Preparing Girls for Lifetime of Leadership: The Girl Scouts Latinx Initiative

Nina Vaca
Nina Vaca
May 29 · 3 min read

Since I was a young girl, my mother and my grandmother always instilled in me the importance of becoming an independent woman. My grandmother would always say, “aprende a vivir sola.” She, of course, did not mean “you will never get married,” which is how this phrase is often used. What my grandmother meant was “learn to be a self-made woman” — rely on your human potential — and that’s exactly what I did.

In elementary school, I became a Girl Scout — Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader. The Girl Scout experience gave me courage and confidence and taught me how to give back to my community while growing into an independent woman.

With the help of a few extraordinary troop leaders, I was soon on my way to developing key leadership skills that have since helped me both in my personal life and my professional career. Most importantly, my experience as a Girl Scout taught me to constantly seek new challenges and grow from the inevitable setbacks, for failure is but a stepping stone to success, and those who do not challenge themselves will never reach their true potential.

These simple truths are what guided me when I decided to start my own company — Pinnacle Group — in my early twenties. These are the truths that I now try to instill in my two teenage daughters, as they have begun walking their own paths to become self-made women.

The Girl Scouts is an incredible youth leadership development program and empowers girls to be strong, courageous, and confident, giving them the tools to make the world a better place. Both of my girls are actively involved with the Girl Scouts. My oldest daughter has achieved her Gold Award and my younger daughter has earned her Silver Award and is working toward her Gold Award. The Gold Award is the highest achievement in the organization and completing it is a big deal and really sets girls apart when pursuing college, internships, and other opportunities.

For these reasons, I am very excited to partner with the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas for their Latinx Initiative. And it was an absolute honor and privilege to receive the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas Woman of Distinction Award in 2017.

Latinx is a gender-neutral, inclusive term that is often used instead of “Latina” or “Latino.” As part of the initiative, the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas Latinx team works to provide its young Latinx members with important experiences, programs, and opportunities that enrich their cultural values.

I always tell my daughters that you can’t be what you can’t see. Having strong role models and opportunities to reflect on your cultural heritage in a positive way is imperative to fostering the next generation of dream makers.

I am inspired to see and truly honored to work with important programs like the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas Latinx Initiative that give girls spaces to be themselves and prepare them for a lifetime of leadership!

Nina Vaca

Written by

Nina Vaca

Founder & CEO of Pinnacle Group, civic leader, triathlete, global speaker, Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship. Learn more: http://NinaVaca.com