From Girl Scouts to Teach For America

Sara MahleGirl Scouts played an important part in Sara Mahle’s life—it taught her to be a good listener, to take risks and to persevere in tough situations. These are the lessons she says make her a good leader today at Teach For America (TFA) in her role as Senior Vice President of Recruitment. Originally from Golden Valley, MN, Anna was a member of troop 580 for nine years before moving to Rio Grande Valley, TX for her Teach For America corps experience.

Her decision to join TFA came during her senior year in college when she was looking for an opportunity to create a meaningful impact in the country. When Anna discovered TFA she thought it would be a great fit given her Girl Scouts background. To her, “The core values of the Girl Scouts are really aligned with Teach For America’s core values—transformational change, diversity, leadership, team, respect and humility.”

Years after completing her TFA term, Anna is now leading the effort to recruit young people into the program. She looks back on her experience with Girl Scouts and recognizes the integral role it played in encouraging her to become a strong leader. Some of her best memories are from summers at Camp Northwoods, where she camped and ventured out on canoe and backpacking trips.

“I think that the cumulative experiences at Camp Northwoods taught me about self-awareness, which I now know is critical to leadership,” reflects Anna. “I learned how to listen to others and to nature, how to be comfortable with myself (which is hard when you are in middle school), and how to have perspective and appreciate just how lucky and privileged I was growing up.”

This article was adapted from GSUSA’s original blog post. For the complete interview, visit