Foundation Gives Girl Scouts $300,000 For Leadership Training Program

STATE – Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey (GSHNJ) announced this week that it has received a $300,000  grant from the Alcatel-Lucent Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Alcatel-Lucent, to enable some 800 girls in underserved communities in Warren, Hunterdon, Somerset, Middlesex, Hudson and Essex counties to participate in the Girl Scouts comprehensive leadership training program, LEAD ON!.    This is the largest grant ever received by GSHNJ or its predecessor councils.

“Alcatel-Lucent and Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey share a strong dedication to developing leadership skills in girls in our communities.  We see value in the continuity of strengthening these skills as a young girl transitions into young womanhood.  Girls ages 16-17, in particular, have potential as positive role models for younger girls and can be instrumental in strengthening their social networks.  Our organizations both strive to help girls develop self-confidence and leadership, to help them build on their own unique skills and talents, and empower them to explore meaningful possibilities for their future; we both desire to provide underserved girls the opportunity for fun and friendship, while fostering the development of leadership skills and self-esteem that will serve them throughout their lives,” says Susan M. Brooks, CEO Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey.

“A focus area for the Alcatel-Lucent Foundation is education and leadership development for young women, and the Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey’s program to help young women to develop self-confidence and leadership, while having fun with their friends is one that we enthusiastically support,” said Beatrice Tassot, Executive Director of the Alcatel-Lucent Foundation.  “Giving young women the confidence and skills necessary to develop a strong sense of self will be something they give back as leaders and role models for the younger girls and their communities in general.”

The partnership between GSHNJ and Alcatel-Lucent, which employees 4,000 people throughout New Jersey, has two components.  The first component involves GSHNJ staff hiring up to 60 9th – 12th grade age girls to facilitate the LEAD ON! program to younger girls in public schools.  Alcatel-Lucent staff would also have the opportunity to work with the girls on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis, by attending and guiding meetings.

The final component of the LEAD ON! program will be a leadership conference held in conjunction with  Alcatel-Lucent.   “Peers are often the most impactful role models good or bad.  By developing self confidence and leadership skills based on GSHNJ’s successful Peer Leader Program that began back in 2001, Alcatel-Lucent is doing its part to help ensure that the future role models of tomorrow are well prepared to lead,” Tassot added.

Susan M. Brooks, CEO, Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey, Christopher J. Daggett, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Bea Tassot, Executive Director, Alcatel-Lucent Foundation, Alice White, Vice President, Bell Labs North America, Tiffany Wilson, Board Chair, Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey

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