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Girl Scouts Tap First-Ever Mexican-American CEO; Hispanic Ranks Surge

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Anna Maria Chavez  (courtesy Girl Scouts Of America)

Anna Maria Chavez (courtesy Girl Scouts Of America)

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Millions of Girls Scouts across America have a new leader — and a new focus for their organization.

Anna Maria Chavez is the first Mexican-American woman appointed to the post and told KNX 1070 she hopes to boost the morale of Scouts across the nation.

“It’s the largest entrepreneurial program for girls in the country,” said Chavez. “A lot of people don’t realize the girls actually take their revenue and reinvest it in their local communities, so they’re supporting their local nonprofits, their animal shelters, their domestic violence shelters.”

Chavez pointed to her heritage as an example to other girls from all races to realize that they can dream and they can achieve — if they work to realize their dreams.

The organization, founded in 1912, said it saw a 55 percent surge in its Hispanic membership over the past 10 years. They now account for about 12 percent of the nearly 2.3 million girls who were Scouts in 2010.

In response to the trend, the Girl Scouts of the USA has stepped up its efforts to include bilingual public campaigns.

Chavez previously served as an urban policy advisor to former Arizona Governor and current Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

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