Photograph copyright Girl Scouts of the USA, all rights reserved
Almost 80 percent of female business owners, 70 percent of female legislators, and all female astronauts used to be Girl Scouts. That’s fairly compelling evidence that scouting teaches young women to dream big. Want more? Consider Morgan Coffey, a junior at Oglethorpe University.
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When Coffey was sixteen, the Dunwoody teen earned her Girl Scout Gold Award (equivalent to the boys’ Eagle Scout) by launching two programs for victims of domestic violence. She discovered that when these women enter hospitals or shelters, their clothing is often confiscated as evidence. That leaves them with nothing to wear when they depart. Coffey launched a project called “Change in a Bag” to provide complete outfits in plastic bags. She also produced brochures with contact information for various community resources. Those two programs grew into a full-scale nonprofit organization, Stronghold Atlanta, which has helped more than 10,000 women in the metro area. Skeptics told her she couldn’t change the world, Coffey said. Her reply? “Watch me.” strongholdatlanta.org
*ONLINE EXTRA FOR AN ARTICLE THAT RAN IN OUR JANUARY 2012 ISSUE