INGLEWOOD – The Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles recently opened a new service center here that will house a retail store, recruitment offices, programming and a volunteer support center for troops across West L.A. and the South Bay.
Girl Scout CEO Lise Luttgens said the move to Inglewood has been “several years in the planning and in the making.”
“This is a community that has a very robust Girl Scout presence already and we want to be here so that we can strengthen it,” she said. “It is our hope and our goal that we will be able to reach more girls both in Inglewood and in the surrounding areas.”
The Inglewood Service Center, which will serve 15,000 girls in Inglewood and the surrounding area, also will house the Inglewood Innovation Center, a multi-use space to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) learning – the first of its kind in L.A. County.
“I’m so thrilled to be a part of creating and developing and imagining a space that inspires girls and holds such potential for dynamic new programming experiences for girls across the Los Angeles community,” said Girl Scout official Denise Nowack.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony held recently comes after the Girl Scouts moved from Marina Del Rey to open the Inglewood Service Center, officials said.
U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, who represents Inglewood as part of the 43rd Congressional District, attended the ceremony and applauded the Girl Scouts move.
“This is another giant step for Inglewood,” she said. “What we’re seeing here is the realization of what the Girl Scouts have already known and we see with women presidential candidates vying for office.”
Waters said she wanted to be a Girl Scout when she was growing up but with 12 siblings, her family could not afford to buy her a uniform. That’s why she is doing something about it now, she said.
“We’re going to make sure that every girl that wants to be a Girl Scout will have the help of my organization in getting their uniform,” Waters said.
Mayor James T. Butts Jr., who also attended the ceremony, said the scouts’ move helps confirm Inglewood as a growing and progressive city.
“This organization means so much to us because you now have cemented our legacy as a community that has been resurgent,” he said. “A phoenix that has risen from the ashes.”
“We cannot believe what you’ve done with this building. I know this building because I was going to use it for a campaign headquarters. It was unusable,” Butts said of the building’s headquarters on LaBrea Avenue, just north of downtown. “What you have done with it is amazing.”
Luttgens said officials chose the location for its great parking and easy access to freeways and public transportation. “During our cookie season, we’ll be able to pull our big semis in to be able to do cookie distribution,” she said.
The new center will be one of eight service centers in Los Angeles County. The Girls Scouts of Greater Los Angeles serves 47,000 young women countywide.
Local Girl Scout Stephanie Acabo, a fourth grade student in Inglewood’s Troop 6205, said being a scout has helped her develop “a new level of confidence” and helped her take “a big step out of my comfort zone,”
“I like to think that the confidence I have gained from Girl Scouts is something that is contagious,” she said, “and I’m able to spread it to every person I meet.”
CAPTION (SCOUT 1)
Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts Jr. and U.S. Rep. Maxine Watgers are among the dignitaries cutting the ribbon on the new Inglewood Service Center for the Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles. The center will serve 15,000 girls in Inglewood and the surrounding area, also will house the Inglewood Innovation Center, a multi-use space to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) learning.
Photo by John W. Davis