Happy Giving Tuesday!

This Giving Tuesday, we’re saying—thanks! Because of our supporters’ generous gifts to Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles, we have been able to create some incredible opportunities for girls this year. Take a look at just a few of the great things our donors’ gifts have allowed us to do!

  1. Enhanced activities at our beloved Camp Lakota, like the new pool and the Bill Mingus Ropes Course, featuring high and low courses.
  2. Funded 88 sustainable new troops in underserved communities—that’s 1,011 more girls in Greater Los Angeles!
  3. Gave 150 Girl Scouts the opportunity to experience the joy of camp by providing partial or full camperships (camp scholarships)!
  4. Provided $358,000 in financial assistance to girls throughout Greater Los Angeles.
  5. Supported and sustained STEM programs for local Girl Scouts, like our 41 GSGLA competitive robotics teams!

Thank you to our community, including our donors who have enabled these amazing achievements and so much more! Interested in getting details about our innovative programs and exciting opportunities for Girl Scouts? Visit our website.

Go-Getter: My Dream to Become an Actress

“Sometimes when you’re a go-getter you have to push through and in the end you have a lot of fun. And I did!”

OliviaGirl Scouts opens doors for girls, allowing them to not only discover their passions, but also develop the confidence to pursue them. Our Girl Scouts are go-getters who set goals and don’t let failure deter them: They know it takes hard work to achieve their dreams. Thanks to our girl-led activities and programs, Girl Scouts have a safe space to gain resilience and empower themselves.

Brownie and Girl Advisory Bureau member Olivia H. shares her own go-getter story, drawing on lessons she’s learned as a Girl Scout, especially during cookie season.

olivia 3I am Olivia, a Brownie in Troop 395. I love Girl Scouts and I love to act and sing. I want to be an actress when I get older.

This past summer my mom signed me up for a performing arts program. We were putting on a musical called Andie. It’s like Annie but with a boy as the main character. I auditioned and got the part of Molly.

In the beginning I thought it was going to be easy. I thought all we would be doing is singing and acting and being silly all day. But it wasn’t like that. This was serious business. We had to practice hard, dance a lot, and learn what acting really means. You have to get in touch with the character and whatever emotions the character is feeling. You have to memorize your lines and become the character. You have to do it over and over. I even had to continue practicing at home.

Being a Girl Scout helped prepare me for this challenge by teaching me about goal setting [one of the 5 Skills!], how to work as a team with others, and how to be brave.

Setting a goal during cookie season is exciting. It is a big accomplishment and there are fun rewards. But when sales start to slow down or I start to get tired, I have to move forward to reach the goals I have set for myself. I keep going so that my troop will be able to do all the things we have planned as a team.

olivia 2
The cast of Andie.

At rehearsals, you also have to work as a team with the other actors and be able to follow the director’s lead. You have to know your cues and where to stand and where the other actors are supposed to be. This is like working at a cookie booth with my troop members. We are supposed to know what each person is doing, help one another get sales, all while following the directions of our troop leaders.

Cookie season also gives me lots of practice in public speaking. Just like going out on stage, you never know what a customer will say. You have to get over that fear and be brave enough to go on.

Both cookie sales and acting in Andie were really hard work but in the end I met my goals for both. I sold more than 500 boxes of cookies and I had a successful performance as Molly. Sometimes when you’re a go-getter you have to push through and in the end you have a lot of fun. And I did! I’m going to continue being a go-getter and going after my dreams. I know I will need to put in a lot of effort but it will definitely pay off.

Great job, Olivia! Have your own story about how, #becauseofGirlScouts, you’re pursuing your goals and being a go-getter (or innovator, risk-taker, or leader)? We want to hear it! You can also share your story with GSGLA directly.

“I Am Thankful for Girl Scouts Because….”

Thanksgiving affords all of us in the Girl Scout Movement an opportunity to reflect on the many ways our organization enriches our lives. From exciting programs to one-of-a-kind events, cookie season to summer camp, our girls benefit from the many offerings that make Girl Scouts the world’s largest and best girl leadership development program. We’re thankful to partner with phenomenal, passionate volunteers to provide these inspiring opportunities and work with girls to prepare them for their bright futures.

But why are our girls grateful for Girl Scouts? Some of their illuminating (and heartwarming) responses are below. (Don’t forget to share your own #becauseofGirlScouts stories of growth and gratitude in the comments!)

anastasia-thank-you.jpgAnastacia S., Junior, Troop 3535: “I am thankful for Girl Scouts because [the organization] celebrates my being a girl. It allows me to make new friends, be free, have fun, and learn to be a leader. I am thankful for Girl Scouts because I am just happy being with my sisters and friends. I am thankful for the opportunities that I have been a part of, such as movie premieres, sporting events, or learning about STEM. I am thankful for Girl Scouts for helping me to grow.”

Hana (on right)

Hana C., Brownie, Troop 5665: “Girl Scouts Greater Los Angeles is sponsoring my Junior First Lego League team. My robotics team gets to go to LEGOLAND for a presentation for our Aqua Adventure Challenge in front of many people. I also have become a leader, and taught my troop how to recognize their own names in Korean and use the abacus. I’ve also learned to be less shy by standing outside of different stores and advertising to sell Girl Scout Cookies with my troop. Being a Girl Scout has been an experience l’m grateful for!”

IMG_2844Avery C., Junior, Troop 04505: “I’ve learned so many things including money management, people skills, goal setting, leadership, and teamwork. I’ve also had many opportunities to try new things. Plus, in Girl Scouts, working with your team is great and you sometimes lead your troop through tough times. Also, friends are forever. In Girl Scouts, we are more than friends. We are sisters. I am always glad my troop is always there for me. (And I for them.)”

Cora Thank YouCora J., Ambassador, Troop 12581: “Girl Scouts provides me with real-life skills that I am not learning elsewhere in my life. The work I have done pursuing the Gold Award has taught me to be committed and take charge. The cookie program has taught me valuable business skills and how to be creative. My time with my troop and at camp has helped me become more adventurous and independent. As I look forward to my future, college and beyond, it is the skills I learned in Girl Scouting that I am relying on to achieve my life goals.”

Want to hear more ways our girls are thankful for Girl Scouts? See this video:

Inspired to help us reach more girls so that they, too, can experience the Girl Scout Advantage? Give to or volunteer with GSGLA today.

Lifelong Adventure and Friendship

“We… love that we, as members of Troop 218, have a Girl Scouting foundation that will unify us for the rest of our days!”

reunion 1
Troop 218 visit Olvera Street in 1957, the year the troop formed.

Girl Scouts brings together girls with different backgrounds, interests, and personalities as part of one big family. Like all families, Girl Scouts form bonds that last a lifetime—which is why many alumnae stay friends and continue to meet as a troop, long after they’ve grown out of Girl Scouts. Local alumna Dinah Raful shares her sisterhood story.

This past October, 16 members of Girl Scout Troop 218 met in Nashville, Tennessee, for our 60th Girl Scout “Gratitude” Reunion. The troop originated under the guidance of [longtime GSGLA supporter] Bernie Horst. We have had four previous gatherings in Los Angeles, but this time we decided to venture out to a new destination.

What a great time we had in Nashville! We experienced a lovely Jubilee Day Celebration at Fisk University; had a lovely tour of the Belle Meade Plantation and a long beautiful walk at The Warner Park Nature Center; and to top it off, we checked off an item on our bucket list: a musical evening at the Grand Ole’ Opry! We also got a quick tour of Honky Tonk downtown and even the amazing Parthenon!

Throughout our sightseeing, we had very special personal moments and reconnected as we walked and talked about what we were grateful for every day. We planned Girl Scout activities like getting-to-know-each-other games, a Scouts’ Own, singing, and sharing food. We were overwhelmed again with tremendous gratitude for our leader, Bernie Horst, for all that she gave us. We adore her and love that we, as members of Troop 218, have a Girl Scouting foundation that will unify us for the rest of our days!

60-year reunion in 2017.

Thank you for sharing your reunion experience, Dinah!

Fewer things bring happier moments than witnessing lifelong friendships and knowing that it started with just a few girls in a Girl Scout troop. Staying connected with one another is as important as staying connected with GSGLA. To find out more about connecting with our alumnae team, email alumnae@girlscoutsla.org.

Fueling Girls’ Dreams

“Every person who came to the luncheon was there for girls like me, girls with big dreams and the courage to pursue them.”

Girl Scouts is the world’s foremost authority on girls’ leadership development—setting girls up for a lifetime of curiosity, adventure, and success. One of the unique opportunities afforded to our girls includes the Emerging Leader Girl Scout program, for Girl Scouts in grades 10–12 who exemplify our mission and show great leadership potential. As part of the program, Emerging Leaders attend our annual ToGetHerThere Luncheon, where they network with executives from various fields and participate in a minute-mentoring session with successful female professionals. For many of our Girl Scouts, the experience is inspiring, motivating, and even life-changing. Two of our 2017 Emerging Leaders share their impressions from this year’s ToGetHerThere Luncheon.

Lomeli, KeliaKelia Lomeli, Ambassador Girl Scout:

Everyone here was here for me. It was an extraordinary experience, sneaking glimpses at the name tags of passers-by to try and determine which organization they had come from. I would have the chance to network with whomever I liked in the second half of the day, but first: the minute-mentoring sessions.

Entering the ballroom was much like entering the gym before a basketball game; I didn’t know what I was in for, but that it would be fast, fun, and above all, an opportunity for me to prove myself. I had anticipated my own nervousness at delivering an elevator speech and the dreaded reach-across-the-table-for-a-handshake move, but when the time came, I was surprised at how collected I felt. The powerful businesswoman I sat less than two feet away from was open and inspiring. I could hear myself in her tales of hesitation and doubt, of questioning her ability and deciding to follow her dreams anyway. Every mentor I spoke with had a unique story about finding herself and her life’s passion, and when asked how a young woman might discover hers, Dr. Sherry Hong of Montrose Pet Hospital replied with perhaps the best advice yet: “Every road you end up on is an opportunity. Take it, because that opportunity may never present itself again.”

Troop Leader Michelle Apolonio

The women at the ToGetHerThere Luncheon inspired me to be brave. After the mentoring sessions, I introduced myself to a group of investment counselors from Clifford Swan. As former Girl Scouts themselves, they expressed their admiration for the commitment and ambition of the Emerging Leaders, and after realizing many of them had graduated from colleges I am applying to, exchanged business cards with me. They listened and offered their advice about my aspiration of becoming a diplomat, and for the first time, I felt that everyone in the room believed in me. Whether we had spoken or not, every person who came to the luncheon was there for girls like me, girls with big dreams and the courage to pursue them.

Garland, Olivia.jpgOlivia Garland, Ambassador Girl Scout:

This was my third year attending the ToGetHerThere Luncheon and receiving the honor of being an Emerging Leader. While it was bittersweet, I learn something new every year. My favorite piece of advice this year was from Lavinia Sadrapeli of Teledyne, who encouraged us to “be courageous—embody that.”

2017 ToGetHerThere Champion Joanna Dean

2017 ToGetHerThere Champion Joanna Dean, General Manager of the Western Region for Toyota Financial Services, eloquently spoke of her failures in college and the job market during her honoree speech, and how they’ve made her the successful woman she is today: “Failures are a part of life… Be adventurous and make your own path.” Every word she spoke inspired every Emerging Leader, and I could see the twinkle of admiration in the eyes of all the girls around me.

olivia 1
Olivia with a ToGetHerThere guest

Every year men and women stand together to motivate us at the ToGetHerThere Luncheon. The room is filled with supporters curious about how they can help and what our stories are. This experience has provided me with blueprints for success and advice for my future. I’ve gotten to meet so many impressive women who’ve fought for equality and women’s empowerment as a whole, and because of that, being an Emerging Leader has been one of the best experiences of my life.

Thank you to everyone who participated in our ToGetHerThere Luncheon and played a critical role in shaping our Girl Scouts’ dreams—including our mentors, sponsors, volunteers, members, and attendees. Your support is invaluable to our mission and goal of balancing the leadership landscape.

To see pictures from the 2017 ToGetHerThere Luncheon, view our Facebook album. To learn more about the ToGetHerThere campaign and how you can further the cause of girls’ and women’s empowerment, click here.

Level the Leadership Landscape

“I have never been treated more maturely and taken so seriously—it was great to establish real business connections and learn how to network from these accomplished women.”

At our annual ToGetHerThere Luncheon on Monday, Oct. 30, we will bring together top business and community leaders from across Greater LA, as well as our 80 Emerging Leader Girl Scouts. The experience provides our attendees with the opportunity to meet these up-and-coming leaders, and reflect on the importance of our campaign. Plus, our Girl Scouts meet inspiring role models and network with professionals who can provide them with college and career advice.

Will you join us or support us? Our past supporters and Emerging Leader Girl Scouts tell us why the annual ToGetHerThere Luncheon has been an important, meaningful experience for them.

Frances Moreno (center)

“Local and national business and civic community leaders who attend the annual ToGetHerThere Luncheon to support programs for girls in Greater LA help support GSGLA in building a new generation with confidence and character. We leave feeling incredibly inspired ourselves that our future is in good hands. It’s a must!”

— Frances Moreno
Co-Founder and Partner, Vaco
GSGLA Board Member

Bock, Elizabeth
Elizabeth Bock

“When I first came to the ToGetHerThere Luncheon, I was completely shocked by the number of people who came out to support Girl Scouts. I had such an amazing mentoring session with some of the nicest, most friendly, and passionate women I have ever met. I have never been treated more maturely and taken so seriously—it was great to establish real business connections and learn how to network from these accomplished women. I was thrilled to be an Emerging Leader last year, and I’m even more excited and prepared this year to return.”

— Elizabeth Bock
Emerging Leader Girl Scout 2016, 2017

Mozell, Kally
Kally Mozell

“I have been a Girl Scout since the first grade and keeping up with Girl Scouts has been the best decision I have ever made. Girl Scouting has offered me so many wonderful opportunities, like the ToGetHerThere Luncheon. I have become a strong leader because of Girl Scouts. I remember back when I was a freshman in high school, my troop organized a workshop to empower the younger Girl Scouts in our service unit. At the end of the day, we taught them a dance to document all that they had learned that day. It was amazing to see all the Girl Scouts come together and perform the dance for their leaders. Girl Scouts is not just an organization, it is a movement that empowers girls worldwide and gives them the tools to become confident G.I.R.L.s (Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers, Leaders).”

— Kally Mozell
Emerging Leader Girl Scout 2016, 2017

It’s not too late to support the future of our Girl Scouts, and all girls and women. Secure your spot and invite your friends to join us at our ToGetHerThere Luncheon, and also learn how you can support the campaign.

G.I.R.L. 2017 Memories

The National Council Session and Convention in Columbus, Ohio were epic, bringing together hundreds of council delegates plus thousands more Girl Scouts and supporters. Among those who spoke at the Convention—G.I.R.L. 2017—were Barbara Bush and Chelsea Clinton, who co-presented with the 2017 National Young Women of Distinction (including GSGLA alumna Yue “Cherry” Ying!).

chelsea nywod
2017 National Young Women of Distinction (Cherry: top right)

Our girl delegates played a significant part of the process at the National Council Session, helping decide on proposals related to the Girl Scout Movement. They then experienced G.I.R.L. 2017—the amazing and inspiring Girl Scout convention! Below, some of our delegates share their perspectives on the girl-powered, girl-led event—and what the whole experience that week meant to them.

hanalei alohaHanalei Emnace: Being a National Delegate representing GSGLA was truly an amazing experience—despite the lack of sleep and very long days, I had so much fun. From watching democracy in action during the National Council Session to performing in Girls Got Talent [see left] to walking around the city and seeing the multitude of Girl Scouts everywhere, it was apparent that Columbus was bleeding green that week. Furthermore, spending time getting to know my fellow girl delegates and making friendships with girls from all over the nation was so awesome, especially being able to trade SWAPS with Girl Scouts young and old; I even got to meet some cute little Daisies from Ohio! IMG_3166But one of the most memorable things that happened for me was meeting a female Lieutenant of the U.S. Navy, who was a Naval Academy graduate [see right]. She gave a talk on managing different aspects of life and her life experience in doing so; since I am looking to attend a military academy, it was such an inspiring meeting and it helped me realize all the opportunities that Girl Scouts has to offer. Throughout my week in Columbus I was able to immerse myself in parliamentary procedure, which coincides with my interest in political science, meet people from all over the country, and appreciate all the hard work that everyone put into putting on the week.

genetha 3Genetha Cleveland: My experience at the National Convention in Columbus, Ohio was fantastic! I Iearned many parliamentary legislation rules, met many other Girl Scouts, and much more. On Oct. 4, we started with voting on the proposals. Watching other Girl Scouts and delegates going to the panel to speak was interesting and a learning experience. My other Girl Scouts brought up great questions and concerns to the National Board. But my favorite part of our trip were the SWAPS. One time I wanted to trade SWAPS with another Girl Scout from California, and we ended up having a 15-minute conversation about how Girl Scouts has many benefits and give you many learning experiences. genetha 2Asking other people if they wanted to SWAP or if they wanted one of mine was fun. The Hall of Experiences was amazing too. I collected so many free things that I have already started using at school and for DIY crafts. By having three other delegates on my side, I was able to enjoy the experience even more. We all had an instant bond and enjoyed each other’s company. We’ve had so many memories together and I won’t be able to forget them. We all hope to attend the next convention in 2020 in Orlando, Florida. At the end of each event or lecture from other G.I.R.L.s, we talked about how we can relate to them and reflect upon ourselves.

hana 1Hana Meroth:
I never realized the global impact of Girl Scouts on girls around the world. It was truly amazing to be able to meet girls from across the nation and have an instant connection with them. Everyone we met was so incredibly amicable and welcoming. I had been looking forward to the incredible lineup of speakers, and they all exceeded my expectations. hana 3After listening to all the National Young Women of Distinction, I was so inspired to grow the impact of my own Girl Scout Gold Award project, and now I want to be a National Young Woman of Distinction! All the speakers had such inspiring stories of how they overcame adversities in their own lives and it really empowered me to approach situations in a new light and taught me how to be a go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, and leader in my everyday life. I’m already counting down the days until the 2020 Convention in Orlando!

We’re so proud of our G.I.R.L.s for representing Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles, and having an amazing experience themselves! Stay tuned for more information on the 2020 National Council Session and Convention in Orlando, Florida.