Tell us about yourself.
I’m from a small town in western Colorado. I’ve always been a history buff and found my calling on a Girl Scout trip to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science when I was 10. We had a sleepover in the museum and I’ve been hooked ever since. I went to college to study history then found my way to Scotland to get my master’s in museum studies. Along the way, I’ve had the opportunity to work in some amazing international museums. I eventually landed a position near my home and am sharing my love for history and culture with others as a Curator of Education.
When in your life/career have you been a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)?
I have always been a planner. I like to know what I’m doing and where I’m going. Right after graduating from college, I had no plan. I’d applied for hundreds of jobs and internships with little success. On a whim, I applied for an open position at Our Chalet in Switzerland. Months passed, and I was working at a golf course when I got an email from the Chalet. They’d had a person back out at the last minute and they wanted to know if I could join them for their spring season. I took a risk. I dropped everything and zipped off halfway across the world. I spent a year volunteering with WAGGGS, first at Our Chalet then at Pax Lodge. While on this adventure, I seized the opportunity to work special exhibitions at some of London’s biggest museums. This also led to me pursuing my master’s education at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. If it hadn’t been for that leap of faith, dropping everything for a chance to volunteer, I would not be where I am today.
What does it mean to “take the lead?”
Taking the lead means not waiting for others to do what you think is important. We all have things we’re passionate about. Don’t become complacent or settle for the status quo. If you believe something needs to be done or something needs to change, get active about it. Taking the lead doesn’t mean you have to be the first, but it does mean you have to actively work towards your goal. In today’s changing society, it’s more important than ever to be active and to be working to make changes be it socially, racially, environmentally, economically etc.
Why is it important for girls and women to “take the lead?”
Women have a voice and a strong one when they use it. History can teach us many things and one thing you see over and over again is that those who don’t use their voices are the ones most likely to suffer for it. Women have fought for centuries to have their voices heard. Taking the lead means to use one’s voice, to stand up for what you believe and do not wait for others to speak for you.
What has helped you achieve success?
On my very first day of kindergarten, my Dad stood with me waiting for the big, yellow school bus that I was so excited to ride with all of the big kids. I remember so vividly him crouching down in front of me and he told me to repeat after him. He said “Love is reflected in love. Treat others how you wish to be treated.” He did that with me until I moved to middle school. While I didn’t fully understand as a small child the purpose of my Dad’s ritual, those words have stuck with me my entire life. I try to live by those words and to remain open-minded and respectful to people, cultures, and beliefs.
Were you a Girl Scout? If so, tell us about your experience and what is the most important thing Girl Scouts taught you?
I am a lifelong Girl Scout. I had an amazing leader who was not afraid to get dirty or to take on a group of girls with wildly different personalities. We were a group of incredible, crazy girls with whom I had the privilege to grow up with. They are still my closest friends. We went camping all over the state, started a traditional yearly rafting trip, and took tons of trips, including that fateful trip to Denver where I fell in love with my future career. We scraped, saved and worked hard for three years for a trip to Our Chalet when I was 14 (little did I know I would one day go back as a volunteer). I worked towards and earned my Gold Award and because of that hard work, I received a sizable scholarship for college. It took me back to Switzerland and then to London as an adult. Girl Scouts has been such a large part of my life, I can’t imagine who I would be without it.
The most important thing I think I’ve learned from my Girl Scout experience is that there is a whole huge world out there to be explored, and everywhere you go, you can find support. It’s an international family that is open and accepting and wonderful. Now, thanks largely to my Girl Scout experience, I take any opportunity to explore, to break out of my comfort zone and to try new things.