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GSNI Succeeds with Project Opportunity!


As school begins in earnest, so do the Girl Scouts! GSNI is gearing up to start another year of Project Opportunity programs for Rockford girls in grades K–5, taking on topics such as healthy relationships, healthy living, financial literacy, and STEM in 2017–18.

GSNI recently concluded another successful year of its Project Opportunity program in 2016–17. Throughout the year, girls engaged in a wide variety of Girl Scout Leadership Experience activities designed to help them develop confidence, explore their talents and interests, and develop healthy relationships. The girls also learned about bullying, how to be a good friend, making new friends, how to keep themselves healthy, and when to ask for help. Girls not only learned a wide range of practical life skills but also developed broader social skills, such as self-confidence and positive identity. Three out of four girls who participated demonstrated a strong sense of self by the end of the program. Girls also learned to try new things—even when they’re afraid they might fail—with 82% demonstrating an ability to seek challenges in the world!

For over a decade, GSNI has been proud to provide low or no-cost programs to girls in the Rockford area who might not otherwise have the opportunity to participate in leadership development with Girl Scouts, helping them build social and practical life skills through a variety of hands-on experiences. Thanks especially to support from the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois and United Way of Rock River Valley, GSNI staff provided weekly Girl Scout Leadership Experience programming to nearly 1,000 girls at school and community sites during the school year. Over the summer, GSNI staff served over 500 girls, including reengaging girls who participated during the school year.

Project Opportunity has served over 10,000 girls in Rockford with programming running for more than a decade and is continuing to grow. Thanks to this ongoing support from the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois and United Way of Rock River Valley, GSNI has been able to expand the program significantly—growing from serving 400 girls to over 1,000 each year—and expects continued growth 2017–18. GSNI is grateful for the continuing support of these organizations. Without their support, programming like this for low-income and underserved girls would not be possible.

For more information on the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois, visit For more information on United Way of Rock River Valley, visit

The Community Foundation of Northern Illinois

The Community Foundation of Northern Illinois (CFNIL) has been a regional leader in philanthropy since 1953. CFNIL serves as a catalyst for giving in order to attract, grow, and preserve an endowment for the needs of Northern Illinois. Since its founding, CFNIL has granted more than $60 million for charitable purposes.

United Way of Rock River Valley

United Way of Rock River Valley (UWRRV) fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every neighborhood. Supported locally by thousands of donors and volunteers, UWRRV is engaged in neighborhoods across Winnebago and Ogle counties to create sustainable solutions to the challenges facing our community. Join the fight by donating or volunteering at