Monday, April 24, 2017

Girls of Courage Grow into Leaders of Communities

For Volunteer Appreciation Month, we asked Margarita Olivarez to share the story of her lifelong relationship with Girl Scouts-- from her childhood as a Girl Scout to being a Troop Leader today. Thanks for all you do, Margarita!

It’s been decades since I pinned my first Girl Scout badge to my vest in elementary school, but the mission still rings true: Girl Scouts builds young women of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. I’ll never grow out of being a Girl Scout, because the organization stands for universal values of altruism and community service, which are just as imperative in adulthood.

When I became a mom, I started volunteering in different capacities, because like all parents, I wanted the best for my children. Although I hoped my daughter would choose to be a Girl Scout, I didn’t expect that I would be a troop leader for 12 years. And I definitely didn’t expect to continue leading the troop nine years after she left it! But why would I leave? Working with young girls gives me hope for the future of our communities—I see them develop into confident adults who understand the importance of giving back.

"Working with young girls gives me hope for the future of our communities—I see them develop into confident adults who understand the importance of giving back."


When we tell our kids to clean up after their campsites or we show them beautiful endangered animals in their natural habitats, we’re teaching kids to protect the environment. When girls earn badges for learning valuable skills in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) or leadership, we’re teaching them that they can do anything they put their minds to. And when they serve food to hungry neighbors, we’re teaching them the value of compassion.

Working so closely with girls is inspiring. They consistently challenge themselves to try new things, persist in spite of difficulties, and transform their dreams into realities. From learning to tie a clove hitch knot to overcoming homesickness when traveling abroad, these experiences are essential to shaping their worldviews. When I catch a glimpse of a girl’s face during that moment of accomplishment, I know I have made a difference.

"When I catch a glimpse of a girl’s face during that moment of accomplishment, I know I have made a difference."


Volunteering with Girl Scouts has given me the opportunity to witness firsthand the effect people can have on one another. The experience has also compelled me to volunteer for other meaningful organizations in my community, like my church, United Way, and the Hispanic Association of Women.

I’m proud to work with civically minded people at AT&T who support my efforts and volunteer alongside me. This April, as we celebrate National Volunteer Month, I encourage all of you to find ways to inspire others and help make the world a better place by giving your time and hard work. Learn more about how my colleagues and I support our communities and amazing organizations like Girl Scouts.