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Never a dull moment.

New Haven community learns more about The State of Girls

May 28, 2014

Engaged members of the New Haven community attended the first State of Girls Speaker Series on Wednesday, May 21, at Gateway Community College.

The Speaker Series, hosted by Girl Scouts of Connecticut and generously sponsored by First Niagara Foundation, a not-for-profit charitable foundation funded by First Niagara Bank, focused on a groundbreaking report recently released by the Girl Scout Research Institute (GSRI) entitled “The State of Girls: Unfinished Business.” Those in attendance heard about the research and engaged in a conversation about challenges facing girls today and community solutions to support girls.

“This was the first of five events, but the first of many conversations regarding the state of girls,” said Mary Barneby, CEO, Girl Scouts of Connecticut. “It is our hope to engage as many members of the community as possible to alert them to the facts: girls today still need our help and support to help them thrive and succeed and build their courage, confidence, and character. Girl Scouts is one solution but we need the collective community to join together to ensure a happy, healthy future for our girls.”

Emcee Anne Worcester, Chief Marketing Officer, Market New Haven and Tournament Director, New Haven Open at Yale, facilitated the conversation. Panelists included:

•    Sharon Cappetta, Director of Development, The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven
•    Hadar Lubin, MD, Co-Director, Post Traumatic Stress Center, New Haven
•    Kia Levey, MSW, Project Director, The New Haven MOMS Partnership
•    Tori Sheldon, Girl Scout alumna from Wallingford

Each panelist provided a unique perspective about the state of girls. Topics included emotional health, leadership, and ensuring girls utilize their voice.

“It was so important to me to be able to lead the conversation, but to not to be interrupted [and] to be listened to,” said Tori, speaking about her experiences as a teen. “Because that’s not something I think girls necessarily experience all the time, being listened to and not being interrupted or talked over. It’s important I think for teen girls as they flower into their independence to be able to lead the conversation.”

“If there is something that we as women can really do better, it’s to mentor other women,” Dr. Lubin said. “Women need to be good comrades [and]…build camaraderie of womanhood in a way that is not very competitive.”

The next Speaker Series panel discussion will be held at Goodwin College in East Hartford on Thursday, May 29, with one following the next week at Naugatuck Valley Community College on Wednesday, June 4.

“First Niagara is proud to support Girl Scouts of Connecticut and their mission to promote education, confidence, and character in young women,” said Jeanneen Griffin, First Niagara New England Commercial Real Estate Team Leader. “The State of Girls Speaker Series offers a tremendous opportunity to have meaningful conversations about the challenges young women face in modern society.”

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