Some skills come naturally to us, but for many Americans, learning to be savvy with money takes a lot of work. To help people improve their command of currency, the U.S. Senate in 2004 designated April as Financial Literacy Month. In the spirit of this theme, we’re reflecting on the unique Girl Scout programs that prepare girls to take charge of their financial educations and futures. According to the Girl Scout Research Institute study Having It All: Girls and Financial Literacy, girls know they need a solid financial foundation, but few feel confident about their skills.
To help build girls’ confidence, Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) has developed 11 Financial Literacy badges that girls can earn in addition to the badges for Cookie Business. Based on real-life situations, such as budgeting and philanthropy, the badges give young women a deeper understanding of financial literacy, empowering them for future life success.
For girls in underserved communities, we’re proud to continue the “Driving My Financial Future” program, a partnership with Toyota Financial Services (TFS). The program’s goal is to help more than 40,000 girls become financially proficient leaders, learn real-life and age-appropriate financial skills, and develop tools that inspire positive change in their communities. GSUSA interim CEO Sylvia Acevedo expressed, “It’s always gratifying to collaborate with partners such as Toyota Financial Services that understand the importance of instilling financial empowerment in girls and young women, and share the Girl Scout mission of investment in leadership development for our future trailblazers.” Since 2007, TFS has also sponsored the Making Life Easier program, which to date has awarded college scholarships to 1,000 students affiliated with nonprofits, including Girl Scouts.
From coast to coast, the girls who participate in the TFS “Driving My Financial Future” program receive their own copy of The Girl’s Guide to Girl Scouting (which helps them earn their Financial Literacy badges) and a TFS participant patch. Girl Scout Juniors, Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors also take part in financial planning activities to grow their finance skills by practicing how they’d handle real-life scenarios, such as saving for college or starting to build good credit.
Learn more about the program, which communities participate, and our partnership with Toyota Financial Services.