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You Are Here : Home : FOR DONORS : 2012 Year End Appeal : Yeritza: Breaking Barriers With Girl Scouts

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When You Support Girl Scouts, You Support the Next Generation of Leaders. Leaders like ...

Yeritza has big dreams ... she wants to be a teacher, and she is fascinated with the culinary world. She craves opportunities beyond her small Sonoma County town.

Reality has a way of dashing dreams, however, and Yeritza was faced with a couple of big obstacles. Her family has limited financial resources, and she grew up with a shyness that made her frightened to talk with adults.

But the 17-year-old was determined, so she summoned her courage and turned to an organization designed to help girls break through these barriers: Girl Scouts.

Yeritza applied for, and was accepted to, Camp CEO, a Girl Scouts NorCal project that brings together teen girls and successful executive women to build leaders through workshops on self esteem, goal setting, healthy relationships, and more. At Camp CEO, Yeritza was particularly inspired by the Thrive Leaders – teens like herself who were chosen to return from the previous summer to lead programs and serve as role models.

"Before I even got on the bus, I knew that I wanted to come back as a Thrive leader, and I went up to one of the Girl Scout leaders and told her how important it would be for me to get the chance to come back and help other girls like I was helped," she said. "I saw it as an opportunity to become more of a leader."

Two years later, Yeritza's world has opened wide. She was accepted as a Thrive Leader for Camp CEO – where she excelled in leading presentations and gained experience that will help her with teaching someday. She was a featured speaker at a Girl Scout Forever Green Awards ceremony, where she met acclaimed Napa Valley Chef and Girl Scout Alumna Cindy Pawlcyn. Chef Pawlcyn was so impressed upon hearing about Yeritza's senior project on culinary heritage that she volunteered to help.

"I'm not afraid to talk to adults now," says Yeritza, now a high school senior getting looking at colleges. "I look at situations and think, 'I might as well take advantage of this opportunity.'"

You can help girls like Yeritza realize their dreams. Support Girl Scouts Norcal and let's build girls of courage, confidence, and character together.