What Can a Cookie Do: Spotlighting GSKSMO Volunteer Jessica Shalita
Middle school can be a time of awkward transition for young girls. For most it means changing schools and maybe even changing friends. We’ve all been there and for many of us, it’s not an easy time in our lives.
Jessica Shalita, lifetime Girl Scout member, remembers that feeling all too well. She promised herself in high school that when she became an adult she would come back to Girl Scouts in order to volunteer with older girls going through the teenage stage of life.
Jessica kept that promise and is now a co-leader for Cadette Troop #5289 in Knob Noster, Missouri. As a leader she’s a bit atypical as she’s not a mom of a Girl Scout. But that didn’t stop her from volunteering the first chance she got!
“I always knew I wanted to be a troop leader,” Jessica said. “As soon as I got settled after graduation in 2013 I called the council and told them I wanted to volunteer.”
And she didn’t stop there. Jessica specifically requested to be placed with a troop of older girls because she knows what an important and challenging time the teenage years can be.
“I wanted to work with older girls because I had a great Girl Scout experience as an older girl myself,” Jessica said. “I went on a GS Destinations trip to Mexico and also earned my Gold Award in 2007.”
With a Girl Scout success story like hers, it’s no surprise that Jessica is still impacting the world in BIG ways. Jessica is an Air Force Captain in the United States Air Force. She is currently an Active Duty 509th Medical Support Squadron pharmacist and is stationed at Whiteman Air Force Base. That’s right – Jessica is rocking a military STEM career!
“I joined the military because I wanted to serve my country and protect our freedoms,” Jessica said. “I also wanted to broaden my leadership capabilities.”
Girl Scouts has always been passionate about supporting our troops. That’s why we’re so excited about this weekend’s Operation Sweet Treat! We have partnered with the USO and local malls to create a Cookie Share initiative that lets girls ask customers if they would like to buy a box or more to be donated back to the three military bases located in our council (Whiteman AFB, Ft. Riley an Ft. Leavenworth).
Jessica thinks Operation Sweet Treat is an easy way to say “thank you” to those in uniform.
“Receiving a box of your favorite Girl Scout cookies really makes you feel like you’re remembered,” Jessica said. “You know you’re in the thoughts of your community.”
She also adds a great selling point for troops asking customers to buy an extra box – it’s like a box of calorie-free cookies when you donate! Can’t beat zero calories 😉
While Jessica leads a busy life with career and other activities, she feels making time to be a Girl Scout volunteer is one of her best decisions.
“I want to set a good example for these girls and be the moral, responsible woman they can look up to,” Jessica said. “I often joke that even though I’m not a mom I’m so busy being a part of these girls’ lives! It always brightens my week.”
We’re sure you brighten their week as well, Jessica! Thank you for all you do to serve our country and make the world a better place for teenage girls!
Operation Sweet Treat (Feb. 27 – March 1) is a special weekend to honor our Cookie Share partnership with the USO through community booth sales. This year’s Operation Sweet Treat Weekend coincides with National Cookie Days. We invite you to buy a box or more for a soldier by visiting one of the booth locations below or any of the booth locations across our 47 counties.
Find out more about Operation Sweet Treat.