|Juliette Gordon Low|
President Barack Obama recently named 13 recipients of the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
The medal is given to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors, according to a White House statement.
Among the recipients, the founder of Girl Scouts, Juliette Gordon Low, is being posthumously honored.
Juliette Gordon Low was a visionary, whose legacy lives on in the 59 million American women who have participated in Girl Scouting at some point in their lives. She believed that all girls, regardless of culture, class, ethnic background, or economic status, should be given the opportunity to develop physically, mentally, and spiritually, and in founding Girl Scouts in 1912, she made an indelible and enduring contribution to the lives of girls and to our nation. It is fitting that during Girl Scouts’ 100th anniversary year, Juliette should be honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
As they were in Juliette’s day, today’s girls are eager to lead. In Girl Scouts, we see evidence of this in myriad wonderful ways every day. But girls aren’t crossing the divide to lead as women. They aren’t leading when society needs them most. This is not acceptable.
It’s especially unacceptable in times like these. Today, three out of four Americans think our country is on the wrong track. Just 10 percent think our economy is getting better. Half of our country believes our best days are behind us.
Right now, America needs an organization that people trust to understand girls and to appreciate how girls lead. It needs a group that can advocate for girls. An organization with a track record of helping girls reach their potential and ascend to leadership. America needs Girl Scouts.
The Girl Scout organization is committed to taking on the challenge of bringing women to leadership. And we need to make others aware of the leadership crisis our world faces. We need to challenge everyone to promote a gender balance in their workplaces, and in the organizations they touch. When people talk about diversity and inclusion, we need them to talk about gender, too.
We need to share, with everyone, the great leadership examples we see every day in Girl Scouts—from our littlest leaders, our Girl Scout Daisies, to our Girl Scout Gold Award recipients in high school.
One hundred years ago, Juliette Gordon Low founded Girls Scouts with a goal to enable girls to do things they had never done before. We carry on her legacy of leadership and ask you to join us.