Just days before the Boy Scouts opened their campfires to include girls. That shot over the Girl Scouts’ heads may have shuddered the higher ups, but the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas hardly took notice. They were marching ahead with their Women of Distinction Luncheon and future plans for their organization.
Led by Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas CEO Jennifer Barkowski, they were marching ahead with their Women of Distinction Luncheon on Friday, November 3, at the Omni Dallas and the vision of their organization.
By 11:30, the Trinity Ballroom was already filled with Jan Hegi, Margo Goodwin, Connie O’Neill, Tom Campbell, Linda Perryman Evans, David Martineau, Marianne Staubach, Sarah Losinger, Becky Bowen, Tracy Lange and the Cooley ladies (Lisa, Ciara and Bela). Just minutes later a big voice signaled it was time to fill seats that had boxes of Girl Scout cookies as gifts from Marianne and Roger Staubach. Being dutiful types, they followed orders, so Event Co-Chairs Laura Downing and Susan Glassmoyer could take their places at the podium to welcome the guests with a dozen of uniformed girls representing all segments of the program standing behind them.
They were followed by emcee Clarice Tinsley, who asked all in the room who had any connections with the organization to raise their hands. Up went 85% of the room.
She was joined at the podium by Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas Ambassador Brynna Boyd to co-anchor, but first they had to have a selfie. Clarice thanked various sponsors like AT&T, Lyda Hill and Nancy Ann Hunt. She was then joined on stage by Jennifer and Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas Board Chair Kit Addleman, who helped her present the following awards:
- Young Women of Distinction Award — Shelly Goel and Emma Rose Shore
- Man Enough to Be A Girl Scout Award — Todd Williams
- Women of Distinction Award — Sara Martineau and Nina Vaca
Following a video focusing on the Girl Scouts program like the STEM Center of Excellence, Jennifer told the group that girls are the largest untapped resource in the country. She explained the formula for female leadership involved four factors:
- Girl Potential
- Girl Scouts leadership
- STEM programming
- Caring adults
Describing the Girls Scouts program in Dallas as ground zero thanks to the STEM Center, the plan calls for 2.5M girls to be a part of the STEM program by 2025. Thanks to the support of the community, 4,000 girls will be able to utilize STEM.
When the question of how to make sure every girl can have access to the Girl Scouts opportunities, Jennifer looked out at the crowd and said that if each guest gave $100, it would result in $500,000 to support the Girl Scouts mission.
Just before breaking for lunch, Clarice reported that the day’s goal would be revealed on the thermometer appearing on the room’s four screens.
During lunch, Scouts with sacks collected donation envelopes.
At 12:27, Angela Ross introduced a video on STEM. When the lights came up Brynna was back at the podium to introduce keynote speaker Dr. Mae Jemison, “the first woman of color to go into space.”
Immediately Mae group hugged the guests by reporting that she had recently been made an honorary Girl Scouts for Life. She then told the generations of gals that in future dealings “make sure you have a position at the table.”
Recalling her youth in the 1960s, it was a time when everyone was being able to participate thanks to civil rights, women’s rights, etc. People wanted to put Mae in a box. Would she be a creative type or a scientist?
Back in those days no one considered that a person…let along a woman could be both. In her love of both the creative and scientific worlds, she took an Alvin Alley poster on her flight into space.
In hindsight, she learned — “I think, I wonder, I understand.”
Currently working on the 100 Year Starship, Mae admitted that in today’s world, “We are living with things that were developed in the 50s and 60s like lasers, genetic research, etc.”
She left the room of women and men with a sobering note. According to a report in the New York Times, in a Google search, parents Google two times as much “Is my son a genius?” and “Is my son slow?” On the other hand, parents searched the following questions about their daughters: “Is my daughter fat?” and “Is my daughter ugly?”
Mae’s response was that parents “have to support their girls.”