Written by Press Corps Member Maddy Dietz
On May 9, 2019, Girl Scouts of River Valleys celebrated their 11th Women of Distinction gala! With a crowd of over 750, the night led to $426,513 being fundraised for Girl Scouts. Four Women of Distinction awards were given, as well as two Young Women of Distinction awards, and each nominee had the opportunity to speak regarding their achievements. Read about the achivements of the 2019 Women of Distinction and 2019 Young Women of Distinction. One theme ran clear throughout the night: women and girls need to be inspired, and to know that they can achieve grand things.
I spoke to a small group of girls in the ConnectZ program and the Girl Leadership Board, and they have vital wisdom to share on that very subject. The Girl Leadership Board has applications open for girls to join their ranks until June 30, 2019.
On the importance of Women of Distinction, Aubrey shared, "[The significance of Women of Distinction] is to show the importance of women in power and women in higher positions, because that really gets undersold a lot in mainstream media.” And Jada stressed that the purpose is, “To show importance and to give recognition to women.” That was strikingly clear throughout the night, as each Woman and Young Woman of Distinction had an interview video by Roxane Battle, an award-winning journalist and author. Watch the full playlist of the interviews.
Elizabeth Neil, one of the Young Women of Distinction, shared her thoughts on girls inspiring girls: “In my journey through Girl Scouts and through school I have found that usually girls gravitate towards one another, that we feel this connection, bond, friendship, with girls that we might not feel to the same degree with boys. I think that we can use that to our advantage, we have already begun using that to our advantage, to identify problems and band together to make change happen.”
Overall, the night was a beautiful celebration of achievement and full of inspiration for all. The girls I interviewed certainly felt it in the air; Jada said, “Be yourself, and don’t try and fit in with others. Just stay you. And influence people with how you are and not how other people are.” Aubry added on: “Stand your ground. If you don’t have a firm stance on something, you’re going to get pushed around.” And Tsion gave vital advice to all, “Be a leader. The only way you’re going to get anywhere is if you lead yourself.”
Most of all, Elizabeth stressed the importance of bravery in telling your story, “Get your story out there! I never would have thought that I could’ve inspired others with my story because I thought not many people would be able to relate to it, but I got it out there and I witnessed so much more than I ever could have dreamed of or imagined. But, the getting-your-story-out-there part is hard, it’s like when you type a text and don’t send it because you’re thinking about all the ways it could go wrong. Press that blue arrow, send that text, share your story because seriously, there is someone out there, some girl out there who needs to hear your story. Eradicate fear from your life and be bold!”
Girl Scouts, we hope you feel inspired too, from your fellow Girl Scouts and from all the Women of Distinction in your lives.
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