Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast received notice on August 16 that the organization will receive $50,000 from Alcoa Foundation to fund STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) activities for girls in southeastern Virginia. Leadership from Alcoa Foundation will present the check to Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast on September 10 during the Volunteer Kickoff.
Over the past three years, Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast has received funds from Alcoa Foundation that they have used to provide enriching STEM experiences to at-risk girls living in Hampton, Va. With this year’s increased funding, Girl Scouts will expand the success of that program throughout the region, intending to serve 400 girls in grades K-12 through “fun with a purpose” STEM programs. Activities are designed teach girls flexible and practical approaches to problem solving, as well as encourage them to develop critical thinking and teamwork skills. Funding will also allow Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast to connect girls with community partners who offer STEM opportunities, including Nauticus and Norfolk State University, and provide STEM learning kits for troops to use at meetings.
Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast will continue to use funding from Alcoa Foundation introduce girls in at-risk communities to STEM. The United States Census Bureau reports that 11.3 percent of the population in Virginia lives below the poverty line, and Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast serves several cities in Virginia where the number of individuals living below poverty line are much higher. According to Girl Scouting Works: The Alumnae Impact Study, girls who participate in Girl Scout programs, even for a brief period of time, report that the experience had a significant, positive impact on several key indicators, including sense of self, leadership, community involvement, commitment to social causes and civic engagement. Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast is dedicated to reaching out to girls in at-risk areas of the community to offer them supportive role models and leadership opportunities framed in the STEM programming provided through Alcoa Foundation funding.
Alcoa has a long history of supporting Girl Scouts, starting with a national partnership formed in 2012 to honor the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts. Alcoa gave a major gift to support Forever Green, an environmental initiative encouraging Girl Scouts to complete projects focused on waste reduction, energy conservation and rain gardens. Since then, a special Gold Award scholarship has been instituted and more funds to support special STEM program have been presented to councils.
In today’s world, where only about 25 percent of STEM careers are held by women, it is more important than ever to expose girls to a world of possibilities through STEM. In the comfortable, all-girl environment of Girl Scouts, girls are more likely to ask questions, try new things and take risks. With funding from Alcoa Foundation, Girl Scouts will be able to deliver STEM activities framed in the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, which allows girls to discover what they are capable of, connect with one another to work as part of a team and take action as resourceful problem solvers to make a difference in the world.
In addition to the funds from Alcoa Foundation, Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast is challenging donors and friends in the community to help match the $50,000 gift. To contribute, contact Stacy Nixon, philanthropy director for Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast, at email@example.com or 757-549-0641.
About Alcoa Foundation
Alcoa Foundation is one of the largest corporate foundations in the United States, with assets of approximately $480 million. Founded 64 years ago, Alcoa Foundation has invested more than $635 million since 1952. In 2015, Alcoa Foundation contributed more than $22 million to nonprofit organizations throughout the world, building innovative partnerships to improve the environment and educate tomorrow’s leaders for careers in manufacturing and engineering. The work of Alcoa Foundation is further enhanced by Alcoa’s thousands of employee volunteers who share their talents and time to make a difference in the communities where Alcoa operates. Through the company’s signature Month of Service program, in 2015, 47 percent of Alcoa employees took part in more than 1,000 events across 24 countries, benefitting more than 300,000 people and 400 nonprofit organizations. For more information, visit www.alcoafoundation.com or follow @AlcoaFoundation on Twitter.