect to be independent and financially empowered, there are still important gaps in their financial knowledge, and they need and want financial literacy skills to help them achieve their dreams,” said Mary Barneby, CEO, Girl Scouts of Connecticut. “We’re thankful for the women at Merrill Lynch, who helped our girls gain important financial skills and acted as strong role models.”

The 18 Girl Scouts attended the workshop are from Stamford, Greenwich, Stratford and Milford and also from Scarsdale, N.Y.

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