This week, we’re continuing on with our celebration of Black History Month by once again shining a spotlight on the fantastic work of Black Girl Scouts, volunteers, and staff. This week, take time to meet Girl Scout troop 65708 from Matteson, IL, co-lead by Jeneya Hampton and Bria Hudson, a troop dedicated to “making true-blue friends, saving the planet, standing up against stereotypes, and using their team power for the greater good.” Read on to learn more about their outstanding community service and sisterhood!
Troop leader Jeneya Hampton has been an awesome representative of our council before, featured on our blog over the summer where she gave advice on how to continue troop meetings through the pandemic. As part of their work as volunteers for the council, leaders Jeneya and Bria have taken extra effort to be visible in the community. “Girl Scouting is especially important for African American girls,” Jeneya expressed. Now, with five years under her belt, Jeneya has seen the girls blossom into young leaders, and looks at them as part of her extended family.
This troop has remained as active as ever, even through the difficult circumstances of the last year. “We’ve made bags for kids in foster care, donated our extra cookies to frontline healthcare workers, and we’re also learning sign language,” listed Girl Scout Zoe on some of initiatives in the past year.
The girls also have plans to make menstruation kits to donate to local organizations, shelters, and schools. “I don’t think there’s any project that these girls haven’t been up for the challenge,” Jeneya added.
The Girl Scouts spoke on the subject of the importance of community service:
“I love being able to give back and it gives me a chance to reach out to my community members,” Morgan explained.
“I like being able to do community service because we can help people who don’t have the things they need,” Justise continued.
Giesel agreed, adding, “It helps you feel better to know you’ve done something to make others feel better.”
“[Girl Scouts] means a lot to me,” troop leader Bria shared, “because I was in Girl Scouts myself. It provides the girls opportunities to really become themselves, and learn how strong and powerful women are. It is definitely good to see brown and Black girls so involved and doing great things within our communities.”
Morgan added, “I feel that the commitment is rewarding. I’ve been a Girl Scout since I was a Daisy, and just to say that I’ve been a Girl Scout for that long and be able to help people honestly feels really good.”
Zoe continued: “I’ve made some of my strongest relationships in Girl Scouts. It’s really fun, but it’s also important because we also do things to give back and actually change the world in the future.”
“I like being in Girl Scouts because I get to just be myself, make new friends, and learn new things in a fun way,” Giesel responded.
“I like helping people in different ways, and participating in different activities, getting to interact with each other,” Kayla agreed.
Jeneya affirms that Black history should not be celebrated just one month out of the year: “We celebrate Black history all year round, 365 days a year,” Jeneya said. “We sprinkle Black girl magic in everything we do.”
We sincerely thank Troop 65708 for sharing their stories with us!
Black Girl Magic
From taking civic action for social change to expanding access to clean air and water, to championing STEM education for marginalized populations, to addressing food insecurity, there’s no limit to what Girl Scouts can do—because they show us just that.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
We are asking for all Girl Scouts—girls, volunteers, alums, supporters, families, staff, and our suppliers and service providers—to commit to taking action to make the world a more equitable place. We have a lot of work to do—join us. You can start by signing the Girl Scout Anti-Racism Pledge.
Join the 21 Week Equity Challenge!
United Way of Grundy County and Will County are proud to join United Way of Illinois, and other local United Ways across the state to embark on the “21 Week Equity Challenge” and invites everyone to take this learning challenge.
This free, online learning program will provide lessons and resources for Illinoisans to learn about racial issues and systemic inequalities, together. The “21 Week Equity Challenge” encourages individuals, families, friends, and co-workers to have racial equity conversations to gain a deeper understanding of the impact systemic racism and inequality have on our state and in our local communities.