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Girl Scouts Join Historic Partnership to Improve Educational Achievement for Hispanic Americans

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 9, 2003

CONTACT:
Ellen Christie
(212) 852-6570

Ursula Castrillon
(212) 852-8132

New York, N.Y.—Today, Girl Scouts of the USA announced its partnership with the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans and some of the nation's leading Hispanic organizations and corporate leaders. Partners in Hispanic Education is a historic alliance dedicated to improving education for Hispanics in the United States.

Joining Girl Scouts of the USA, other founding partners include the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC); USHCC Foundation; MANA, a national Latina organization; Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU); National Council for Community and Education Partnerships (NCCEP); State Farm Insurance Companies; IQ Solutions; League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC); Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR); United States Army; and the National Association of Hispanic Publications (NAHP).

"While Girl Scouts has historically reached out to Latino communities," says Jackie Barnes, Interim CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA, "this new partnership aligns us with other organizations that share the same vision so that we can empower even more Hispanic families to take leading roles in their children's education."

The goal of this effort is to equip families with educational resources afforded under the No Child Left Behind initiative in order to assist them in becoming stronger advocates for their children's education from early childhood to college completion. The partners will work with local communities to reinforce positive expectations that include educational excellence, academic attainment, parental involvement and awareness, academic preparation, mentorship, engagement of the business community, accountability, and enrollment in college.

"The partners realize that there is no more significant cause to champion than education," said Adam Chavarria, associate director of the White House Initiative. "The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, the most sweeping educational reform in more than three decades and the product of strong bipartisan support, provides the foundation and represents an unprecedented opportunity for all Hispanics—our nation's largest minority group—to attain a quality education."

To accomplish these goals, partnership participants have committed to host education programs in six pilot cities over the next several months. Each will involve a series of events including town hall meetings; educational workshops for parents, students, educators, and business and community leaders; and a seminar on student financial aid and scholarships.

A member of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans will present details of the collaboration at the Girl Scout Latina Conference on July 25, 2003, in Illinois. The first Partners in Hispanic Education event is scheduled for October 18, 2003, in San Diego, Calif. Additional pilot cities include Miami, Florida; El Paso, Texas; Las Cruces, New Mexico; Tucson, Ariz.; Detroit, Michigan; and the borough of the Bronx in New York City, New York.

About Girl Scouts of the USA

Girl Scouts of the USA is the preeminent organization for girls, and has more than 3.8 million girl and adult members. Now in its 91nd year, Girl Scouting cultivates values, social conscience, and self-esteem in girls, while teaching them critical life skills to later succeed as adults. In Girl Scouting's special girls-only environment, girls discover the fun, friendship, and power of girls together. The organization strives to serve girls from every corner of the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. To volunteer your time or make a donation, call 1 (800) GSUSA 4 U. Visit us at www.girlscouts.org.

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