St. Louis, MO – August 2, 2021 – Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri is pleased to announce Leola Poe, a 2021 graduate of McKinley Classical Leadership Academy, as the recipient of Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri’s $1,000 Transform UR Future (TUF) Scholarship for higher education. During her time in Girl Scouts, this young change-maker demonstrated extraordinary leadership by making a difference in the lives of young students in her community.
The Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri TUF program is a selected group of high school leaders who want to make a difference in their community and develop leadership skills. Leaders are partnered with an elementary school and deliver anti-violence programming, leadership skills and impact initiatives. This past year, Leola provided virtual programming to Sigel Elementary School.
Leola will attend Southeast Missouri University this fall and plans to study multimedia journalism. After college, Leola hopes to continue making a difference in the world by helping others through her dream career as a writer and serving the youth. As a TUF peer leader, Leola gained the understanding of patience, confidence and never underestimating yourself while spreading those traits to the younger generations.
“Girl Scouts has helped me become more confident, open-minded, and a better leader,” Leola said. “Being able to try new things, interact with new people and being able to achieve a new level of understanding others’ situations is what Girl Scouts helped me achieve.”
Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri developed the Project Anti-Violence Education (PAVE) program nearly 20 years ago to help youth grow strong by empowering them to prevent violence in their lives through helping develop stronger social-economical intelligence. TUF expands upon the PAVE program with a focus on bullying prevention and intervention. This program aligns a trio of schools within a district—a high school with a middle and elementary school and is offered to young men and women.
A core group of TUF mentors in each high school learn about anti-violence, decision-making skills and bullying; serve as peer leaders; and deliver monthly anti-violence workshops to students in kindergarten to eighth grade. Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri started this initiative in 2013 with eight trios of schools. Since then, the program has grown to include 13 trios during the 2017-2018 school year and has reached more than 334,000 students.