The MC for this year’s award ceremony was FOX 9 news anchor and former Girl Scout Robyne Robinson, who opened up the ceremony by asking all girl scouts and former girls scouts to join along with her in singing the Brownie Song.
The event focused on teaching young women the purpose of discovering their talents and attributes, learning to work together and being able to take action to make a difference. This is a goal executive director of Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys Linda Keene wanted to not only get across to her girls but to the people who influence and make a difference in their lives.
“Studies have shown that girl’s leadership aspirations and qualities can develop through organized skill building activities and exposure to leadership opportunities,” said Keene. “Through participation in Girl Scouts, girls gain skills and capacity to succeed in life and to make a positive difference in the world.”
Barbara Boelk, public relations specialist for Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys believes it is important to show young girls adult female role models making a difference. “If we don’t give these girls actual real life examples, how will they learn,” said Boelk, who gave 30 girls from all over the Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys the opportunity to attend and host the luncheon. It is important to her that these young girls are empowered and understand their importance.
This message of female leadership was further pushed by the event’s key note speaker, the first woman of color in space, Dr. Mae Jemison. Jemison wanted lunch attendees as well as the future female leaders of tomorrow to know that they should not let time pass them by without seizing possibilities and taking responsibility to put things into action. “If we wait for tomorrow, tomorrow will come, if we don’t wait for tomorrow, tomorrow still comes,” said Jemison, “we have to risk putting things into action.”
The women honored were Susan S. Boren, one of the first female partners at Spencer Stuart; Gail K. Boudreax, president of United Health Care and executive president of United Health Group; Yvonne Cheung Ho, president and CEO of Metropolitan Economic Development Association, whose mission is to help entrepreneurs of color succeed; Nancy Lindahl , a distinguished volunteer and philanthropist ; Mee Moua, first Hmong American elected to a state legislature, senator of District 67 in the state of Minnesota; and last but not least, Kim Nelson, senior vice president of General Mills and president of General Mills snack division.
Along with honoring accomplished adults, Girl Scouts also honored one of their own young women who has made a difference, Patrick Henry High School senior, Miranda Yang. Yang, a member of Girl Scouts and GSMV’s sister program, Hmong Women’s Circle, strives to teach women like her that they don’t have to sacrifice their culture, but should embrace who the are as Hmong Americans. Yang said “I am a woman, a Hmong American, a Girl Scout.”
As the afternoon event closed Robinson asked all the luncheon attendees to pick up the Girl scout envelopes on their table and each donate what they can to send a girl to camp or conference so they can continue to the create and develop young female leaders of tomorrow. Each guest also left with a token of appreciation from the girls, a homemade card and a river rock that either read connect, discover, or take action, all goals each person should try to achieve in their own journeys to success.
For more information on Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys, www.girlscoutsrv.org.