Here at Girl Scouts, we firmly believe that girls can’t be what they can’t see. That’s especially true for young girls of color, who don’t always have the opportunity to see women of color taking on leadership positions on a larger scale. Today, we’re honoring Congresswoman Barbara Lee: a lawmaker, defender of the poor, and Girl Scout alumna.
Though Lee and her younger sister were the only two African American girls in their El Paso, Texas Girl Scout troop, this didn’t stop them from building strong friendships within their community and having truly rewarding and fulfilling experiences in Girl Scouting. During her time in Girl Scouts, Lee began cultivating her passion for community engagement, and she gained a greater appreciation for and love of the outdoors. The Girl Scout values instilled in Lee at the tender age of 11—and the essential life skills she learned— help inform her current work in the US Congress.
“The Girl Scouts emphasizes first and foremost community engagement,” Lee says. “This value has resonated with me throughout my entire life. I took this spirit to college, where I received my degree in social work, and I have taken it with me to Congress as I work to protect and help the most vulnerable. The Girl Scouts also taught me a lot about respecting the difference in others.”
Girl Scouts has been an important part of Congresswoman Lee’s life, and the experiences she had as a Girl Scout have truly impacted her adult life. She had the opportunity to explore nature and learned to respect and cherish our planet, and now she is able to work with her Congressional colleagues on addressing climate change and pollution as a member of the Safe Environment Caucus.
(Photo credit: BET.com)
Thank you, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, for the shining example of leadership you set for girls around the world!