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

May 14, 2014

Girl Scouts of Connecticut is hosting The State of Girls Speaker Series at Naugatuck Valley Community College in Waterbury on Wednesday, June 4, 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.” While overall, there is good news for girls, childhood obesity rates have risen sharply in recent years. 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 Community Room from 5:30 – 7 p.m. Kristen Jacoby, President and Chief Professional Officer of the United Way of Greater Waterbury, will act as emcee for the event and Paula Van Ness, President & CEO of Connecticut Community Foundation will act as panel moderator.

“I’m delighted to be a part of an evening that will engage the community and begin the conversation on how we can improve the state of girls in our area,” Jacoby said. “By sharing the information from this important research and learning more about the unique challenges girls face, together, we can ensure a positive, healthy future for all girls in the greater Waterbury area.”

Panelists confirmed include:

•    Doug Barile, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
•    Christine Barry, Project Engineer, The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company (Girl Scout Alumna)
•    Anne Marie Cullinan, Chief Academic Officer, Waterbury Public Schools
•    Rachel DiVenere, Public Health Educator, City of Waterbury
•    Calida N. Jones, Program Director, Bravo Waterbury!

“We are pleased to introduce our outstanding emcee and speakers for Naugatuck’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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