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Ability Awareness

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Success Story: Include All Girls Initiative

  • A girl demonstrates her Braille machine to fellow Brownies
  • A Girl Scout Troop hikes with a girl in a wheelchair being helped by her troop members and adaptive equipment
  • Two Girl Scouts, one in a wheelchair, hug on the National Mall during a Girl Scout Sing Along
  • A group of diverse Girl Scouts are gathered in front of the U.S. Capitol Building
  • A photo of diverse girls placing their hands on an Include poster.
  • A photo of a Girl Scout with a disability petting a turtle

Organization: Girl Scouts of the USA
Grants: $416,250
Years: 2002-2013

As part of its National Inclusion Initiative, the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation (MEAF) has given $416,250 in National Grants since 2002 to the Girl Scouts of the USA,and selected Girl Scout councils. MEAF has supported various projects with the Girl Scouts over the years with the aim of ensuring that girls with disabilities have an opportunity to fully participate in Girl Scouting. These projects help all girls develop their leadership skills, empowering them to grow into women with "courage, confidence and character" so that they are better prepared to live productive lives.

Project Results

In 2002, MEAF began supporting Girl Scouts with a grant to the Girl Scout Council of the Nations Capital and its Starfish Troops program to bring Girl Scouting to girls with chronic illnesses and disabilities in children's hospitals. The project was later replicated by the Girl Scout Council of Orange County in California under a MEAF grant.

In 2004, MEAF provided a grant to Wilderness Inquiry--a Minnesota-based adventure leadership program--to implement the Beyond Special Populations project to teach Girl Scout and Boy Scout leaders to learn how to fully include youth with disabilities in outdoor settings. Beginning with the Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys, the program expand nationally to three additional councils with Wilderness Inquiry providing outdoor adventure experiences to more than 1,000 youth and providing training to more than 1,200 adult leaders on inclusive practices.Girl Scout Council of the Nation's Capital

In 2008, MEAF provided grants to the Girl Scouts of the USA and Girl Scout Council of the Nation's Capital building on the work of Beyond Special Populations to develop the Include all Girls Initiative. The project collected promising practices on inclusion from eight councils disseminating more than one million copies of these practices to every Girl Scout Councils nationwide. Thus far, the project directly served more than 100,000 girls with and without disabilities, and trained 10,000 Girl Scout leaders.

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