Post originally published by Girl Scouts of the USA
They say you can’t be what you can’t see. And Girl Scouts around the country are watching with eyes wide open as the newest slate of elected officials transcend barriers for women in office. Girls have plenty of examples to look up to: at least 122* women representatives and delegates will serve in the 117th Congress—the most ever! And 55% of them are Girl Scout alums.
“As a Girl Scout, when I see other women that have been in Girl Scouts, I feel like I have representation. I also feel confident because I know that they will live by the Girl Scout Law, which outlines principles that everyone can strive to live by such as being responsible for what I say and do, and respecting myself and others.”
—Girl Scout Cadette Lily, Nebraska
“I feel proud that we have women who can change the world! It’s important for people to know that girls can do the same things that boys can!”
—Girl Scout Brownie Mara, Florida
“Observing the passion and persistence of our congresswomen inspires me to continue my work to change the law locally and make Alabama a ‘hands-free’ state. All the Girl Scout alums holding public office show that working on service projects at the local level sets Girl Scouts on a path to accomplishing greater things!”
—Girl Scout Ambassador Alex, Alabama
Among notable, history-making firsts in the 2020 election, Kamala Harris becomes the first woman to hold the office of Vice President of the United States, as well as the first Black and South Asian American to hold the office.
“I am happy and excited to see the first woman vice president because it changes history. It makes me glad to look up to black women leaders and lets me know that my skin color doesn’t stop me from changing the world.”
—Girl Scout Brownie Emarie, Florida
“Being someone who is South Asian and seeing Kamala Harris as the first woman with a South Asian background to enter the office is really meaningful. Kamala is someone who has great influence towards making meaningful change, and I really look up to her. It shows all of us how important it is for girls to get involved in their community—and of course, a great way to become more involved with the community is through the Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards! When we see all of these girls making changes in their individual communities, it adds up to great change happening all over the world, leading to the greater good.”
—Girl Scout Ambassador Roshni, Texas
“It is appalling that after 45 vice presidents, only in 2021 has a woman been elected to the executive office of the United States government. I see great things for women in the future; women aren’t going backwards, they are going forwards.”
—Girl Scout Cadette Sylvie, New York
And it doesn’t end there! A record number of 18 Republican women were newly elected to the U.S. House, nearly 40% of whom are Girl Scout alums. And a record number of 52 women of color will serve in the 117th Congress and—no surprise—almost half of them are Girl Scout alums.
With so many trailblazing women as examples, Girl Scouts can see that they, too, belong in the room where decisions are made.
“Girl Scouts is all about empowering young women and girls, and it’s nice to have that continued outside of Girl Scouts. It’s important for girls to know that they are able to hold positions of power and have women in power that they can look up to. It’s also especially important that our government has many different types of people with various identities within it since the government is supposed to represent the people it serves. There are many different types of people in our population, so our government should have plenty of diversity to represent everyone.”
—Girl Scout Ambassador Justine, Michigan
“I feel very excited with the inauguration of Vice President Kamala Harris, as well as the record number of women entering national public office this year!! It encourages all girls that hard work and confidence in ourselves make it possible to achieve our dreams. To space and beyond!”
—Girl Scout Cadette Sienna, New York
Feeling inspired? Girls can start flexing their leadership muscles and discover how they can make a difference right now. From January 21 to February 4, 2021, troops can download—for free!—the booklets and requirements to earn their Democracy badges. They’ll learn how local, state, and federal government works, how laws are created, how they can connect with their own government officials—and how they can be the change they want to see.
From city halls to the halls of Congress, tomorrow’s leaders are today’s Girl Scouts!
*One Congressional race in which a woman is running (NY-22) has still not been called.