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Girl Scouts-Arizona Cactus-Pine Council Hosts Dr. Donna Beegle for Virtual Poverty Institute
By Autumn Jarrett - Thursday Sep 24, 2020
Girl Scouts–Arizona Cactus-Pine Council (GSACPC) continues to be dedicated to their commitment to DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) and recently hosted Dr. Donna Beegle, president of Communication Across Barriers, for a virtual poverty institute to further help GSACPC serve all girls living within their jurisdiction, thanks to a Piper Fellows Organizational Enhancement Award from Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust.

“Across Arizona, almost 21% of children live in poverty,” said Mary Mitchell, GSACPC Deputy Director and Piper Fellow. “This training equips our organization–the people working towards our mission every day–to look through the lens of how our most vulnerable members experience and surmount social, economic, and environmental challenges that may be different than our own. This ultimately helps us meet them where they are and build equitable experiences to better serve them.”

Dr. Beegle’s day-long virtual poverty institute, attended by GSACPC staff, board members, community funders and educational partners, helped to educate and provide a deeper understanding of the barriers caused by poverty, especially generational poverty, as well as how to more effectively support, create opportunities and communicate with children and families who live in poverty.

“Piper Trust commends the great foresight of Arizona’s Girl Scouts organization to bring Dr. Beegle to our community. Dr. Beegle has an extraordinary ability to deeply engage others, from all backgrounds, in a real ‘study’ of poverty. She makes you makes you stop, think, check, and recheck everything you thought you understood about poverty. It is life-changing to spend time with her,” said Mary Jane Rynd, president and CEO of Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust.

Dr. Donna Beegle uses her extensive research on poverty as well as her own lived experiences to inspire and educate individuals, organizations, and entire communities to become more poverty-informed and provide models to create better outcomes for people in poverty. Born into a migrant labor family and married at 15, Dr. Beegle is the only member of her family who has not been incarcerated. By age 25, she earned her GED and then, within 10 years, received her doctorate in Educational Leadership. She is the author of several notable books on poverty.

About Girl Scouts
We’re the best girl leadership experience in the world. It began over 100 years ago with one woman, Juliette Gordon “Daisy” Low, who believed in the power of every G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader) ™ to change the world. Today, we continue her vision through the Girl Scout Leadership Experience which helps girls uncover and develop their potential through activities in science and technology, business and economic literacy, and outdoor and environmental awareness, to discover their values, skills, and the world around them; connect with others in a multicultural environment; and take action to make a difference in the world. And with hands-on, girl-led, cooperative learning, every G.I.R.L. has a chance to do something amazing.

Girl Scouts—Arizona Cactus-Pine Council (GSACPC)
In partnership with more than 10,000 adult volunteers, GSACPC serves nearly 20,000 girls grades K-12 in more than 90 communities across central and northern Arizona. Since 1936, GSACPC has helped girls develop leadership skills and tools for success in a rapidly changing environment. We know that given the opportunity, every girl can become a leader, act confidently on her values, and connect with her community. Girl Scouts grow courageous and strong through girl-driven programs, ranging from summer camp to troop activities and product sales. For more information, visit, like us on Facebook or follow us on Instagram.

About Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust
Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust supports organizations that enrich health, well-being, and opportunity for the people of Maricopa County, Arizona. Since it began awarding grants in 2000, Piper Trust has invested more than $480 million in local nonprofits and programs. Piper Trust grantmaking areas are healthcare and medical research, children, older adults, arts and culture, education, and religious organizations. For more about the Piper Fellows program, visit
For more information about Piper Trust, visit | @PiperTrust | Facebook.