TULSA, Oklahoma -- The Girl Scouts of Eastern Oklahoma have been awarded $400,000 in grants for their Girl Scouts Beyond Bars program. The program helps Girl Scouts whose mothers have been incarcerated, providing counseling and job training to transition parents back into the community upon release.
The U.S. Justice Department awarded the Scouts with a $300,000 mentoring grant over two years. The money will primarily be used to fund "Project Reconnect," according to Karen Morgan, CEO of Girl Scouts of Eastern Oklahoma.
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"We are thrilled with the opportunity to expand our program, which makes such a difference in the lives of young girls," Morgan said.
"As we reach out to youth in our community, those with an incarcerated parent have an immense hurdle. We have already seen shining stories blossom from these girls who are overcoming the odds."
George Kaiser Family Foundation (GKFF) has pledged $100,000 in matching support.
Project Reconnect is available to incarcerated women and their families who participate in Project M.E.N.D. (Mothers Encouraging and Nurturing their Daughters), the flagship Girl Scouts Beyond Bars program implemented by Girl Scouts of Eastern Oklahoma.
Girl Scouts are able to participate in a troop with their incarcerated mothers. Mentoring and other assistance is provided to prepare families to be reunited and receive aid from Tulsa Community services including vocational assistance.