Developing future professionals

Shannon Evers, Girl Scouts Western Oklahoma

I’m biased, but I think Girl Scouts have all the makings of excellent professionals.

Of course, you can’t really hire a Girl Scout. They’re busy with school, selling cookies, making a difference in their communities, you name it…

But take a second to think about what qualities you look for when you are hiring someone.

What kind of professional do you want to hire?

Regardless of the position you’re hiring for, chances are good that there are some common traits you keep in mind. I bet your list looks similar to mine:

  • skilled communicator
  • strong work ethic
  • willingness and desire to learn
  • good character
  • punctual and respectful

What if I told you that those are the values we instill in our Girl Scouts day in and day out? We encourage our girls to become leaders, and on top of the soft skills we develop (like the ones listed above), we want to make sure they are poised to have a lasting impact on their community.

Discover, connect, take action

You probably have a few elements that create a “secret sauce” for your organization—something that sets you apart and makes you different than others in your field. For us, it’s a learning process that permeates everything we encourage girls to do in Girl Scouts: discover, connect, take action.

Think about a typical food drive. It’s normal for a school or a church to ask students to collect cans for a food drive, and really anyone can do that. There’s nothing wrong with a canned food drive, but it’s also usually not the best way to address food insecurity in a community.

Following our process, we might first ask our girls to consider why people would need help getting food. We’ll guide them to think about different neighborhoods and where grocery stores are located.

We might have someone from the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma speak to the girls about food insecurity or have another community leader discuss what a food desert is.

After that, we’d help them find ways to take action. Instead of collecting cans, the girls might discover that helping communities have access to fresh fruits and vegetables is a more effective solution.

Our “discover, connect, take action” approach means that our girls are learning real-world leadership skills while they’re making a difference in our community. Those are the kind of people I’d like to hire.

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