Grant to connect 32-county region through updated technology
Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas (GSNETX), the largest pipeline for female leadership in the world, today announced that it received a $200,000 grant from longtime supporter the Hillcrest Foundation. The grant will allow GSNETX to serve its 32-county remotely by updating the telephone systems, installing a video conferencing system and purchasing tablet computers.
The grant is being used to transform the existing technology so that GSNETX can conduct virtual training for staff and volunteers, and implement web-based learning for Girl Scouts participating in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) programs.
“This grant from the Hillcrest Foundation will allow us to utilize the latest technology and use our resources more efficiently,” said Colleen Walker, chief executive officer for the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas. “As our council covers such a wide area, it’s important that we are able to successfully communicate to the more than 35,000 Girl Scouts we serve and the 5,000 adult volunteers. The updated technology will reduce the cost over the long term and allow us to funnel those costs directly into programming that benefits the girls.”
The grant is being used to replace the current GSNETX phone system with a VOIP telephone system that will require less maintenance and reduce costs over time. A video conferencing system that will be used for training, staff meetings and web-based programming is being installed as well. This will allow GSNETX to extend its reach and decrease costs for the staff, volunteers and parents who will not have to travel to participate in programming that can be offered over the Internet.
In addition, 10 tablets are being purchased to implement web-based programming to further girls’ exploration of and skills in the STEM areas.
The Hillcrest Foundation, founded in 1958 by Mrs. W.W. Caruth, Sr., has been a longtime supporter of GSNETX and has previously provided gifts of laptops and projectors.