Girl's guide to the future: Groups aim to send young women off in the right direction

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistic, the number of science and engineering jobs will increase 24 percent by 2014, particularly in the Capital District. For this reason, groups that encourage girls to be excited about math and science are crucial.

Another organization that focuses on young women, Girl Scouts of America, provides a sense of community in an attempt to foster a responsible, prosperous future.

The logic of such groups is that by giving girls a strong foundation, the only place to go from there is up.

The Mohawk Pathways Council of Schenectady, a local Girl Scouts branch, works to show girls that engaging in community awareness and experiences will help them maximize their potential while contributing to the world around them.

Locally, the group gets involved with causes that promote environmental awareness, charities and even support groups like the Gilda Group of Latham, which provides emotional support to cancer victims and their families.

"My daughter Katina has been involved since she was 5, and she is now 10. My grandmother is still active in Girls Scouts, and we have my 4-year-old daughter Adrianna all ready to be enrolled. She can't wait, it's been such a great experience for us," said Marcy Wilday of Schenectady.

Wilday said the experiences will benefit her girls throughout their lives. She said the group meets once a week, and it's a time she and her girls look forward to.

Other, locally based groups cater to girls as well, including the Albany Girls Club, Inc., or AGC. Many of the organizations work together and provide support and direction for different needs; AGC is part of the United Way and provides after-school programs and summer camps for girls between 6-14.

Like the bigger groups, AGC provides opportunities through educational and recreation. AGC focuses on life skills, self-esteem and positive attitudes.

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