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Simon: Opportunities for girls begin within community 

Lt. Governor urges community leaders to strengthen supports for young girls

PEORIA – September 26, 2012. Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts, Lt. Governor Sheila Simon called on individuals and organizations to strengthen opportunities for women and young girls through community activism and networking.

“We can all see a tremendous change from the world of our mothers to the world of our daughters,” Simon said. “It’s our responsibility to build toward a future where the capacity for young women and girls is limitless.”

Since its inception in 1912, the Girls Scouts have worked to instill within young girls the courage and passion to achieve their dreams. To mark its 100th anniversary, the Girl Scouts have designated 2012 the “Year of the Girl,” a campaign to empower girls to reach their full potential.

Because there are only three sitting female U.S. Supreme Court justices, just 20 female CEOs of Fortune 500 companies and federal fair pay legislation did not pass until 2009, Simon said more work needs to be done to increase the number of opportunities for women to lead and succeed.

“Today more than ever, women are the driving force in communities, businesses, global industry and government. They are presidents, CEOs, governors and partners – and most of them are also wives, mothers and community advocates,” said Pam Kovacevich, Girl Scouts of Central Illinois CEO. “Through this event, we are asking the community to take an active role in helping young girls reach their fullest potentials.”

The Girl Scouts' mission -- to build girls of courage, confidence, and character -- is being fulfilled by more than 20,000 girls throughout central Illinois and an additional 5,000 adults serving as volunteers. An estimated 59 million American women have been involved with Girl Scouts at some point in their childhood.

The Girl Scouts were founded by Juliette Gordon Low in 1912 and have grown from 18 members in Savannah, Georgia to more than 3.4 million members across the globe.