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Two Groups That Focus On Mentoring Girls

Girl Scouts of the USA/AP

As part of our education coverage, we’re looking at groups that enhance the educational experience perhaps giving kids skills they can’t get schools that are facing daunting challenges in Clark County.

KNPR's State of Nevada talked with people from two such groups: Girl Scouts and Big Brothers, Big Sisters.

Did you know that the Girl Scouts derive 60 percent of their income from cookie sales? And did you know that those sales free the Scouts up to focus on things girls want to talk about like racism and sexism and politics?

Liz Ortenburger is the CEO of Girl Scouts of Southern Nevada. She told KNPR's State of Nevada said the founder of the organization wanted to keep a military-type mentality to the organization.

"Where a troop of girls can do incredible things and have opportunities they otherwise wouldn't have," Ortenburger said.

While most of us think of the cute little girl with pigtails and missing front teeth selling cookies outside the grocery store, Ortenburger said the Girl Scouts provide valuable lessons for older girls as well.

"As you get older in middle school and high school....we're looking to create that progressive experience for them that will mirror where they're going to be as adults," she said.

Older girls learn how to give a presentation about Girl Scouts and Girl Scout cookies to companies. They even learn to cold call companies to get their message out.

And Big Brothers, Big Sisters has fostered life-long relationships for more than 100 years.

"The mentors meet with the kids for the same hour each week with our staff member there," said Molly Latham, CEO of Big Brothers, Big Sisters. 

Latham said the mentor will help kids with academics and with relationship building. 

She said the organization works closely with schools to find the children who needs the support of a big brother or big sister. 

Latham said their organization strives to help young people get a good foundation for their rest of their lives.

"We want them to be able to form healthy relationships for the rest of their lives... whether that be with family members, friends, teachers, colleagues whoever," she said. 


Molly Latham, CEO, Big Brothers, Big Sisters;  Liz Ortenburger, CEO, Girl Scouts of Southern Nevada.

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(EDITOR'S NOTE: Carrie Kaufman no longer works for KNPR News. She left in April 2018)