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Girl Scouts of Connecticut to host The State of Girls Speaker Series in East Hartford

May 12, 2014

Girl Scouts of Connecticut is hosting The State of Girls Speaker Series at Goodwin College in East Hartford on Thursday, May 29, 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 entitled “The State of Girls: Unfinished Business.” While overall, there is good news for girls, many girls want more formal opportunities to be leaders. 53% of black/African American girls and 50% of Hispanic/Latina girls want to be leaders, compared to 39% of all girls. A panel of experts will discuss this research as well as community solutions that can be implemented to help move the needle and finish the job for girls’ empowerment everywhere.

The event will be held at the college’s auditorium at 211 Riverside Drive in East Hartford from 5:30 – 7 p.m. Kara Sundlun, News Anchor and Co-Host of Better Connecticut on WFSB Channel 3, will act as emcee for the event.

“I am thrilled to be a part of this important conversation about the state of our girls,” said Sundlun. “As a mother of a little girl, I’m excited to gather to begin building a roadmap for the future of all girls, so we can help them grow up with tools to become the vibrant women with vision that they are meant to be.”

Panelists include:

•    Dr. Bridget Cooper, President, Pieces In Place Consulting
•    Nina Livingston, MD, Medical Director, Hartford Regional Child Abuse Services
•    Thea Montanez, Founder and Managing Director, Montanez Consulting, LLC
•    Janet Bailey Faude, Board Chair, Aurora Women and Girls Foundation
•    Hannah Paquette, Girl Scout Ambassador, town of Marlborough

“We are pleased to introduce our outstanding emcee and speakers for East Hartford’s Speaker Series panel discussion,” said Mary Barneby, CEO, Girl Scouts of Connecticut. “These experts will present compelling information about the state of girls today, and how everyone can be a part of our mission – to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.”

The public is welcome to attend, but must register in advance. For more information about The State of Girls Speaker Series, to submit questions for panelists, or to register, visit the event webpage

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, and approximately 5,800 employees providing financial services to individuals, families and businesses across New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Massachusetts. Founded in 1998, First Niagara Foundation is committed to supporting organizations in the communities in which we live and work with specific focus on youth and education, community development and neighborhood revitalization. In 2013 the Foundation contributed more than $9.0 million in charitable grants to community partners. For more information, visit

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