By LOUIS CASIANO JR. / STAFF WRITER
The Girl Scouts of Orange County will use a $2.5 million donation from philanthropists George and Julia Argyros for programs at its new leadership center slated to open later this year in Newport Beach, the group announced this week.
Julia Argyros is the wife of real estate tycoon and former ambassador George Argyros.
Her name will adorn the 6,000-square-foot Marina Park waterfront building as the Argyros Girl Scout Leadership Center, which is under construction.
“An investment in Girl Scouts is an investment in our future,” Argyros said in a statement. “Girls and young women visiting this first-of-its-kind Leadership Center will quickly learn that there are no boundaries for what they can do.”
The center will act as a hub for STEM – science, technology, engineering and math – programs for the county’s 21,000 Girl Scouts.
“OC STEM jobs are growing, yet we face a dramatic shortfall of STEM-educated workers and timing is critical,” said Nancy Nygren, CEO of Girl Scouts of Orange County. “It’s truly exciting for us to have a family such as theirs care about the same things we care about, which is giving girls the opportunity to lead and live their best lives.”
Scouts visiting the center will learn problem-solving skills and watch videos of women working in a variety of career fields and how STEM activities play a role in what they do, Nygren said.
Some of the women featured will include Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens, Angela Calin, a theater and set designer for the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, and Michelle Khine, an associate professor of biomedical engineering at UC Irvine.
The center was previously home to the Neva B. Thomas Girl Scout Program Center, which open in 1949 and was demolished to pave the way for Marina Park.
The city will lease the center’s land to the Girl Scouts for $1 per year. The Girl Scouts is responsible for funding the ongoing…