Women Helping Women: Celebrating Mentoring Monday with the Kansas City Business Journal

By Joy Wheeler, CEO

They say the best leaders are always looking for their replacements. They share their strength, and they help pull others up. But examples of that are sometimes hard to showcase in what can sometimes be a divisive world. Strong mentoring programs and opportunities like the Mentoring Monday event today helps support and encourage the next generation of leaders.

Bizwomen’s Mentoring Monday – February 24, 2020
In that spirit, Girl Scouts was proud to be a national sponsor for all Bizwomen’s Mentoring Monday events across the country. Did you know that the Kansas City event is the largest with more than 400 who attended today? What a thrill to bring some of our Girl Scouts to this incredible event where they joined with other women to participate in table discussions with topics like time management or how to effectively communicate your message. Following these discussions, our Girl Scouts participated in one-on-one speed coaching sessions with some of the most influential women in the local business community. The atmosphere was spirited and powerful as everyone gained career insights and made new connections.

Mentoring only enhances what a Girl Scout brings to the table 

  • Did you know that Girl Scouts are twice as likely to have a bachelor’s degree?
  • Did you know that Girl Scouts earn 23% more than other women?
  • Did you know that Girl Scouts are more likely to pursue STEM careers, become civic leaders and own businesses?

Yes, all true! The Girl Scouts I had the honor to bring with me today include a Gold Award (the highest honor a Girl Scout can earn after researching, planning and implementing a sustainable project benefitting her community or beyond) Alum who is in her second year of medical school; three 2020 Gold Award Girl Scouts – one will be headed to Michigan State in the fall to pursue a degree in logistics and supply chain management, another a junior in high school and already planning her college path to be in engineering and the other graduating high school early and looking toward a future path pursuing a psychology degree. Two of our Girl Scouts are future Gold Award Girl Scouts and are high achieving in every aspect from their educational accomplishments to their advocacy for others. I was so proud to watch these leaders soak up every moment and connect with inspiring women across our community. Today is what it is all about – standing up for girls, supporting and mentoring the next generation of our world’s leaders!

Joy Wheeler (center) wiht the Girl Scout attendees of the Mentoring Mondays event in Kansas City.

What our next generation says about the power of mentoring

The following quotes are from our Girl Scouts who attended today.

“I love hearing about her leadership journey, how she got there, tips and what you have to push through to accomplish your career goals.”

“The advice I loved and will carry with me is to always be curious and be your own advocate.”

“You don’t always have to be perfect. Don’t say no to something just because you think you don’t have every single skill listed. Don’t be afraid to fail and learn from it.”

Powerful mentoring happens every day
Girl Scouts connects girls with businesses and organizations in our community for opportunities and experiences lead by female role models. She experiences STEAM, Entrepreneurship, Civic Engagement and Outdoor Adventure. Girls can decide for THEMSELVES what their future career options can be. She gains the courage, confidence and character to move gender bias and stereotypes aside in pursuit of HER dream.

Unleash the power of girls
We have a collective responsibility to support the next generation of leaders. Women and girls make up 51% of the population. And when we unleash our power by supporting one another fully, we become the change we need to see in the world. That’s why Girl Scouts ARE the 51% solution! Join with us and stand up for girls!

Reaching for the Stars: Girl Scout Destination – Alyssa R.

As a Girl Scout, you learn to shoot for the stars and excel in your passions. Girl Scout Senior, Alyssa R., a 10th grader in Olathe, KS, decided to go for the stars in an exciting Astronomy Destinations experience during the summer of 2019! Alyssa met 9 other Girl Scouts from around the country in Oregon to find out what it means travel like a Girl Scout.

Alyssa began her Girl Scout experience as a Daisy Girl Scout in North Carolina before moving to Kansas City and joining the troop she’s still with as a Junior. “For me, Girl Scouts lets me meet a wide community of people who all think differently,” Alyssa said – something that has helped her see other perspectives throughout her life. One of her favorite things about being a Girl Scout has been the outdoor and STEM experiences she’s been able to have – including a rock climbing camping adventure in Arkansas as part of one of our council trips. That led her to wanting to explore more with Girl Scouts and she soon found that a Destination would be the best option.

The application process was one that Alyssa prepared for and later found out that her preparation and thoughtful answers helped her get accepted. “The staff talked to us about our essays and gave us back what we wrote, then told us that we all put in more than the basics, which helped us get selected. We put in why we wanted to do it, why we were interested in astronomy and a STEM career,” Alyssa said. This experience helped her get a taste of what college applications will be like and now knows she has an edge after hearing about what stood out to the staff.

After being accepted, Alyssa made her way to Oregon and toured the coast, which included a stop at Seaside Beach. The group arrived at Pine Mountain Observatory for STEM activities and camped for 5 days Deschutes National Forest. Over the course of 9 days, in addition to camping, the girls did constellation walks, volunteered at two public observation nights, learned about wavelengths, performed several experiments and even went white water rafting! Overall, the experience let her try new things, meet new friends and get a feel for what a career in astronomy might look like.

During the Destination, she met Girl Scouts from all over the country and they still have a very active group chat. She also walked away with a new appreciation for her passion for astronomy and the confidence of travelling without parents or friends. “A Destination is a great thing to experience at this age since it’s nice to learn to travel without parents or friends to rely on,” Alyssa said.

She would encourage other Girl Scouts to “find a Destination that interests you…and just go for it!” Her biggest tip is “[…]be truthful in what your interests are, express interest [on the application] and proofread your submissions,” said Alyssa. We love those tips and know they’ll help other Girl Scouts rock those Destinations applications – and maybe some college or job applications too!  Thanks, Alyssa, for sharing your awesome Girl Scout Destinations experience!

Are you interested in a Girl Scout destination? Check out some of the awesome places Girl Scouts travel and get ready for the next round of the application process!