American Heritage Girls Executive Director Praises Olympic Discussions About Mental Health

In a World Filled With Instant Gratification, It Is Inspiring To See a Young Woman … Choose the Long-Term Benefit Over the Immediate’

August 2, 2021

CINCINNATI, Ohio As the world continues to watch the current 2020 Tokyo Olympics, many viewers are still reeling from the recent decision of Simone Biles, a highly decorated member of the USA National Gymnastics Team. On Tuesday night, Biles shocked the world by pulling herself out of the competition, stating that her “mind and body are simply not in sync,” according to a recent ESPN article. This decision has been met with mixed results, with some praising Biles’ actions as brave and others stating that they are having a hard time supporting the USA Team entirely.

Biles’ decision to pull out of the event on such a global stage is certainly opening the floor for discussions about mental health. Choosing to put her own mental health over her determination to win, Biles made mental health a key topic for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Several other Olympians are praising Biles’ statement, claiming that they also suffered with mental health issues while competing.

For Patti Garibay, founder and executive director of American Heritage Girls (AHG,, Biles’ bold choice on such a grand stage set an inspiring precedent for young girls all around the world. Said Garibay, “Simone Biles showed tremendous courage this week. After suffering from aerial disorientation during her Olympic competition, she put aside her Olympic dreams to consider her life-long mental health. In a world filled with instant gratification, it is inspiring to see a young woman consider and weigh her options and choose the long-term benefit over the immediate. Although this decision was a disappointment to the US team, the US in general, and certainly herself, Simone did the ‘next right thing’ despite the cost.”

Garibay is well-versed in connecting and inspiring young girls. American Heritage Girls was founded in 1995 by a group of parents who wanted a faith-based, scout-type character development program for their daughters. American Heritage Girls across the nation and the globe participate in badge programs, service projects, leadership opportunities, and outdoor experiences, all with an emphasis on Christian values and family involvement.

At AHG, girls ages five to 18 meet together as a single Troop at the same time and then break out into Units by Levels. This gives AHG girls the important social experience of interacting with friends and godly mentors of various ages; members also learn leadership skills within a group setting. AHG Troops are located in local communities across the nation. If none exists in a given area, families can bring the AHG Program to their own area. An American Heritage Girls Troop Development Coach is available to provide resources to potential Charter Organizations and other families to form a new Troop.

AHG’s mission is to build women of integrity through service to God, family, community, and country. Itis dedicated to providing authentic, positive, and values-driven character and leadership development opportunities and outdoor adventure for girls across the nation.

In addition to the biblically based parenting advice shared in the Raising Godly Girls blog and Raising Godly Girls radio features that are heard on 770 radio stations, American Heritage Girls provides a community experience in a Troop setting. Girls benefit from Christ-centered friendships and mentors to assist them in becoming godly girls.

Today, there are Troops in all 50 states and girls being served in 15 countries around the globe. Girls can join a Troop at any time; if a Troop is not available nearby, they can become a Trailblazer and enjoy the AHG program alongside their parent. A variety of Christian denominations are also represented as Charter Organizations for Troops. Thousands of volunteer members across the country are helping girls grow in their faith, cultivate a heart for service, enjoy the great outdoors, and have more fun than they can imagine.


To schedule interviews with Patti Garibay, founder and executive director of American Heritage Girls,, Beth Harrison, 610.584.1096 ext. 105, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.