The best is yet to come for Amalia as she gets ready to enter her sixth year of Girl Scouts! In 2018, Amalia and her family discovered Girl Scouts at a back-to-school event at Unity High School in Cicero, IL. At the time, Amalia was looking for a program of her own, just like her older brothers who participated in boys only programs. As Amalia gears up for the new Girl Scout year, she’s reflecting on her journey and hoping her story will encourage others to embrace stepping outside of their comfort zones. After all, anything is possible when we’re willing to try new things.
Walking through the parking lot at Unity High School, Amalia’s mother, Leticia, noticed a woman who she thought could use a hand carrying her belongings. Jumping into action, Leticia’s two sons assisted the woman with her belongings and made their way inside the school. While going table to table to check out the different vendors, Amalia and her family came across the woman they helped outside, who was none other than Martha Sternickle, Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana’s (GCNWI) Director of Member Engagement. After talking with Martha and learning more about Girl Scouts, Amalia and her family decided to embark on their Girl Scout journey.
Amalia began Girl Scouts as a Brownie and is now a Cadette who loves robotics and STEM activities, exploring downtown Chicago with her Girl Scout troop, music, and is even in her school band where she plays the compression and snare drum. At just 12 years old, Amalia has been thriving in Girl Scouts and in life, something Leticia attributes to Andrea, Amalia’s troop leader. With wise words and encouragement from Andrea, Amalia continues to step outside of her comfort zone and try activities she’s sometimes a little hesitant to try! She’s reached new heights by riding roller coasters on troop outings to Six Flags Great America and has tried horseback riding; two activities she now loves thanks to encouragement from Andrea. As Amalia puts it, Andrea encourages each girl in her troop to try new activities, even if they’re a little hesitant, because at the end of the day, they won’t know if they like something unless they try it.
Girl Scouts has also provided Amalia with the opportunity to make new friends within and outside of her troop and form connections with girls from out of state councils. Leticia and Amalia frequently attend council-wide events so Amalia can develop friendships with girls outside of her troop and continue discovering activities that pique her interest. She’s even encouraged some of her friends to join Girl Scouts so they can set sail on their own unique Girl Scout journeys and create a lifetime of memories, just as she has done. Amalia has also had the opportunity to participate in virtual events outside of the GCNWI council. She virtually attended the Girl Scouts of Colorado’s Inspiring Futures series where she learned about potential careers and the educational pathways that could lead her there. She even sat in on a conversation with Ashley Baller, Miss Rodeo Colorado, and learned how Ashley combined her passion for horses and pageants into something special.
For Amalia and her family, Girl Scouts is a family experience. Just as Amalia has supported her older brothers, Leticia routinely brings her sons to Girl Scout events so they can support their sister. While Girl Scouts is an opportunity to bring the family together, Leticia, who was once her daughter’s troop leader, keeps an eye out for opportunities to bring Girl Scouts to other families and communities. Simply put, Leticia wants to bring awareness of Girl Scouts to other communities and families because she’s seen firsthand the impact Girl Scouts has made on Amalia and her family. She wants other families and communities to experience all Girl Scouts has to offer! To Leticia, Girl Scouts is an outlet for girls. It’s an opportunity for girls to make friends outside of their classroom or even community, it’s a safe space for girls to step outside of their comfort zones and try new things they might not otherwise have the opportunity to try, and it’s a place where girls can explore their own and new communities and see just how diverse the world truly is.
As Amalia gears up for the new Girl Scout year, she’s excited to see what new adventures lie ahead! With encouragement from her Girl Scout squad and Andrea, she’s ready to soar to new heights and make this her best year yet. One day Amalia even hopes to be a troop leader so just like Andrea, she can inspire girls to try new things, chase their dreams, and be their most authentic selves.
If you’d like to continue the Girl Scout journey you or your daughter has embarked on, renew your membership today and join us as we sail into another year of adventure, fun, and growth! Or to learn more about the ways you can participate in Girl Scouts, visit us at www.girlscoutsgcwni.org/join.