AHG Provides ‘God-Affirming Mentors and Programs That Help [Girls] Understand Their True Identity—An Identity in Christ’
September 20, 2021
CINCINNATI, Ohio — A recent report states that social media giant Facebook acknowledges how harmful its photo-sharing app, Instagram, can be for teen girls’ self-esteem. Research provided by Facebook itself shows that over the past three years, 32% of teenage girls who “feel bad about their bodies” claimed that Instagram made the issue worse and actually worsened their mental health.
Instagram’s Head of Public Policy, Karina Newton, stated that the company is aware of the research and is committed “to understanding [the] complex and difficult issues young people may struggle with.” While these comments may have placated some critics, this research reveals that Instagram makes body image issues worse in every one out of three teenage girls, highlighting the severity of this mental health crisis.
For Patti Garibay, founder and executive director of American Heritage Girls (AHG, www.americanheritagegirls.org), navigating the crucial issues facing young girls with a biblical perspective is her forte. As one of the largest Christian, scout-type organizations for girls ages five to 18 in the world, AHG utilizes service projects, badge programs, outdoor adventure, and other scout-type activities to build relationships and bolster mental health.
“For decades, women have attempted to rise above their value being determined by their appearance,” Garibay stated, “They have broken glass ceilings in corporate America, dismantled male-only clubs and sports, and comprise the majority of enrolled college students. Despite all of these groundbreaking efforts, women still allow themselves to fall prey to what the culture deems a woman should be.
“Recently, Facebook themselves identified the danger their Instagram app is imposing upon young women. In an ‘insta-ready’ culture, girls value how they appear on a social app rather than how they treat a social peer. Users are encouraged to curate images that portray a perfect life, often ignoring the realities of imperfect humanity and messy lives. It is no wonder that, in a culture devoid of a moral barometer based on timeless truths, a generation of youth is basing their self-worth on a picture posted for friends and sometimes complete strangers.
Garibay continued, “While it is encouraging that Instagram’s head of public policy is taking steps to combat issues of bullying, self-harm, suicide and eating disorders, it may be a bit of ‘too little too late.’ Girls today need a deeper dive. They need God-affirming mentors and programs that help them understand their true identity—an identity in Christ. American Heritage Girls strives to connect girls with a Creator who loves them beyond their bad hair day, messy room or failed relationship.”
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.
American Heritage Girls was founded in 1995 by a group of parents who wanted this faith-based, scout-type character development program for their daughters. 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. To hear more about the purpose, mission, and vision of AHG from Founder and Executive Director Patti Garibay, click here.
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.
The “Raising Godly Girls” radio feature and Raising Godly Girls blog shares guidance and biblically based advice on many key topics affecting girls today. It gives parents, educators, and faith community leaders a set of tools, resources, and Scripture-based advice to assist in raising girls after God’s own heart. The “Raising Godly Girls Minute” with Patti Garibay airs on 900+ Christian radio stations across the country.
To schedule interviews with Patti Garibay, Founder and Executive Director of American Heritage Girls, contactMedia@HamiltonStrategies.com, Beth Harrison, 610.584.1096 ext. 105, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.