Monday, January 21, 2013 was the inauguration for President Barack Obama’s second term in office. To engage young girls to lend their voices during the election process last year, the Girl Scouts launched “Girls Scouts Speak Out: Dear Mr. President” PSA contest. The co-winners from the contest were Girl Scouts of the Nations Capital’s 14 year old Hareem from Sterling, VA and Girl Scouts of Central Illinois’s 15 year old Amanda from Normal, IL. The key messages from their winning entries were merged into a professionally mastered 60-second PSA filmed in Washington, DC that featured Hareem and Amanda. The PSA was released publicly on January 18, 2013 in time for the inauguration.
According to the Girls Scouts Speak Out website, Hareem and Amanda “were inspired by ToGetHerThere and its goal to create balanced leadership in one generation...more women in Congress, at the helm of big companies, in science labs and even in Oval Office one day.”
"It (Girl Scouts Speak Out) is addressing presidential candidates," says Hareem. "The problems that are happening to girls and women today, they are not an easy topic to talk about, but they are really the moral challenge of the century. They are not unsolvable, but it takes political will—and that's what the President can do. I want to be a marine biologist as well as a female leader. Girl Scouts helps me to do that through the skills I develop in scouting. It's helped a lot in my everyday life."
"Girls are not hearing all the right messages. When I hear 'You're just a girl' it makes me sad," says Amanda. "'Girl Scouts Speak Out' is a really good program because girls can give their ideas and show their opinions. I think it's important for women to be in leadership positions because we need to recognize that both genders can do something to change the world. I want the President to address the diversity issue, how people aren't always accepting of race, gender, and religion. Girl Scouts has taught me a lot about accepting people."