Monday, April 2, 2012

Arizona Republic: Girl Scouts CEO Anna Maria Chávez Finds a Sisterhood

The Arizona Republic reports that the year Anna Maria Chávez turned 10, she went from having no sisters to having millions.

"My best friend came to school one day and said, 'I'm going to be a Girl Scout,' and I said, 'Well, I want to be a Girl Scout, too!' For me, it was an immediate sort of embracing of other girls," said Chávez, now 43. "Suddenly, I had a sisterhood with girls across the globe."

Chávez, an Eloy native, had support at home in her parents and grandmother, but she credits the encouragement of her peers and the Girl Scout community with propelling her to pursue her interest in law.

"Think about 1960s rural Arizona," she said. "We didn't have a lot of extracurricular activity. Yet by entering our organization, I became one of many. They looked at me when others may have seen a different story -- a girl at risk, a girl perhaps in a poor community -- and they saw something else."

In November, she took on the role of CEO for Girl Scouts of the USA, becoming the first Hispanic woman to lead the organization of 2.3 million girl members and 890,000 volunteer adult members. The organization is celebrating its 100th birthday this year.

Before recently heading to Eloy for a homecoming, she sat down with The Republic to talk about her nearly lifelong relationship with the organization and the value of investing in girls. Read the entire article here.