Funding was made available through the Girl Scouts.
YOUNGSTOWN -- A collaboration between the Lake to River Girl Scouts Council and Judge Theresa Dellick of Mahoning County Juvenile Court will bring a program to help empower detained girls to make better life choices.
Karen E. Conklin, chief executive officer for the council, based in Niles, said a $20,200 federal grant will be used to bring the Girl Scouts "Money Smarts" program to the detention center on East Scott Street.
Conklin said the money was made available through the national Girl Scout office.
The program's primary goal is to divert girls from entering further into the juvenile justice system and instruct them on making good financial decisions.
Conklin said the program, which will meet once a week to get started, is for the girls at the center and those on probation status.
Judge Dellick said the program will teach the girls how to handle money, how to write checks and balance checkbooks, and make sure "they have the skills to budget family income."
The judge said some of the girls have children and are heads of households, and they need to know how to make smart decisions for their family.
Judge Dellick also said the Girl Scouts have other programs available that she and her staff will take a look at and see if they can be used to help the girls at the center.
Conklin said the county juvenile court and Judge Dellick were selected for the Money Smarts program, the first in this area, "because the judge is a visionary and was very approachable."
Conklin said one of the judge's staff helped write the grant, and the judge has a daughter in Girl Scouting, so she was familiar with what the group has to offer.
"We are the largest female organization in the world, and we probably deal with more real issues facing girls and young women today than any other group," Conklin said.
Judge Dellick added that there needs to be more programs available to girls to help improve their self-esteem and to improve the skills necessary for them to make good life choices.