Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Working with the Girl Scouts

Since my time working with youth in Morocco I have wanted to work with youth again, possibly as a career. I've applied to dozens of jobs in youth development, obviously with no avail. Yes I did work as a substitute teacher but it wasn't exactly the job I saw myself staying in for more than a few months. 

One day a several weeks ago, in a take action kind of moment, I decided to call up the Girl Scouts office in Jackson. I was going to question them on volunteer opportunities because I want to get as much experience with youth as I can, both as personal fulfillment and to work toward greater future job possibilities. After the woman on the other end of the phone line asked me what type of volunteering I was looking for, being the open person I am, I gave her my schpeel. I told her where I'd been, where I'm at, and where I want to go. Then she said something I could have never expected. She told me that they were actually in need of a person to take on a paid part time position and I sounded like I would fit it very well. Turns out a member of their staff was going to be going on maternity leave and was in need of extra help while she was gone and beyond.

Katie is the outreach coordinator of the Jackson branch of Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan. The Girl Scouts offer outreach programs by going onto area elementary schools, community centers, and churches to offer Girl Scouting to all girls regardless of if they are in a formal troop. I was hired after a quick review of my resume and a meeting to be an outreach facilitator. My role, along with one other woman, is to go into two schools a few hours per week and do activities with the girls who are in the Girl Scouts outreach programs.

I never expected to make this connection when I made that call that day. I felt in that moment a sense of really wanting to take the bull by the horns and find opportunities for myself and I was so kindly rewarded. Turns out it was quite the fortunate event for Katie as well, as she knew she might have to cancel some of the existing programs in her absence. She says she found me so she can take her leave in peace. 

I'm so glad to be having this experience with the Girl Scouts, something I never got to do. Living in Morocco gave me such an appreciation for freedoms and support I enjoy as a woman. I gained a greater passion for female empowerment by living there.  Now I get to work for an organization that greatly shares that passion.