Read the interview.
Troop Capitol Hill connects Girl Scouts everywhere with their leaders in Congress, and each troop member serves as a role model for girls across America. By participating in initiatives like our Portraits in Leadership series of interviews, Troop Capitol Hill members make themselves available to girls, offering them the guidance and support they need to move ahead in the world.
Today is also special because Troop Capitol Hill, and other members of Congress in attendance, will get to meet one of our outstanding girls who aspires to follow in their footsteps: Girl Scout Gold Award recipient Lauren Prox, from Virginia’s Girl Scout Council of the Colonial Coast.
Lauren will share the impact of Girl Scouts on her life, the importance of serving as a role model, and how, through her own work in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), she is serving as a mentor for future generations. Lauren earned her Gold Award for a STEM project she created involving a series of workshops and workbooks for young girls who are interested in the mechanics of flight.
When Lauren takes the podium today, it will be as both mentor and mentee, and her story will inspire the Congressional leaders in the room, and give them a glimpse of what Girl Scouts is really all about. As an aspiring leader who wants to one day hold elected office herself, she will be standing among the men and women whose ranks she hopes to one day join. That is the awesome power of Girl Scouts!
UPDATE May 19, 2015 1:00 p.m. PST
In-kind materials, generously donated by corporate partners, are currently being prepped at the OpUSA warehouse in Port of LA for shipment to partner organizations in Nepal. Thanks to all those who have donated so far, including: United Airlines, Cascade Designs (Therma-a-Rest, MSR, Platypus, SealLine, and Packtowl), Servicon Systems, Inc., Owens & Minor, Pelican Products, Helly Hansen, Zephyr Graf-X, Microbroo LLC, Investment Technology Group, Inc., American Apparel and Vans. Photos from the OpUSA warehouse are now available on Facebook here.
UPDATE May 12, 2015 10:00 p.m. PST
A second earthquake reported as a magnitude 7.3 struck Nepal on Tuesday, furthering damage and causing additional loss of life in already distresed communities. The quake was centered about 76km (47 miles) east of Kathmandu, in a rural area close to the Chinese border, and was felt in rural Tibet, Bangladesh and India. Early reports state that 31 of Nepal’s 75 districts were affected by the earthquake. Aftershocks as high as magnitude 5.0 continued to rock the country as of Tuesday, and multiple landslides have also been reported. This latest earthquake makes relief and recovery efforts even more urgent at this time, and OpUSA will continue to deliver emergency grants and in-kind supplies as early and often as opportunities allow.
UPDATE May 4, 2015 2:35 p.m. PST
Operation USA has confirmed it will make an emergency cash grant (via partner organization Brother’s Brother Foundation) to Himalayan Healthcare to aid in earthquake recovery. The major grant will fund the local purchase of medical supplies for health facilities damaged in last weekend’s magnitude 7.8 quake.
UPDATED May 19, 2015 2:00 p.m. PST
On Saturday April 25, 2015 a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck central Nepal. The tremor was followed by several aftershocks registering as high as magnitude 6.7, and additional aftershocks are still expected this week.
The UN estimates 8 million people may be affected by the earthquake across 39 of the country’s 75 districts. The most severely affected areas include Bhaktapur, Dhading, Dolakha, Kathmandu, Kavre, Lalitpur, Nuwakot, Ramechhap, Rasuwa, and Sindulpalchowk districts in Nepal’s Central Region, as well as Gorkha District in Nepal’s Western Region.
As of May 14, the death toll had climbed above 8,000. An estimated 14,000 are reported as injured and thousands more are still unaccounted for. Experts predict the death toll could continue to climb as high as 10,000 as search and recovery efforts continue.
With thousands of villages destroyed, reports state that 90% of clinics and schools in the affected areas have been rendered unusable, further compounding already challenging conditions for treating the injured. The full extent of the damage is not yet known as recovery workers and aid groups have yet to reach the most remote areas of the country.
Humanitarian aid response to the area is in progress by many organizations but is moving slowly as groups face challenges coordinating logistics for delivery of relief supplies to the country. Damage caused by the quake, in addition to logistical bottlenecks including road closures, collapsed bridges, and poor airport conditions are causing chaos and making it difficult to get aid into the country.
- According to the UN:
- 2.8 million people have been displaced
- 70,000 houses have been destroyed
- Hospitals’ capacity have been severely reduced
- Fuel is urgently needed to pump ground water and maintain hospital services
- 4.2 million people are in urgent need of water
- 3.5 million people need food assistance, including 1.4 million people with priority needs
One week following the quake, Nepal’s main airport was closed to large aircraft delivering aid due to runway damage. However, officials say conditions are improving.
Some reports also highlight widespread fear of disease and sickness as a result of post-earthquake conditions.
Earthquake survivors in several areas of Nepal, many of whom have been rendered homeless, have turned to the media to express anguish and disappointment as they continue to await the arrival of much-needed relief supplies.
Operation USA, like many other aid groups, is currently working hard to coordinate the logistics of delivering shipments to the affected area. As soon as time and circumstances allow, we will deliver much-needed hospital supplies and equipment as well as other material aid and in-kind supplies currently being donated by partners. Operation USA will also make a long-term commitment to the people of Nepal and will work in the country for the foreseeable future as recovery efforts continue.
As of Friday, May 8, Operation USA had made an emergency cash grant to Himalayan Healthcare (via partner organization Brother’s Brother) to aid with recovery. The OpUSA warehouse is also awaiting in-bound shipments of much-needed and generously donated in-kind supplies from corporate partners. Shipments from LA to Nepal will be underway within a few weeks.
As of Tuesday, May 19, OpUSA had raised over $528,000 and continues to seek financial support from the public as much more is needed to make long-term recovery efforts possible. Donated funds will be allocated as quickly as possible as emergency grants to partner organizations and groups on the ground who are working to directly implement relief and recovery programs in communities affected by the earthquake. Donations also support the shipment of relief supplies to Nepal.
Ram Sharan Mahat, the Nepalese finance minister, has said at least $2 billion (£1.3 billion) will be needed to rebuild homes, hospitals, government offices and historic buildings. Other estimates are even higher.
The most effective way people can assist relief efforts in Nepal is by making cash contributions to humanitarian organizations that are conducting relief operations. Donate to Operation USA at give.opusa.org.
Cash donations are preferred because they allow aid professionals to procure the exact items needed (often in the affected region); reduce the burden on scarce resources (such as transportation routes, staff time, and warehouse space); can be transferred very quickly and without transportation costs; support the economy of the disaster-stricken region; and ensure culturally, dietary, and environmentally appropriate assistance.*
For more news and updates, click here.
It is with profound sorrow that Girl Scouts of the USA announces the passing of Cathy M. Coughlin, a longtime member of the National Board of Directors. She died April 23 after a battle with cancer. She was 57.
Cathy proudly served on the National Board of Girl Scouts of the USA for seven years. In everything she did, she embodied all the qualities of a true Girl Scout—loyalty, passion, leadership, and a commitment to making the world a better place. She made an impact through her work at both the national level and at Girl Scouts Northeast Texas. Her heart and passion for our mission shone most clearly when she was spending time among the girls our Movement serves.
Through her role as the most senior woman in a leadership position at AT&T, Cathy was a role model for girls. As chief marketing officer, she was responsible for crafting the company’s image as a mobile technology leader, and she personally launched AT&T’s “It Can Wait” campaign to end texting while driving.
A Girl Scout alumna, Cathy was a tireless advocate for girls. She imagined a future in which more women sat on corporate boards and more girls pursued degrees and careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). She saw Girl Scouts as one way to ensure this future. Thanks to her leadership, AT&T invested over $2 million in Girl Scout programming during her time on the board. This investment included one of the largest gifts ever made to Girl Scouts of the USA toward STEM programming, benefitting the Imagine Your STEM Future program. This successful collaboration reached thousands of girls across the country, many of them from underserved communities, with activities designed to help them see themselves pursuing a STEM career.
The board will miss Cathy’s presence at our table, where she was a tireless advocate for girls. She never wavered in her strong belief that any decision made by the National Board be guided by a simple principle: we owe our girls a big vision for the future. Her light, indefatigable energy, force of character, courageous leadership, and gigantic heart will always be remembered by everyone whose life she touched.
Cathy M. Coughlin was born on July 2, 1957, in St. Louis, Missouri, the daughter of Eugene and Laura Coughlin. She is survived by her mother, Laura; her four brothers Kevin Coughlin, Jim Coughlin, Dan Coughlin, and Mick Coughlin; her sister Mary Coughlin Shillinger, and 11 nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Cathy’s memory to the Dallas Women's Foundation, Girl Scouts of the USA, Northwestern University-Catherine M. Coughlin Summer Internship Fund, Rosati Kain High School, or a charity of your choice.