by Katie G.
I first joined Girl Scouts in the seventh grade and had the opportunity to meet amazing girls, volunteer, and complete interesting and challenging projects throughout my five years as a Juliette.
In my final year as a Girl Scout, I was selected to participate in the Forever Green project, and spent the school year meeting with other girls from around the council and working on environmental conservation projects. We learned how to make rain gardens, taught younger girls about protecting the environment, and hosted plastic bag drives throughout the area to provide people with reusable bags (I still use mine when I go grocery shopping!). During this project, we were partnered with US Girl Scouts Overseas-China. Throughout the year we had video conferences with one another and learned about each other and our projects.
In August of 2013 I, along with seven other girls, had the opportunity to travel to China to meet the girls we had been working with all year. I had never had the opportunity to visit Asia and would not have had the opportunity to without my participation in Girl Scouts. During our trip, I was encouraged to try new foods and was at times overwhelmed with all that I saw. Visiting China with Girl Scouts opened me up to an entirely new world. This project and this trip exposed me to organizing projects, leading initiatives, and experiencing new cultures. It fundamentally shaped the person I have become; encouraged me to learn all that I could about the world; and led to my desire to study policy and foreign affairs.
I am confident that much of the success that I have had in my life, is due to the confidence that Girl Scouts instilled in me, and the opportunity that I had because of my participation. I have since graduated with my bachelor’s in government and international politics from George Mason University, and my master’s in Security Studies from Georgetown University. I have been selected for a number of prestigious fellowships, and have entered the foreign affairs field professionally. Throughout this entire journey, I have thought back to my first experience abroad discovering a different culture, and how formative that has been on my decisions since then. I am deeply grateful for the opportunities I had through Girl Scouts, and am confident that I would not be where I am today without them.