WHITEHOUSE - As part of one of the largest projects in nearly a decade, Girl Scouts are rolling out 23 new badges in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM.
"Girls need to learn, it's not just something for guys. It's for everyone," Girl Scout Mackenzie Murphree said.
Murphree is a high school freshman, determined not to be set back by long held stereotypes among young girls.
"For over a hundred years, Girl Scouts have been encouraging girls to be girls," Girl Scout Coordinator Dale Cates said.
Now that message is being transformed into an acronym meant to inspire success.
"That's G-I-R-L, which stands for go-getters, innovators, risk takers and leaders. So, it's all about girls being girls and being ready to go do and be what they want to go do and be," Cates said.
It's all part of a new program, introducing 23 badges in STEM to empower girls and give them the skills they need to succeed in life.
"Something which sometimes they don't get a chance to do in schools because they're thinking about grades and competition and such."
It's an opportunity that former Girl Scout Sarah Lozano said helped kick-start her interest in the field.
"Women are told too often that they're supposed to take a background role and really that's not the case. You should be encouraged to get out there and step up and take the microphone," Lozano said.
Lozano is now a college student, majoring in horticulture, the study of plant sciences. She said her work as a girl scout helped solidify her career choice.
"I was able to work so closely with other professionals...they mentored me, they showed me what they did and I started to love what they did. So, I basically said I want to do what you're doing."
It's exactly what volunteers said the program hopes to achieve. But, most importantly, said it's a whole lot of fun.
"Everything becomes more exciting when you look beyond the ordinary," Cates said.
Some of the new STEM badges will give Girl Scouts the opportunity to design robots and try their hand at coding. For more information, visit their website.
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