Girl Scouts and MetLife Foundation Help Girls Prepare For College


February 17, 2005

Marion F. Swan
Girl Scouts of the USA
(212) 852-8012

New York, NY—For many American girls, going to college is a dream that will never be fulfilled. To these young women, the college preparation process is a journey into the unknown—where and how to start is a complete mystery. College education is seen as available to "others", but not to them.

This fall, Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) will provide help through the MetLife Foundation College Pathways program. The goal of this program is to inspire girls ages 11 to 17 to prepare for college by acquiring new life skills. Those participating will get firsthand exposure to college and experience and advice on a range of topics from standardized tests and the college process to college life.

"Although a college education can expand one's career and financial options, far too many girls do not view college as an option," said Sibyl Jacobson, president, MetLife Foundation. "We are pleased to partner with GSUSA and its local councils to provide girls with information and experiences that help put them on the path to higher education."

Aimed at low-income and minority girls, College Pathways will provide crucial information, exposure, hands-on involvement and other support to girls whose dreams of college often are hindered by low educational expectations, poor academic preparation and low income. Through partnerships with postsecondary institutions–universities, colleges, and community colleges—selected local Girl Scout councils will offer on-site programs to girls and their families to prepare them academically, financially, and emotionally for college.

"We are very grateful for MetLife Foundation's longstanding support of our efforts to make sure that each and every girl has the tools they will need for a productive and happy future," stated Kathy Cloninger, CEO, Girl Scouts of the USA.

Resource material will be developed for girls, their parents and adult volunteers. For the girls and their parents, there will be College 101–a hip and enjoyable guide that will cover such topics as the importance of the SAT/ACT, scholarships, financial aid, and other ways to afford college, and how to design a college readiness timeline for freshman through senior years. Volunteers working with the girls will be aided by a Tip Sheet for Adults, (available in English and Spanish), which illustrates how to use College 101.

To find out if a local Girl Scout council has the MetLife College Pathway Program, call your local Girl Scout council after August 1, 2005, or visit http://www.girlscouts.org/councilfinder/.

About Girl Scouts of the USA

Girl Scouts of the USA is the preeminent organization for girls with more than 3 million girl and adult members. Now in its 93rd year, Girl Scouting cultivates character, social conscience, and self-esteem in girls while teaching them the critical life skills to succeed as adults. In Girl Scouting, girls discover the fun, friendship, and power of girls together. The organization strives to serve girls from every corner of the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. For more information on how to join, volunteer, or donate to the Girl Scouts, call (800) GSUSA 4 U [(800) 478-7248] or visit www.girlscouts.org.

About MetLife Foundation

MetLife Foundation, established by MetLife in 1976, supports education, health, civic, and cultural programs throughout the United States. For more information about the Foundation, visit www.metlife.org.