Girl Scout of Citrus launches initiative to increase Latina enrollment

By Paula Machado, Reporter
Last Updated: Wednesday, January 31, 2018, 8:49 PM EST

The Girl Scout of Citrus, serving Orange and Osceola counties, launched an initiative to increase Latina enrollment.

  • Girl Scout of Citrus to increase Latina enrollment
  • Council currently has 14 percent of Hispanic-identifying girls
  • Learn more about Girl Scout of Citrus

"We serve such a high Latino population and now with the influx of Puerto Ricans coming over the last few months due to Hurricane Maria, we want to make sure all of our families are aware of the resources available for our families and girls,” said Candice Torres, membership on-boarding manager at Girl Scout of Citrus.

Currently the council has 14 percent of girls who identified themselves as Hispanic when enrolling. They want that number to be much higher which is why their reaching out to Hispanic families.

“We’re translating all of our flyers and brochures, as well as working on a Spanish website. We also have 6 bilingual staff members that we’re bringing on board to this initiative so they can talk to families with ease,” said Torres.

Right now, the Girl Scouts are in full swing of “cookie season,” one of the most popular activities for troops to fundraise. Sophia Ceriales has sold 2,000 boxes so far.

“We ask them if they’d like to buy a box of cookies for only 4 dollars and we smile,” Ceriales laughed.

She’s been a Girl Scout since kindergarten when she enrolled as a Daisy. At 8 years old, she’s now a Brownie looking forward to September when she graduates once again to Junior.

Her mom, born in Costa Rica, said there’s no better place for her little girl to grow up. Ceriales agreed.

 “I’ve learned how to make new friends, sell cookies and help nature grow,” she said, proudly showing her patches.

She also wants to see more girls like her from a diverse background.

"I want to spend time with them and let them have the experience of girls scouts with nature and helping nature,” said Ceriales.

The Girl Scout of Citrus also offers what they call ‘scouterships,’ a form of financial assistance for families in need.

“We never want to turn away any family or girl,” said Torres.

You can learn more about the Girl Scouts by visiting their website: www.citrus-gs.org.