Copyright 2000 The Buffalo News
The Buffalo News
February 12, 2000, Saturday, FINAL EDITION
SECTION: LIFESTYLES, Pg. 7C
LENGTH: 742 words
GIRL SCOUTING GAVE THEM A BOOST, ACHIEVERS SAY
It's not just cookies and
camp fires. Leaders of Girl Scouts of the USA think they're harboring tomorrow's
corporate executives, government leaders and maybe even presidents.
They've got some numbers to support their suspicions.
Harris Poll of 1,339 American women, commissioned by Girl Scouts, 61 percent
said their scouting experience influenced their work, achievements and life
In related polling of 565 individuals identified as women
of professional achievement and 57 well-known and distinguished women, the
scouting experience rated even higher, with 82 percent saying it gave them a
jump start in acquiring self-confidence, leadership and organizational skills.
"While this study cannot predict whether women from the achievement
sample participated in the Girl Scouts as an outgrowth of already existing
leadership skills and personality, or, alternatively, that the Girl Scouts in
some way influenced the success of these women, it does establish a link between
the two," the poll report concludes.
There wasn't any of that ambiguity
in the testimonials of three of the women surveyed. CNN senior correspondent
Judy Woodruff, Essence Magazine editor-in-chief Susan Taylor and Linda
Chavez-Thompson, AFL-CIO vice president, said scouting gave them direction and
bolstered their self-esteem within a challenging and supportive environment.
In the larger, scientifically selected sample, more than 80 percent of
those who participated in scouting said it had a strong positive influence on
Women in the professional achievement group were involved
in scouting for longer periods than the women in the random sample, leading
report authors to speculate that "the longer girls spend in Girl Scouting, the
deeper and more favorable may be its effects in adulthood."
One of the
great challenges to scouting has been to retain membership into the middle and
high school years, when many girls drop out.
The poll is not entirely
self-serving. Girl Scouts USA says it shows that membership in any youth
organization, including Boys and Girls Clubs and Junior Achievement, is
important to adult success. With an 88-year history, Girls Scouts have just been
The YWCA's popular training program for budding
politicians is being expanded to include classes for community activists.
The Institute for Public Leadership, alma mater of most of Buffalo and
Erie County's female elected officeholders, is expanding its curriculum to
include an "I Speak Out" workshop through which women who are or want to become
agents for neighborhoods, organizations or causes can hone techniques or acquire
The two-day training session, April 28 and 29, includes
re-creating advocacy situations to teach participants how to influence
legislatures, government agencies and public opinion. Call Susan Clements at
Zero Population Growth, a national advocacy group that
supports worldwide family planning, didn't get much support from Western New
York last year. Its annual Congressional Report Card shows that three of this
area's four representatives consistently opposed family planning initiatives
supported by the organization.
Reps. John J. LaFalce, D-Town of
Tonawanda, Jack F. Quinn, R-Hamburg, and Thomas M. Reynolds, R-Clarence, voted
for bans on testing RU-486 and restrictions on abortions in military hospitals
overseas. They opposed contraceptive coverage in federal
employees' health plans and U.S. aid to family planning programs abroad. They
supported the gag rule that restricts international family planning groups from
disseminating information on abortion.
Rep. Amory R. Houghton,
R-Corning, supported the ZPG position in nine votes in the House and and New
York's senators, Democrats Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Charles E. Schumer, were
ZPG-correct on five votes in the Senate.
The Eighth Judicial District
Committee on Women and bar associations in the district will get a jump on next
month's celebration of women's history when they present the first Women in the
Law Awards at a luncheon Feb. 25 in Statler Golden Ballroom.
Women to be
honored are the late State Supreme Court Justice M. Dolores Denman, and State
Supreme Court Justices Jacqueline M. Koshian and Rose H. Sconiers. Other winners
are Charlotte Smallwood Cook, Mary Ann Saccomando Freedman, Marjorie L. Girth,
U.S. Attorney Denise E. O'Donnell, Lucinda Findlay and Constance Eve.
February 14, 2000