In 2001, at the age of five, I walked into my first Girl Scout meeting as a Daisy Girl Scout. Little did I know this would be the organization where I would spend fifteen years working to craft my leadership, business, networking, and practical skills to prepare myself for the “real world”. The Girl Scouts instilled in me a desire to develop my own ideas and challenged me to put them to the test. I spent hundreds of hours on service projects in my community, including my 2007 Girl Scout Bronze Award service project, arranging a town wide food and toy drive for three local animal shelters. The success of this project ignited my desire to be a community-driven individual determined to make a positive difference in the lives of those around me. Fast forward to 2013, when I established my vision of Gals In Real Life Succeed (GIRLS), which later became my Girl Scout Gold Award service project (equivalent to the Boy Scout Eagle Award). GIRLS transformed from a mere idea into an international operation to educate young girls everywhere on the importance of voicing their opinions in political causes and eventually running for office and leadership positions themselves. In partnership with local entrepreneurs and politicians, I hosted workshops and webinars. GIRLS events covered areas including public speaking, personal presentation, networking, social media campaigns, and deciding on a platform. The idea skyrocketed, and in 2015 I received the Girl Scouts of Southeastern New England Young Woman of Distinction Award, and was also nominated for the 2015 National Young Woman of Distinction Award.
My fight for female representation and participation does not end there. In 2016, I earned an extremely competitive fellowship sponsored by Running Start, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. They chose seven fellows to live and work on Capitol Hill for a female member of Congress four days a week, which I did for an entire semester while also taking two classes. In addition, one day a week the seven of us attended seminars regarding campaigning for political office. These seminars provided us with access to female experts in the areas of campaign finance, network building, platforms, and social media, not unlike the workshops I had organized for GIRLS. We also attended political and professional development events in the Capitol and throughout D.C. We networked with top politicians in the nation regarding gender parity
in all aspects of American life and policy. GIRLS’ success and interest afforded me the opportunity to bring everything I learned in Washington back to Worcester State University (WSU). Running Start has a university level program, “Elect Her”, to educate young college-aged women on the “nuts and bolts” of running forstudent government. I took the initiative to introduce the Elect Her program at WSU. With this goal in mind, I partnered with the WSU Student Senate, University Advancement and Alumni, and the Massachusetts State House and Senate to craft a panel of dedicated, influential female elected officials. I was proud to see that my efforts resulted in a successful inaugural Elect Her event at WSU, with student participation from all across New England.
A pivotal moment occurred in 2016, one that rewarded me with the sense that my work had gained tangible meaning. I attended the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C. as the Massachusetts Cherry Blossom Princess, and throughout the entire week, I wore my Girl Scout Gold Award pin proudly on my sash. At one point, while mingling with the “little princesses”, who were around five years old, a little princess came up to me with her mother, and said hello. Almost instantly after the exchange, the little girl pointed to my sash and exclaimed to her mother, “Mom! She has her Gold Award! Isn’t that so cool?” She was a Daisy Girl Scout from Texas, and she ended up being my “little princess” for the week, and spent all of her time asking about Girl Scouts, what my project entailed, and when she should start planning for hers, with such excitement and positivity. Two months later I attended a fundraiser back home in Massachusetts, and again wore my sash with my pin on it. Another young Girl Scout approached me and pointed out my pin, just like the little girl had. We exchanged our Girl Scout experiences, as she was in a troop a few towns over. She was actually looking for a Gold Award Advisor for her project and asked if I would be interested. After telling her I would gladly help her, I brought up the story of the young girl at the Cherry Blossom Festival. To our surprise, their families knew each other through a Girl Scout exchange program they both participated in, proving just how interrelated the world is. Helping young girls like these through Girl Scouts is just one of the many ways in which I aspire to help women work towards achieving their future goals.
Powerful, hardworking individuals who inspired me to improve myself, and the lives ofothers, are the reason I became involved in socially conscious activities aimed at encouraging women to partake in the governing of our society. In law school, I look forward to refining my skills by learning from the great minds of professors and colleagues, so that I may continue to help advance the roles of women in political office. I want to keep the momentum up by empowering the next generation of strong female leaders to come. Attending law school is the next step in my mission for political gender parity and serving as a resource to the community around me.