Rachel Dudney, AMR Director of Business Solutions and Innovation
I started as a Brownie in Girl Scouts and eleven years later, as a senior in high school, I reached the highest award in Girl Scouts — The Gold Award. During this time, I gained valuable skills and experience that has stayed with me and continues to contribute to my success today.
Some of those lessons learned came from earning a badge or going on a field trip, but, the more impactful experiences came from the amazing women troupe leaders around me, one of those being my mom. These women taught me to dream big, believe in myself, be kind to others, be a servant leader, and much more.
My gold award project was one of the first experiences I had with serving my community and leading a project on my own. I identify a project that would impact my community, research the issue, identify possible solutions, come up with a plan, and work with my peers to execute and educate my community. My project involved educating my community on the harmful effects of plastic grocery bags on the environment. I did initial research on the issue and then conducted my own study on how reusable grocery bags can help reduce plastic waste. I then presented my findings to five different groups of leaders in the community.
This project was hard, but it paid off in more ways than just earning an award. Now, in my role at AMR, I serve as a project manager focused on process improvement and innovation. My girl scouts experience ended up being a foreshadowing for my career.
Today, I follow the same steps I did when approaching my gold award — identifying the problem, conducting research, coming up with a plan, and communicating effectively with a team. I have a lot of cherished moments from that time when I first realized that I was making an impact on other people’s lives, but it was not until later in my life when I truly appreciated the impact it made on mine. I remember specifically my first presentation to a group of women working in sustainability at a big corporation. My mom asked me if I was nervous and if I thought I was ready, up until that point being nervous had not even crossed my mind. I knew I was ready and the strong women around me had taught me to be confident in myself. I got up there and knocked it out of the park. It was through that experience that I found that I actually liked public speaking and I wasn’t too bad at it. That moment empowered me to go after more leadership roles in my church, school, and beyond.
As the hashtag began to trend on social media, it really made me stop and see that…
#BecauseofGirlScouts and the strong women leaders around me I gained confidence in myself.
#BecauseofGirlScouts and the girls in my troupe I had a sense of community and support.
#BecauseofGirlScouts I became a leader.
#BecauseofGirlScouts I found a career.