Girl Scouts has been a vehicle in my life to spend quality time with my daughter, give back to my community and to mentor girls who might not otherwise have had an opportunity to meet and spend time with someone of my background and experience. I am an employment law attorney and a Partner in a national law firm. I am a life time Girl Scout member and the proud leader of a multi level troop of over 50 girls from K.-12 that meets at our church on Sundays, after services. I am also the Service Unit Manager for our area and one of our area’s Silver Award trainers . When I adopted my daughter from Panama over 17 years ago, I decided to pursue my childhood dream of becoming involved in Girl Scouts. I became a leader so I could share in my daughter’s Girl Scout experience and to give as many girls in my community ,as possible,the opportunity to become Girl Scouts.I wanted to teach them that where there was a will there was a way. I wanted them to learn that regardless of the obstales life may have put in their way, they could achieve their dreams and their goals , that they could be leaders in their communities and make a difference as long as they were willing to work hard and not give up.
I am hispanic and bilingual in Spanish and English, and felt I had alot to offer girls in my area, as I could relate to alot of things some of them were going through.
At the age of 5, my mother, older brother and I had to leave our home in an upper middle class neighborhood in the Town I still call home, to live in the poorest side of town, after losing my dad’s support.
My mother ,formerly a stay at home mom, had to work three jobs just to make ends meet.
Growing up , I longed to be a Girl Scout, and felt So left out , when the girls at my elementary school wore their Girl Scout uniforms on meeting days ….but there was “no time or money for that”.
I was expected to come home and cook and clean and keep up with my school work during the week , as well as help clean other people’s houses on the weekends.
At 14 ,my brother was working and I was allowed to enroll in Cosmetology college, in an after school program offered at my high school . I used the tips I earned to save for college and to help support myself and our family.
At 18 , I graduated with my Cosmetology license and as Valedictorian of my high school class. I then began working towards my seemingly impossible goal of going to college and law school and becoming an attorney.
Despite working my way through college as a hairstylist and research assistant ,I graduated in 4 years and at the top of my class. Thereafter, I was fortunate enough to have been admitted to the University of California Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law on a full Scholarship.
I know I never could have done it without my family’s encouragement and the strong mentors I met along the way.
That is why, once I achieved my career goal and had my own daughter, I knew I not only wanted to give back to my community but also, I wanted to have my daughter experience being a Girl Scout .
I started our troop approximately 13 years ago with 10 brownies. My motto was “Leave no girl out.“ Every girl who asked to be in my troop was welcomed with open arms ,regardless of ability to pay , disability,race,religion,national origin or any other basis. Girl Scouts became my hobby, my joy ,my favorite charity and my favorite volunteer organization. Every girl who joined my troop was provided with all she needed to be a Girl Scout . Countless girls have aged out of my troop over the last 13 years and have gone on to college . My own daughter achieved her goal of the triple metals : bronze, silver and gold and served as honor guard in the Rose Parade . She is now In her second year of college studying Biology and is a leader in our troop. My hope for our community in the future is that we continue to grow and that every girl who wants to be a Girl Scout is allowed that opportunity.