We Love Our Alums!
One of my joys is to touch base with our local Girl Scout alums and see all their accomplishments and future plans. Sometimes it’s in person or on social media; sometimes the accomplishments are so big they appear in the news media. I have never met Grace Young, but I hope our paths cross soon. Grace grew up in North Canton, Ohio, where she was a Girl Scout in our council. Later, in high school, she was co-leader of a Girl Scout robotics camp for fourth graders. Here is an excerpt from a story from a GSUSA publication:
There’s no question about it: Grace Young already wears a lot of hats at age 26. A former ballerina, her email auto-signature is formidable: Aquanaut, NatGeo Explorer, MIT graduate with a degree in mechanical and ocean engineering, and Oxford PhD. She recently added another title: research engineer at X, Google’s once-secret technology lab in Mountain View, California, that addresses global problems by developing radical technological solutions, including self-driving cars, learning robots, and smart glasses.
And while Grace recently spent three weeks in Tanzania, the Caribbean, and Italy studying ancient reefs to help understand the future of present-day coral reefs in the face of climate change, she says it’s the 15 days she spent living underwater that intrigues people the most when they meet her.
“We would sleep and eat in this air bubble and dive in the water for eight hours a day,” Grace says of her work at Mission 31, a research station run by Fabien Cousteau. She was the youngest female aquanaut there at the time, right after graduating from MIT. “I loved it and would go back there in a heartbeat!”
As her love for science and engineering was burgeoning, she kept dancing, which she continued all the way through college. Ballet, Grace says, helped to prepare her for a challenging career in engineering at Google X.
Since joining the company, she has developed software and helped design, build, and test submersible and aerial robots for Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Robots she helped develop have been deployed in the Arctic, Antarctic, Atlantic, and Pacific Oceans to monitor marine-protected areas, survey endangered species, and create 3D maps of ice shelves to better measure climate change.
To be a leader in this field, Grace stresses the importance of staying calm under pressure.
“It’s important for you to think logically through stressful situations and make appropriate, timely decisions when things have not gone to plan,” she says. “An advisor once told me that ‘the ocean is not cruel; it’s just unforgiving.’”
And if you ask Grace where she expects to be in five to ten years, you can be sure she’ll be helping to uncover new discoveries emerging from our vast oceans.
“I imagine I’ll be using tools that haven’t even been invented yet,” she says. “I smile, wondering what they will be. I want to understand new mysteries and opportunities in our underwater world. I hope to be working with a variety of organizations, public and private, toward this goal.”
Go Grace, go! I look forward to seeing all the amazing things you will do to make the world a better place.
It’s Cookie Time
January means the return of Girl Scout Cookie season! We’re so excited for girls to venture out and explore their entrepreneurial skills. The cookie program provides a safe and fun environment where girls can learn about goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics. With every purchase of Girl Scout cookies your giving a G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ the ability to power new, and amazing experiences. This year’s cookie sale is even sweeter as we introduce a new cookie to our lineup, Lemon-ups™. These crispy lemon cookies are coated with a sweet glaze, baked with an inspirational message with phrases like “I’m gutsy” and I’m a “go-getter” – phrases that are as inspiring as our girls!
An Investment in Girls
Thank you to Julie McCaffery and Lavender Cannon of Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics who took me on a tour of their beautiful North American Headquarters and presented me with a generous check. Saint-Gobain is an active member of GSNEO’s STEM Program Committee and not only wants to support area girls financially but also wants to create workshops to help girls earn badges. They are planning to open their doors so Girl Scouts can visit this space which has an impressive collection of their innovative products and meet the employees responsible for these accomplishments. Thank you Saint-Gobain for your investment in our girls.
Do you or your company want to get involved with the STEM Program Committee or helping girls earn badges? Email, write or call me!
Thanks to Troop Leader Julie Miragliotta for an invitation to Troop 71499’s Silver Award Celebration. This multi-part project was designed to assist All Saints Episcopal Church in Parma, which hosts the troop’s meeting and supports the troop year-round in many of their endeavors. They met with All Saints leadership to discuss the church’s needs and desires, and then they put a plan in place to raise money and seek donations for mutually agreed projects. The troop painted a shed and mural, enhanced a garden, and completed several other clean-up projects on the church grounds. Congratulations girls on making your community a better place and earning the Girl Scout Silver Award!
Meeting with our Legislators
As part of our outreach and engagement efforts, we invited our state legislators to take a tour of Camp Ledgewood. We updated them on all the efforts Girl Scouts of North East Ohio has undertaken to nurture the leaders of tomorrow. Pictured are: Rep. Bill Roemer, Nick Gatozzi of Kent State, and Rep. Casey Weinstein along with his wife Amanda, a new Daisy troop leader. Thanks to all our elected officials for their ongoing support of our girls!
New Career Expert Program
I am glad to say, our Badge Boss and Career Expert programs have been going strong for over a year! These programs are for busy professionals who want to share their professional expertise or personal passions in a meaningful way by helping Girl Scouts earn badges.
Check out or newest Career Expert!
From aspiring book editor to engineer to patent lawyer, Career Expert Cheryl Greenly of Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems hosts a new program for Girl Scout Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors. Learn about Cheryl’s fascinating career path and how engineering can be a stepping stone for many different careers. More information on Pixie Plus.
Interested in this flexible volunteer opportunity? Email Laura to learn more!
2020 Volunteer Recognition Celebration
Every day, I see how much our volunteers put their hearts and souls into Girl Scouting. Show your local volunteers some love by nominating them for a formal award at gsneo.org/recognitions. Nominations and endorsements are due February 1 for the April 25, 2020 Volunteer Recognition Celebration. Don’t miss this opportunity to honor your favorite troop or service unit volunteers- girls are eligible to submit nominations, too!