Celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month

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by Lidia Soto-Harmon
Chief Executive Officer, Girl Scouts Nation’s Capital

Each year we observe National Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15 to October 15, to celebrate the contributions and culture of Americans who, like myself and my parents, came from countries including Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America (20 countries in all!).  This month reminds me the strength that comes from our diverse backgrounds and experiences.  As a Latina and CEO of Girl Scouts Nation’s Capital, I’m proud of the way Girl Scouts celebrates what makes each of us unique, giving all girls the opportunity to find their inner G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker and Leader)™.

When I reflect on the many contributions Latina women have made to enrich our country, I think about go-getters like Rita Moreno, the first Latina actress to win an Oscar, and be an EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony!). Innovators like Alma Flor Ada, the acclaimed children’s author and poet. Risk-takers like Ellen Ochoa, the first Hispanic woman to go to space (also a proud Girl Scout!). And leaders like Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, one of my personal role models. I am humbled by the way these women, among so many others, have reached incredible success in life while also remembering their cultural heritage, and most importantly inspiring young people to go after their dreams and hopes. I am reminded of all the girls I have met at Encuentro de Chicas Latinas de las Girl Scouts, who told me all the things that they hope to accomplish to help their community and help others. IMG_8750

We know that with diversity comes new ideas and new ways of thinking. When we embrace and cultivate girls in our region, we’re nurturing the next generation of groundbreakers, big thinkers and problem solvers—the next generation of leaders who dream bigger than we can imagine. At Girl Scouts, it is our goal to make sure every girl has the chance to create the future she wants for herself. Whether she wants to blaze trails in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), or make her mark in the business world, we give girls a safe space to learn, learn from failure and setbacks and grow in confidence and explore careers that interest them.

As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, I encourage all our leaders to work with girls to earn the Chicas patch, designed here at our Council to create understanding and appreciation for the rich culture and traditions of Hispanic and Latin Americans. I am also delighted to share that thanks to a grant from Crimson Bridge Foundation, we have expanded our website to include more information about Girl Scouting in Spanish. Click here to see more.

Happy Hispanic Heritage Month, Siempre Adelante! Always Forward

Seguimos inspirando a nuestra juventud. We continue to inspire our young people.

~Lidia