ROCKFORD (WREX) — Some community leaders are coming together to create a Girl Scouts troop in a predominantly Black neighborhood in Rockford. The troop will be located at the Strong Neighborhoods House in the Ellis Heights neighborhood. Antonio Turner and Latisha Marks say this is an opportunity for young girls in this community to be involved in something.
"We give African American girls the benefits of Girl Scouts but it's based on African American cultural traditions so that we can build their self-efficacy in who they are," said Turner.
"I think we need to show them it's ok to love themselves and you can do what other girls are doing in your own way," said Turner.
Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois says in Rockford, Black girls make up 23% of the scouts in the city. Turner says many of these girls can't join other troops because they do not live in the same neighborhoods where these troops exist or they don't have the transportation to get there. Turner adds there used to be a troop designed on the same goals in Rockford 15 years ago. But since its disappearance, they two say now is the time to bring it back.
"We'll have troop leaders that look like them, come from the same similar neighborhoods so that we can help them become effective leaders in the future," says Turner.
The two say they are looking to raise money to help parents financially get their children involved. All girls of any race are welcomed to join this troop. There will be an informational meeting on July 11th at the Strong Neighborhoods House on Irving Avenue. It will start at 12:00 p.m.