This story was produced for Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona by #ThisIsTucson. Thanks for supporting the local organizations that support us!
In case you hadn't noticed, some pretty inspiring women call Tucson home.
These women study the stars, run local media outlets and keep companies running smoothly. They advocate for other ladies and uplift the girls behind them.
Yep, we're inspired.
Besides being local wonder women, this group of lady leaders all have something else in common: They were Girl Scouts.
With that in mind (and our desire to see more women in charge), we asked these Girl Scout alumni and current superstars to share some advice for girls who want to become leaders in the community.
Here's what they said.
Occupation: Former congresswoman, co-founder of Giffords: Courage to Fight Gun Violence
Advice: Find the courage to speak up when you have an idea or an opinion! Never doubt your instincts, your intelligence or your ability to make a difference. Your thoughts and ideas matter and the people around you will be excited to hear them.
Occupation: KVOA-TV News Director
Advice: Believe you can. If you don't believe in yourself, you will have a hard time convincing others to believe in you. Be confident in your abilities. Raise your hand. Never be afraid to ask questions. Study hard and learn as much as you can and you won't be limited when you shoot for the stars. Be kind. Treat others the way you want to be treated. This one piece of advice will never steer you wrong. Change the world. This may sound like an impossible task, but it really isn't. We are all capable of making a positive impact on the world around us. Lead the way in making a difference in your community and others will join you.
Kimberly A. Bowie
Occupation: Tucson Electric Power HR Coordinator
Advice: Take time to be your own best friend. Learn to appreciate time with just you ... no cell, TV, Facebook, etc. Speak kindly to yourself as you would another person. This will increase your self love and when you love and care for yourself, you can't help but have true compassion for others. Hurt people, hurt people.
Occupation: KXCI Community Radio Station Executive Director
Advice: Listen and hear others, be kind before judgmental, work hard even if the rewards are not the ones you hoped for or expected because hard work is honorable and rewarding in itself. Love people and life, even if you don't like them or it in the moment. Apologize if you make a mistake to others and also to yourself. Know you can achieve whatever you want ... if there are moments you doubt yourself then ask the people who love you what they think and they will remind you ... that you can!
Occupation: University of Arizona Professor of Astronomy
Advice: Pursue a career where you are doing something that you really enjoy.
Occupation: YWCA Southern Arizona CEO and former candidate for Arizona governor
Advice: Love people, listen deeply, respect those who see things differently than you do and seek the good of all. Be true to who you are, stand in your own truth and carry yourself with confidence even when you are afraid. Above all, don't wait. Lead from where you are. We are facing enormous challenges in this community and in our world. Your voice matters.
Occupation: Caridad Community Kitchen student services and volunteer manager
Advice: Here are a couple of things I’ve learned about leadership over the course of my career:
• Leadership can take many forms, so find people who emulate the type of leader you want to be and learn from them.
• Don’t forget that you can lift other people up while still advocating for yourself and your needs.
• Empathy is the most powerful tool in your toolbox.
• Travel as much as you can. There are always new things to discover, whether in your own community or in another country. These experiences will push you out of your comfort zone, and it is in those spaces that we grow the most.
Occupation: Tucson Foundations Director and philanthropist
Advice: I hope all girls can take the leadership roles to which they are entitled. I hope no person stands in the way of a good leadership effort. I hope future female leaders will support each other and pull each other up. This all starts by saying yes to leadership. Gain confidence in your abilities as you go, but know that if you choose to lead, other girls and women will shine the light from behind on your path ahead. We do not lead alone.
At Girl Scouts, the next opportunity to stand up, speak up, and take the lead is never far away. With us, you’ll discover the G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-Taker, Leader) in you, and watch her shine, again and again.
Girl Scouting is an inclusive, non-partisan organization serving all girls in Southern Arizona.