Granite State Girl Scout among BBC News’ “Top 100 Women of 2016”

erin-mckenney-high-resolutionA Londonderry Girl Scout is among the BBC News’ Top 100 Women of 2016, joining the ranks of Olympic medalist Simone Biles, NASA space scientist Katherine Johnson, performer Alicia Keys, and body-positive model Iskra Lawrence.

Erin McKenney, a 2016 graduate of Londonderry High School who earned her Girl Scout Gold Award earlier this year, said she was contacted by a network representative last month. The 100 Women series profiles inspirational women from around the world who’s academic, cultural, or social contributions have made differences in the lives of others- ranging from world leaders to local heroines. At 18, McKenney is one of the youngest women on the list.

Currently a freshman at Lafayette College in Easton, PA, McKenney said she plans to travel to London in early December, where she’ll share her story on camera and also assist the British television network in its quest to profile lesser-known female scientists and engineers. “It’s a great opportunity to represent women in underrepresented fields,” she said.

Encouraging girls to explore their strengths, however non-traditional, is a topic that’s near and dear to McKenney’s heart. Working closely with Girls at Work, Inc. in Manchester, NH, the ambitious Girl Scout designed a series of fun and interactive science workshops for girls ages 8 through 12. The program, which continues to grow and has since been incorporated into a summer camp series hosted by The Circle Program, earned McKenney the highly coveted Girl Scout Gold Award, which is the highest honor a Girl Scout can achieve.

One important component of McKenney’s award-winning program required her to network and join forces with successful female scientists, innovators, and engineers. During her stay in the UK, McKenney will have the opportunity to work in the media café at BBC’s international headquarters, where she’ll help build Wikipedia pages for some of the world’s lesser-known women in STEM fields: many of whom she got to know in the process of earning her Gold Award.

“Girls can be what they can see, so my goal is to make those examples more visible,” she explains. McKenney said she plans to document her travels via her project’s Facebook page, Curiosity Science Program (https://www.facebook.com/curiositygirlsscience/).

The Girl Scout Gold Award represents the highest achievement in Girl Scouting. Completion of a seven-step project earns girls the satisfaction of addressing a community concern, with eyes sharply focused on the future. Gold Award recipients are highly regarded during the college application process and are also eligible for increased military ranking.

As part of her award-winning teaching program, designed for school-aged children, McKenney designed lessons on scientific formulas and theories, while profiling a female professional working in an applicable field. “We’d build our own rockets, while learning about a woman working for NASA,” she explained.

“Erin’s project and her continued commitment to empowering girls truly exemplifies the Girl Scout way,” said Patricia Mellor, CEO for Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains. “We are proud to support Erin as she works to change the world for the better, one girl at a time.”

McKenney will further discuss her project during an interview set to appear on the BBC 100 Women Facebook page sometime in the coming month. She said her many years spent in Girl Scouts have given her the confidence to continue moving forward. “I’ve learned so much about leadership and about being a mentor,” she said. For more information on BBC’s 100 Women of 2016, visit http://www.bbc.com/news/world-38012048.

Michelle Dominguez Earns Girl Scout Gold Award

michelledDuring a trip to Poland four years ago, Girl Scout Michelle Dominguez found deep inspiration as she traced St. John Paul II’s historic footsteps.

Created in homage to similar gardens she traipsed during her tour of Poland, the home-schooled high school junior constructed “Mary’s Garden,” a quiet area of contemplation for the St. Kathryn’s Parish community in Hudson. Her efforts have earned her the highly coveted Girl Scout Gold Award, which is the highest honor a Girl Scout can earn.

A Girl Scout for nearly a decade, Michelle said she was struck by the positive effects witnessed by visitors to spiritual gardens in Wadowice- former home of St. John Paul II.  “I wanted that same positive feeling in my own community,” she added.

Donations from her parish’s Knights of Columbus chapter allowed Michelle to purchase mulch, a granite bench, and dozens of colorful shrubs, bulbs, and perennial plants. Once her materials were assembled, Michelle rolled up her sleeves and got down to task, enlisting her church youth group and fellow Scouts to help her out.

She said her church groundskeeper will be able to maintain the garden for future generations to enjoy. “Even when I’m in college, people can still come by and see the gorgeous flowers with Mary: flowers that will keep on blooming year after year,” Michelle said.

Overall, Michelle’s path to Gold has instilled some lifelong lessons: lessons that will serve her well as she looks towards the future. “I learned that I can accomplish anything, no matter how big or small,” she said. “I can achieve any goal, as long as I set my mind to it.”

Though undecided on her adult career path, Michelle said she’d like to one day become “either an engineer, a speech pathologist, or a psychologist.”

Maria Wiles Earns Girl Scout Gold Award

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A Middlebury Union High School senior has earned her Girl Scout Gold Award.

Maria Wiles, a Girl Scout since first grade, said she’s long been inspired by “those that keep a smile on their face even in times of struggle.” Following the death of Gary Griffin, a dear family friend and longtime deacon at Our Lady of Good Help Church, Wiles decided to create a religious education center in his honor.

The Gary Griffin Memorial Learning Center is a space for catechism teachers and students to gather. Noticing her church’s basement was unused and uninviting, Wiles said she was also concerned that many of the congregation’s younger members hadn’t been to church lately. Tapping in to her love of reading and knack for painting, the determined Girl Scout teamed up with members of the close-knit faith community to create an enduring and inviting learning center.

maria2As part of her project, Wiles sought out donations of books, paint, and building supplies; gathered CCD students to complete a colorful mural; and oversaw teams of volunteers eager to lend helping hands.  “For a long time, it has been difficult for the youth in my church to show older parishioners what they do,” she said. “With my project, I was able to bring to light not only my work, but how much each religious education student does in keeping the church going.”

With the Learning Center now fully operational, Wiles continues to raise community awareness of the center’s many resources via its website.

Meanwhile, a new youth group has already made the center its permanent home and is maintained by the members as part of their learning experience. “With my help, the religious education director was able to form this group and is bringing them to serve in places like Burlington and Brandon,” Wiles added.

As she looks to the future, Wiles said the lesson’s she’s gained in the Gold Award approval process has made college applications “a breeze.” She hopes to ultimately earn a nursing degree and assist at a hospital in Costa Rica, where she traveled last year as part of the Girl Scout Destinations Program. “Girl Scouts gave me that opportunity and my life will never be the same,” Wiles said. “Girl Scouts has empowered me as a woman and as a human being. Without it, I would never have had the hunger for service and learning that I do today.”

The Outlook – Monthly Updates for Girl Scout Volunteers

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November 2016

Change More Lives & Get $50. Invite a Friend to Volunteer Today!

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It’s no surprise that 96 percent of girls have tried at least one new thing as a Girl Scout, right?

As a Girl Scout volunteer, you introduce girls to fun, new, and unique experiences every day, and help them find their spark as they prepare to practice a lifetime of leadership. You’re their biggest fan, their guiding star, and their hero, and we need more amazing mentors just like you to impact even more girls’ lives.

Starting Tuesday, Nov. 15, invite a friend to start a new Girl Scout Daisy, Brownie, or Junior troop, and everyone wins! We’ll email you with more details then.

Plus, when you double the friends, you double your prize —-  $100 for you and a Volunteer Resource Pack (a $50 value) for each friend. Awesome!
Offer runs Nov. 15-Dec. 15, 2016. Questions? We’re here for you. Contact us. Please review official Terms and Conditions.


 

 

Silver and Gold Awards

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Now is a great time to start planning for Silver and Gold Award projects. Check out our Silver and Gold Award Fact Sheets and our Highest Award Financing Fact Sheets on our website. Attend an upcoming Silver or Gold Award webinar for more information or reach out to us with your questions and to help girls plan their projects.
Learn More


 

Service Bars

Winter is a busy time of service to the community and to Girl Scouting for many older girls. Have girls track their hours to earn a Community Service Bar and/or Service to Girl Scouting Bar at every age level. Download the new paperwork below.

Community Service Bar
Service to Girl Scouting Bar

 

Learn About Our Exciting Travel Opportunities!

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Check out Girl Scout Destinations, the ultimate adventure program for girls ages 11 and older. Travel with Girl Scouts from throughout the country, see and learn new things, and pack your bags full of inspiring, life-changing experiences and memories. First round applications are due to the Bedford office by November 28, 2016 and second round applications are due February 13, 2017.

Want to learn more? Join us for our Travel Information Session next Wednesday, November 16, at 6 pm. Register for this online session to learn about our many upcoming travel opportunities, including visits to Costa Rica, London, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and France, as well as several domestic trips (including mother and daughter trips).

Learn More

 

Mark Your Calendar

Badge Sampler—Girl Scout Juniors are invited to join us in our Williston office on Friday, November 18, at 6 pm. Work towards your Product Designer and Jeweler badges as you learn from industry experts, and create some amazing new products!

Try-It Sampler—Girl Scout Brownies are invited to join us in the Williston office on Saturday, November 19, from 6 to 8 pm. Earn part of the STEAM try-its. Each day will be different and include parts of Home Scientist, Computer Expert, Letterboxer, Bugs, Senses, and Inventor. Register HERE by November 15.

Green Saturday—Join us in our Bedford and Williston offices on Saturday, November 19, from 10 am to 2 pm for extended shopping hours, store specials, crafts, and holiday fun for the entire family! All registered Girl Scouts will receive a FREE, limited edition Green Saturday patch!

STEAM Expo—Join us in our Bedford office on Saturday, December 3, from 1 to 4 pm for bristlebot-building, SCRATCH Coding lessons, the chance to chat with female STEAM professionals as well as our very own Girl Scout robotics team, and more! Register HERE by November 20.

Cookie Rallies—Join us January 7, from 2 to 5 pm in Vermont at The Champlain Valley Exposition or Saturday, January 14, from 2:30 to 4:30 pm in New Hampshire at the SNHU Arena (formerly Verizon Wireless Arena), followed by a Monarchs game at 6 pm. Each event is unique and jam-packed with exciting, giveaways and hands-on activities to help you make your Girl Scout Cookie Sale a fabulous success. Choose one or both locations! Registration is now open online HERE.

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Upcoming Programs

Snowshoeing Adventure – January 14, 2017, Hollis, NH
Enjoy a snowshoeing obstacle course and quest for signs of life in winter!
$14 pp
REGISTER

Winter Getaway – January 21, 2017, Holderness, NH
Get a behind-the-scenes tour to find out what happens to native species in winter.
$12 pp
REGISTER

For more information, contact our Customer Care team at 888.474.9686.


The Outlook is a monthly newsletter for Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains’ volunteers.

Have a question? Don’t be shy! Contact us for more information.

My Channel Island Adventure Destination by Hunter Conway

Girl Scout Hunter Conway recently enjoyed an adventure in “the Galapagos of North America” during a GSUSA Destinations trip, “Chanel Island Adventure.” In this blog post, Hunter shares her experiences visiting the little-known National Park—which is located off the coast of California.

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The Channel Island adventure has been a good opportunity for me to become more independent and have a better understanding of the impact we have on our natural resources. This amazing adventure was filled with many first-time experiences for me, including my first solo flight, my first time navigating an airport alone (and meeting up with a group of strangers with whom I’d soon become friends), and my first time seeing the natural beauty of the Channel Islands. I couldn’t wait to see the diversity of wildlife the island is home to.

My first day on the island I was surprised at how wide open the landscape was and how peaceful the ocean looked. On the ferry ride over to the island we were accompanied by a pod of dolphins and two whales. Over the next week I saw sea lions along the caves on the rocky shoreline as we passed by in our kayaks. Gardens of large kelp beneath us gave way to schools of fish. As we hiked to Devil’s Peak we saw an eagle fly by and one night we had the island fox steal a bag of Goldfish crackers from the storage bin. There were no city lights to block the view of the night sky. No busy streets to drown out the sounds of the waves. Not one of these animals know what it was like to dodge traffic on its way to find a meal: a stark contrast to the mainland.

channel-island-1The mainland was so different from the island, with lots of buildings, busy streets, and people coming and going in a hurry. There was a pool and a flushing toilet at the hotel with purified water, but at the island there was ocean and water spigots and holes for toilets. The mainland was totally inhabited by people and showed little signs of wildlife. Here the wildlife has been pushed to the outer edges of the urban sprawl where few people ever notice that the wildlife exists.

We need to work together to help maintain places like The Channel Islands in order to provide a place to enjoy nature without ruining our environment: a place where people are willing to give back habitat before there is no more.

Erin McKenney Earns Girl Scout Gold Award

bubbleGrowing up in Londonderry, Erin McKenney always knew she wanted to instill lasting changes in her community. Now a freshman at Lafayette College in Easton, PA, the lifelong Girl Scout said the path to her Gold Award project gave her the opportunity to set those plans in motion.

McKenney, a 2016 graduate of Londonderry High School and longtime community volunteer, says her project, “Curiosity,” addresses the gap in the workforce when it comes to STEM careers.  “Often, girls are afraid to explore the STEM fields, and aren’t always given a fair opportunity to explore their strengths,” McKenney said. Working closely with Girls At Work, Inc. in Manchester, NH, the ambitious Girl Scout designed a series of fun and interactive science workshops for girls ages 8 through 12.

McKenney says she was immediately impressed with the nonprofit organization, which helps girls meet their fullest potential by exposing them to traditionally male-dominated professions, including carpentry. “You’d go in and there’s all these 9-year-olds…and they’re building tables for their families,” she says.  Inspired, McKenney began developing a science curriculum for the organization.

A few months ago, she introduced her two-week program at the organization’s summer camp.  Around 30 girls participated in the pilot program. McKenney worked closely with each student, presenting them with binders containing lesson plans and personalized letters from successful female scientists. “The idea was that the girls would be able to contact these scientists and ask them questions,” she said. The girls were also given the chance to meet with some special guests in their classroom. One of the guests, a successful engineer specializing in the mining industry, piqued the girls’ interests after they learned that English was her third language. “We had so many different languages being spoken in the class room, so the girls could really relate to her,” McKenney says.bubble-in-action-copy

During each class, the girls learned a new formula or theory and tied it to a professional working in the field. “One day we made giant bubbles and learned about a chemist. Another day we built our own rockets and learned about a woman who works for NASA,” McKenney notes. To date, McKenney has spent over 225 hours on her project and received over $3000 in donated supplies—including tote bags, binders, safety goggles, aprons, disposable gloves, and more.

“I learned that the most important quality I could offer these girls was to simply listen to them and be there for them. I also learned a lot about teaching,” she says. “Through the years, Girl Scouts has taught me a lot about leadership and about being a mentor,” she adds.

Before leaving for college, McKenney shared her “Curiosity” curriculum and materials with Girls at Work and The Circle Program, a non-profit organization serving New Hampshire girls through year-round mentoring and a residential summer camp and. Both organizations will incorporate the curriculum into their respective program offerings.

Serving and leading others is not new to McKenney. While attending Londonderry High School, she served as president of the Blue Star Lancers (a student organization offering support to peers and staff with deployed loved ones), and as community service coordinator for her school’s National Honor Society. She also participated in Girls Rock the Capitol, a legislative internship program run by Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains.

The Outlook – Monthly Update for Girl Scout Volunteers

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October 2016

New Program Guide!

Our new Program Guide includes tons of fun and exciting programs for Girl Scouts of all grade levels. Be sure to share it with your girls when planning your year! If you haven’t received one in your mailbox, give Customer Care a call at 888.474.9686.

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Fall Product Reminders

Fall Product Booth Order Forms—Planning a Fall Product booth sale? Fall Product Booth Order Forms are due to council by this Friday, October 14. Booth Sale product will be delivered to our Bedford/Williston offices and Camp Farnworth on November 4–in time for troops to sell on November 8 at Presidential election sites!
Download Booth Form

Keep on Selling—Our Fall Product Sale continues through Friday, October 21.

Join us For Halloween Fun!

halloweenGirl Scouts and their families are invited to dress up in their favorite costumes and join us for Halloween fun on Thursday, October 27 from 4 to 6 pm at our Bedford and Williston offices, and Camp Seawood from 4 to 7 pm. All Girl Scouts will receive a fun patch. Our retail stores will remain open during this time; don’t forget to bring your Cookie Dough! Attendees are encouraged to bring a canned good or other non-perishable items for local food pantries. Registration is required. Email marketing@girlscoutsgwm.org with name and location to register.

Mark Your Calendar

Green Saturday-Join us in our Bedford and Williston offices on Saturday, November 19, from 10 am to 2 pm for extended shopping hours, store specials, crafts, and holiday fun for the entire family! All attending Girl Scouts will receive a FREE, limited-edition Green Saturday patch!

Cookie Rallies-Join us January 7, from 2 to 5 pm in Vermont at The Champlain Valley Exposition or Saturday, January 14, from 2:30 to 4:30 pm in New Hampshire at the SNHU Arena (formerly Verizon Wireless Arena), followed by a Monarchs game at 6 pm. Each event is unique and jam-packed with exciting, hands-on activities to help you make your Girl Scout Cookie Sale a fabulous success. Choose one or both locations! Online registration for both events will be open by the end of the month.

Exciting Travel Opportunities

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Check out Girl Scout Destinations, the ultimate adventure program for girls ages 11 and older. Travel with Girl Scouts from throughout the country, see and learn new things, and pack your bags full of inspiring, life-changing experiences and memories. First round applications are due to the Bedford office by November 28, 2016 and second round applications are due February 13, 2017.

See Full List

Hello London—Summer 2017
Delve deep into the history and culture of London. The capital city was once the center of an empire, and today Britain’s age-old traditions come at you from many angles—from the stage of a West End theater, to a plate of fish and chips, to the ringing chimes of Big Ben. Applications will be accepted until the program is full.

Learn More

Gemany, Italy, Switzerland, and France—Summer 2018
Encircling the Alps, each of these cities, towns, and villages inspires the imagination in its own unique way. The one-of-a–kind canals of Venice create a magical mood. The Black Forest of Germany evokes a world of Brothers Grimm fairy tales. Bavarian Munich proudly displays its folkloric tradition, while the dramatic scenery of Adelboden’s mountain sets an awe-inspiring tone. Visit Paris and see the Place de la Concorde, Champs-Élysées, Arc de Triomphe, and more.

Learn More

Hawaii—Summer 2017
For girls in grades 8 through 12. Would you like to visit Oahu, home of Pearl Harbor, and try your hand at surfing? Hike Diamond Head, snorkel at Hanauma Bay, participate in a luau, and immerse yourself in Hawaiian culture. Applications will be accepted until the program is full.

Hawaii Girl Application
Hawaii Reference Form

Girls Rock the Capitol Legislative Internship Program

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High School girls are invited to spend the 2016/2017 school year gaining an inside look at what state government is all about, working side-by-side with women legislators on issues that will influence their state’s future.

Applications and references for this exciting program are due October 31.
New Hampshire GRTC Program Details and Application
Vermont GRTC Program Details and Application


 

The Outlook is a monthly newsletter for Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains’ volunteers.

Have a question? Don’t be shy! Contact us for more information.

Escape to Iceland by Christina Kennamer

Senior Girl Scout Christina Kennamer experienced the magnificent geologic wonders of Iceland this past summer during a GSUSA Destinations trip, “Escape to Iceland.” In this blog post, Christina shares her unforgettable travel experience with us.

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Christina (pink jacket-back row second from right) with her travel mates exploring Iceland.

This past summer I had the opportunity to attend the Escape to Iceland Girl Scouts Destinations trip.  I had so much fun!  I love Iceland and want to go back as soon as possible.  The trip started on June 21 and ended on June 28.  There were a total of 18 Girl Scouts and four counselors on the trip.  There were Girl Scouts from all over the United States on this trip.  Several were seniors in high school and this was to be their last Destinations trip.  Everyone was so friendly and great to hang with.  We have kept in touch after the trip.  The counselors, Nick, Christine, Tiffany, and Lindsey made the trip so much fun and adventurous.

My trip began in the afternoon at New York City’s JFK Airport.  I flew direct to Reykjavik, Iceland where the adventures began.  We stayed at various hotels and camps.  We enjoyed the local foods and cultural events.  We even cheered on Iceland as they defeated England in a worldwide televised soccer match.  The city of Reykjavik gathered for this festive occasion.

We took day trips and hikes.  Some of our activities included:

  • Riding Icelandic horses.iceland-2
  • Camping at The Volcano Huts of Thorsmork Nature Reserve.
  • Hiking historic glaciers and a remote plane crash.
  • Hiking Gulfoss and their two beautiful waterfalls.
  • Visiting the Gjabakkahellir Caves and Lava Tubes.
  • Snorkeling between two continental plates.
  • Walking black sand beaches.
  • Descending down into the World’s only intact dormant volcano!

iceland-4I had a wonderful time and think this was the best Destinations trip ever.  The leaders from ATS Destinations were great and would like to attend another Destinations trip with them in the future.  I highly recommend this trip to any Girl Scout who wishes to explore international travel.  I took a lot pictures that I will remember and cherish for a lifetime.

This is Christina’s third GSUSA Destinations trip. Her previous trips have included a week at Space Camp in Florida, and two weeks in New Mexico, where she learned the art of photography while immersing herself in the region’s art, culture, history, and adventures.

Girl Scout Destinations provide the ultimate adventure for individual girls ages 11 and older! With different trips every year, there’s something amazing for everyone to experience. Make friends from all over the country as you travel with Girl Scouts from different states and pack your bags full of inspiring, life-changing experiences.  First round applications for 2017-18 Destinations are due by November 28 to the Bedford Office.

Visit our website’s Travel Page to learn how you can join other GSGWM Girl Scouts on these upcoming trips:  Hawaii, London, Montreal and Quebec, Space Camp, and Mall of America.

 

Katherine Mathon Earns Girl Scout Gold Award

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High School Senior Leads Veterans Memorial Restoration Project

Concern over the lack of visitors to Williston’s Veterans Memorial inspired longtime Girl Scout Katherine Mathon to take action. The Champlain Valley Union High School senior has dedicated over 80 hours to improving and repairing the memorial site, earning her Girl Scout Gold Award.

A Girl Scout since kindergarten, Mathon says she became extremely concerned after learning the memorial had fallen into disrepair.  “It’s very important to honor our troops and show them proper respect,” she says. “By having our memorial the way it was, in some ways, we were disrespecting them. I made sure the area was beautiful again. Our troops deserve to be remembered.” Having already earned her Bronze and Silver Awards, Mathon says she grew up admiring the passion of girls who’d gone on to obtain their Gold Award, the highest honor in Girl Scouting. “This award opened a lot of doors for them, and it was always my goal,” she added. “I wanted to push myself to help people in the community more and I knew I was capable of doing something great.”

Prior to Mathon’s efforts, the memorial, a large granite star located near Williston Town Hall, rarely attracted visitors and its surrounding site was overgrown with weeds. Working closely with Williston Town Clerk Deb Beckett, Mathon managed various phases of site improvements, including a memorial brick-lined pathway and two new benches. American Legion Williston Post 45 sponsored her project and several area businesses and community members donated $4,000 worth of materials and services. Mathon completed her project this past summer.

As Mathon looks towards the future, she remains confident that the Veterans Memorial will stay beautiful in the years to come. Working closely with her local Rotary Club, she updated the site’s maintenance plan, which outlined ongoing sales of memorial bricks. Additionally, the local cemetery commission agreed to tend to the memorial’s surrounding landscaping.

Following her successful journey to earning her Girl Scout Gold Award, Mathon now reflects on what she’s learned in the process. “I learned that I’m very good at working with all types of people,” she says, noting she often served as a moderator between business owners, town officials, landscapers, and brick installers. “This really improved my management skills,” Mathon adds. “I learned that I can accomplish anything if I push myself hard enough.  I can set a goal and will go full steam ahead until it is accomplished.”

The experience will serve Mathon well in her next phase of life:  college. While she hasn’t made a decision on which school she’ll attend next year, one thing is for certain: it will include opportunities to travel! Mathon, who is considering a major in international business, speaks both Spanish and Chinese, and has travelled to the Dominican Republic, France, and China. She says it was her time spent in Girl Scouts that inspired her wanderlust. “My troop leader organized so many amazing activities for us, and we’ve always loved traveling to cities around New England and Canada,” Mathon points out. Over the years, Mathon has participated in Girl Scout troop trips to Boston, Newport, Rhode Island, New York City, Ottawa, and Montreal. Most recently, Mathon and her troop members planned and attended an exciting trip to Paris.

Nashua’s Jillian MacGregor Earns Girl Scout Gold Award

gold-award-facebook-jillian-macgregorJillian MacGregor’s passion for STEM education goes far beyond her Nashua South High School classroom. The community-minded senior—a Girl Scout since second grade—developed an after school  computing and technology program for girls, and has made it her personal mission to ensure it will keep going long after she’s moved on to college. Her project has earned her a Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest achievement in Girl Scouting.

MacGregor began inspiring others with her computer and technology skills shortly after starting high school. In addition to volunteering at the UNH Manchester STEM Discovery Lab, MacGregor mentored a FIRST Lego League team for middle school girls at the Boys and Girls Club of Nashua, where she also ran a week-long summer computer camp.

After earning the National Center for Women and Information Technology’s Aspirations in Computing Award, MacGregor obtained the grant funding she needed to continue offering her program throughout the school year. The program, held in collaboration with the Nashua School District, trains girls in computer programming, coding, and robotics. Girls also have opportunities to meet some of the region’s leading female industry professionals, allowing them to witness firsthand the perks of pursuing careers in traditionally male-dominated professions.

In addition to mentoring younger girls, MacGregor trained older girls who will lead the program in the future. “They were very instrumental in helping ensure this program will go on after I head off to college,” she says
MacGregor said she’s looking forward to leading her after school program during her final year of high school. She teamed up with the national organization, Girls Who Code, giving her program an added curriculum advantage. “We have everything we need now,” MacGregor said with a grin. “I’m pretty immersed in all those program languages right now.”

She credits her years in Girl Scouts for giving her the confidence and support needed to make her dreams a reality. “With Girl Scouts, I could always be part of something bigger and there was always this core group of girls I could turn to,” MacGregor said. “We tried so many new things—like learning CPR. I’m so glad I had these opportunities.”

A longtime computer aficionado, MacGregor was selected to serve as a student STEM ambassador by the NH High Tech Council TechWomen/TechGirls STEM Ambassadors committee several years ago. A drum major and three-season athlete, MacGregor hopes to eventually earn degrees in computer science and engineering.  She encourages other Girl Scouts to go for the Gold. “It’s a lot of work, but it’s really something that helps a lot of people, while helping yourself,” she said. “So if you have an idea for a Gold Award project, why not do it?”

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