Finding the Confidence to Lead

Jessica and Thanksgiving Meals on Wheels representative.Jessica Geroux was about to give up. Her Girl Scout Gold Award project was not going as planned, and she started to wonder if it was really worth the effort.

She had worked hard to identify the need and develop a plan to connect her fellow students to organizations where they could complete service hours required for graduation, but no one showed up to her event. At that point, Jessica had already invested a lot of time in her project. She interviewed six agencies that needed volunteers, created videos and posted them on YouTube to help students learn what organizations may work well for them, and reached out to seventeen area high schools to promote the program. She was equal parts frustrated and disappointed.

But Jessica is a Girl Scout. Rather than call it quits, she reviewed her goals and decided to try different approaches to grab attention.

Jessica donates birthday bags to Union Gospel Mission.She invited more people to the next event, posted the videos on Facebook, passed out flyers and made announcements at school. That time only a few people showed, but it was a start. Next, Jessica invited her church to get involved, she talked with her sister’s troop and soon she had organized enough people to complete multiple volunteer events, including serving meals at Simpson Housing Services Shelter, working with Thanksgiving Meals on Wheels, and creating and donating 80 birthday bags so kids at Union Gospel Mission could feel like a regular kid and celebrate with a small party.

Volunteers fill birthday bags.By working on her Gold Award project, Jessica learned video production and gained confidence in her ability to lead larger projects, just as she thought she would. What she didn’t expect was all the new connections she made within her community and the sense of truly understanding the needs in her neighborhood and how one person’s efforts and perseverance can make a difference.

Check out some of the videos Jessica created:
Thanksgiving Meals on Wheels
Union Gospel Mission
The Sandwich Project
Simpson Housing Services