Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Guest post: The future is bright for a Girl Scout

During the summer, GSSJC Girl Scout Samira T. shared her experience with us - and we were amazed at the impact Girl Scouting has had on her and her life in the last few years. Read on and enjoy her inspiring story!

By Samira T. 

Rewind. It is the year 2005, and I have just begun my schooling here in the United States. Younger than my other classmates and hidden behind our language barrier (my family and I had recently immigrated from the Ivory Coast), I am awkward, I am reserved, I am an outcast.

Fast forward a couple of years. It is now 2008, and I have no problems with my classmates, with my schoolwork, with my environment. I speak. I flourish, surrounded by peers with common goals and common interests.

What changed in those three years? What so significantly impacted who I would grow to be? As you ask yourselves what could have taken place, ponder this: the only thing that changed in the last three years, aside from my having grown into myself, is the fact that I joined my neighborhood Girl Scout troop.

As minor as it seems, joining that troop changed the course of my entire life. From then on, I was not afraid to be myself, to be outgoing and expressive, to make friends as easily outside of the troop as I did within. But again, how is this important?

Had it not been for that original troop, had I not been welcomed with open arms and warm smiles, with kindness, the odds of me sharing my story with you would be next to nothing.

Girl Scouting has taught me a number of things, from how to handle rescue animals to how to endure weeks in the woods, braving the wild. But the most important lesson I have learned in my time is a Girl Scout is that no matter who you are, where you are or what you face, courage, confidence and character go a long way.

Skip to today.

Now I backpack. I travel all around the country and get to admire beautiful landscapes – all the while surrounded by total strangers. I represent various clubs and organizations, like my local YMCA. I am one of the nation’s top speakers and debaters. I do things anyone who knew me in the past would have doubted were within my limits, all thanks to what I have learned as a Girl Scout.

In the end, whether I am backpacking with fellow Girl Scouts or volunteering, the simple fact of the matter is that Girl Scouts instills values in its members, small and large, that I have greatly benefited from.

Your support of Girl Scouting helps girls just like Samira every day. Through programs, activities and workshops funded by our generous donors, girls like her are learning to have confidence in what they do, the courage to step outside their comfort zone and are building character that will last a lifetime. This article first appeared in the Fall 2014 issue of Connections.

Ready to see how Girl Scouting can change your daughter's life? Join today!