Sylvia Acevedo: She’s the Ultimate G.I.R.L.

July 18 - On The Dot
FIRST THOUGHT: Invest in Girls, Change the World

One of the most important aspects of being a boss lady is encouraging those younger than you. Even if you can’t commit to mentoring a few hours a week to help improve a girl’s life, you can still make a positive impact. One easy way to lift up girls without even leaving your couch is by sharing their achievements on social media. After all, girls everywhere are doing some pretty amazing stuff, like the teen girls who created a special straw that detects date-rape drugs and helps prevent sexual assaults, or the Los Angeles Dodgers’ ball girl who recently saved a fan from getting a foul ball to the face by employing her quick-as-a-flash ball-catching reflexes. Atta girl!


If you were a Girl Scout growing up, you won’t be surprised by this date. 1912: That’s the year Juliette Gordon Low founded the Girl Scouts of the USA in Savannah, Georgia. A strong believer in the potential of all girls and the importance of mentorship, Juliette set out to change the world for girls. By breaking down boundaries to ensure all girls had a place to grow and develop their leadership skills, she created a global movement that now includes 1.8 million girl members in more than 92 countries. Let’s raise a Thin Mint to Juliette for establishing the world’s most powerful girls’ empowerment organization!

WOMAN TO WATCH: Sylvia Acevedo, CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA

We at On The Dot love the Girl Scouts! There’s simply no other organization that has spent more than a century steadfastly working to develop the next generations of female leaders and empowering girls to become women of courage, confidence and character. From astronauts to public servants, businesswomen and even Hollywood hotshots and star athletes, there are nearly 60 million women in the U.S. today who benefited from the principles they learned as Girl Scouts.

As you can imagine, leading such a first-rate organization is no easy feat, but today’s Woman to Watch is resolutely rising to the challenge. As the newly named CEO of the Girl Scouts of America, Sylvia Acevedo, a lifelong Girl Scout, is an enduring champion of girls’ and women’s causes, and is committed to helping girls cultivate the skills they need to excel in life.

As a longtime champion for underserved communities, Sylvia is working to make the Girl Scouts more progressive than ever by advocating for Hispanic, Asian and other minority populations. And she certainly has the chops to do it. Sylvia has served as the presidential commissioner on the White House Initiative for Educational Excellence for Hispanics for more than six years, representing Latino subgroups and regions to help this population achieve greater access to education, business and philanthropy opportunities.

Sylvia’s dedication to lifting such populations perfectly befits the Girl Scouts. From its beginning, the Girl Scouts identified inclusiveness as a key part of its mission, an attribute that has helped it achieve staying power. In fact, when Juliette Gordon Low started the nonprofit, she invited Jewish girls to participate, girls who had been shunned from other social clubs.

But that’s not all Sylvia brings to the table. With degrees in engineering from New Mexico State University and Stanford University, and a background that includes working for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratories, IBM and Dell, this rocket scientist and advocate of STEM education for young women is helping the Girl Scouts expand external support of STEM activities—an important component of the organization’s programming.

Sylvia has definitely found her calling at an organization determined to inspire young female go-getters. Further encouraging Girl Scouts to reach for the stars, she often discusses her special CEO badge, which features a rocket with the initials CEO blasting through the universe, noting that it signifies that girls can achieve their dreams—just like she did—thanks to the Girl Scouts. As Sylvia says, “Dreams do come true!”


Sylvia Acevedo exemplifies this quote from Girl Scouts Founder Juliette Gordon Low. She said:

“Scouting rises within you and inspires you to put forth your best.”

This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.

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