The Gift of Language

Spotlighting Girl Scout Volunteer Carla Redondo

Para ver este blog en español, haga clic aquí

Have you ever thought about what it’d be like to speak a second language? For many girls in our council being bilingual isn’t just a skill they have, it’s a pride point. Being bilingual is a verbal badge of honor that shows they’ve not only learned to speak to a wider audience, but learned about another culture. Carla Redondo, a proud Girl Scout mom and volunteer, believes that being bilingual is a powerful way to help her daughter excel in the world. That’s why she’s stepped up to provide a critical skill to Girl Scouts as a volunteer – English to Spanish translation.

Carla and her family moved to the US seven years ago from Venezuela. They moved to Lawrence, KS because her husband, Roberto, became a Fulbright scholar and was working on his Phd in architecture! He’s now a KU professor and Carla has been able to focus on the most important thing in their lives – their daughters, Helena (8) and Carlota (2 ½). Before leaving Venezuela, Carla got her degree in architecture and was working as a supervisor on projects for her firm. Once in America, she added graphic designer to her extensive list of skills, which has made her an especially valuable resource for Girl Scouts.

When daughter, Helena, became a Girl Scout, Carla was exploring the Spanish section of the Girl Scout website. While there, she saw a note asking for volunteers and contacted Lisa Peña, Manager of the Hispanic Initiative at GSKSMO. The two started talking and the rest is history!

The family loves that Helena is in Girl Scouts because they see her exploring new things. “I think it’s a great experience for her to learn outside of school,” Carla said. It’s the time that she gets to spend with Helena learning about things like nature – which is what she’s noticed her daughter taking a particular interest to. Because Helena attends a school with a no homework policy, Girl Scouts gives her activities to pursue that don’t include watching TV most of the time! “We spend quality time together and even though I’m not a Girl Scout, I’m learning alongside my daughter,” Carla said.

Not only is Carla the assistant troop leader for Helena’s Brown Troop 3861 in Lawrence, she also generously gives her time in other important volunteer roles. Carla is a Puente Volunteer (a communication liaison between a Spanish speaking mother and an English speaking troop) in Shawnee, she’s translated New Leader Express training materials and serves as a bilingual trainer for new leaders.

Her biggest project recently has been to translate the entire Cookie Training Manual! What makes Carla extra special for this project is her background in graphic design, which meant she could translate right in the software that it was designed in. She spent 23 hours translating that one manual – THANK YOU, CARLA! The best part? Seeing her daughter proud of the work she’s doing.

“When I was comparing the two versions of the Girl Scout Cookie Manual, one in English, one in Spanish, Helena asked me why I had both, I told her ‘I did this,’ and she felt so proud,” Carla said.

The time and effort Carla gives to support other Spanish-speaking Girl Scout families and girls is simply incredible. For her, it’s more than just giving back, it’s about instilling pride in her daughter. “By volunteering with Girl Scouts, I’m opening [my daughter’s] eyes to how beneficial it will be to her when she grows up, to be bilingual,” Carla said.

We can’t thank the Redondo family enough for the gift of their skills and time. They’re truly opening up a world of Girl Scouting to girls through language.  Thank you for making a difference in the lives of girls.

If you’re looking for volunteer opportunities, like Carla, let us know! Also, if you’re a Spanish-speaking family and interested in Girl Scouting, please contact Lisa Peña (lpena@gsksmo.org)!

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