Girl Scouts interim CEO Sylvia Acevedo was one of the first Latinos — male or female — to earn a graduate engineering degree from Stanford University. Yes, the woman is a boss AND a rocket scientist. Which is why it might seem strange that, upon giving her keynote at Re:Make 2016, she addressed the audience for a sincere and deeply-felt thank-you.
“Thank you for being creative,” she said.
She explained. As a little girl growing up in a desert community in New Mexico, it was common for kids who looked like her to drop out of high school. Acquiring an advanced science degree from a prestigious university like Stamford? Hardly even comprehensible. But then she met the Girl Scouts. Upon joining her local Brownie troop, she was encouraged by her troop leader to pursue a science badge instead of JUST the cooking badge that all her friends were going for. While simultaneously earning both badges, little Sylvia realized that science isn’t so different from cooking: both benefit from a little trial-and-error. The Girl Scouts-facilitated connection gave her the confidence to keep going in the sciences.
The little rocket turned into big ones, as Sylvia Acevedo went on to join NASA as one of the architects of the Voyager mission that ran the Jupiter fly-by in 1979.
So, back to being thankful. Why was Sylvia Acevedo thanking Re:Make summit attendees, an audience of mostly women, for being creative? Because creativity sparks curiosity, and curiosity percolates persistence. It’s what the Girl Scouts are all about. In the worlds of Sylvia Acevedo: “If you have a girl, start a troop.” Taken another way: if you are a girl, rally your troop. Keep exploring and keep on creating.
Were you ever a Girl Scout? Tweet us your cute throwback pics @britandco or your shots from Re:Make with #remake2016 hashtag!
(Photos via Chris Andre)