No-Limit Latinas: A Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration
By Girl Scouts Blog
It’s Hispanic Heritage Month and we’re thrilled to celebrate by highlighting a few of our most incredible Latina Girl Scout alums! These barrier-breaking, change-making, world-changing women are a huge inspiration to us and to every Latina out there who wants to see herself reflected in the faces of accomplished leaders (and who doesn’t want this?)—strong role models who show her that she too can accomplish anything she sets her minds to.
First up, the one and only Sonia Sotomayor! As the first U.S. Supreme Court Justice of Hispanic heritage and a proud Girl Scout alum, Justice Sotomayor is the ultimate No-Limit Latina, inspiring us to reach for the stars in our careers and never back down from a challenge. As a passionate advocate for defendant rights, criminal justice reform, and equality for all, Justice Sotomayor is working hard to make the world a better place for all of us, and we’re so grateful. Thank you for shining your life-changing light, Justice Sotomayor!
While Sotomayor leads in the courtroom, our beloved Girl Scout alum Ellen Ochoa leads in the sky! The first Hispanic woman to go to space as part of the nine-day mission aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery in 1993, Ochoa is a talented engineer, former NASA astronaut, and former director of the Johnson Space Center—talk about a No-Limit Latina!
Thank you, Ellen, for inspiring us to believe in ourselves and go for our goals no matter how out of reach they may seem at first. Thanks to you, we know that the seemingly impossible is entirely possible with hard work, perseverance, and a positive spirit.
Next up—the unstoppable Dolores Huerta! Another proud Girl Scout alum, Dolores is an outstanding labor leader and civil rights activist who co-founded the National Farmworkers Association (along with Cesar Chavez), now known as the United Farm Workers of America. She is a fierce defender of workers’, immigrants’, and women’s rights, and an awe-inspiring No-Limit Latina who reminds us that change is possible even against incredible odds and long-standing power structures.
Thank you, Dolores, for helping us keep hope alive even when things seem hopeless. It’s leaders like you who keep us moving toward a brighter future one hard-fought victory at a time.
Remember: if you believe you can, YOU CAN.
And of course, there’s Girl Scouts of the USA’s bold, brave, glass-ceiling-shattering former CEO Sylvia Acevedo. A systems engineer by education, Sylvia began her career at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where she was part of the Voyager 2 team. In addition to her work as a rocket scientist, she’s held top leadership positions at Apple, Dell, IBM, and other U.S. technology leaders—talk about an incredible career! And what’s more, she spent a phase of her career advocating for Spanish-speaking families by creating education, health, and workforce development programs across the country. A committed advocate of STEM and the power of education to transform lives, Sylvia brought this critical focus to her four-year tenure as GSUSA’s CEO, paving the way for dozens of new badges that prepare girls for a future beyond their wildest dreams. Thank you, Sylvia, for your unwavering commitment to science and girls! Your journey is an inspiration to us all!
Our younger generation of No-Limit Latina Girl Scout alums isn’t far behind greats like Sotomayor, Ochoa, Huerta, and Acevedo. Ana, a 2019 Gold Award Girl Scout, dedicated more than 700 hours over three years to bringing a rigorous ethnic studies curriculum to her high school in San Diego, California. Although her school is made up of about 70% Latinx and 20% Filipino American students, Ana noticed that the contributions of these communities were largely absent from the courses they were being taught—so she took action, like a Girl Scout does! Thank you, Ana, for seeing wrong and going above and beyond to make it right! It’s No-Limit Latinas like you who give us hope for a more inclusive and just future where we can all be represented in our full glory and encouraged to shine our brightest, no matter what obstacles we may face.
Minely, also a 2019 National Gold Award Girl Scout, dedicated her Gold Award to changing a law in Puerto Rico so that people can register themselves as deaf through the driver’s licensing process, and on giving law enforcement officers the tools they need to communicate with and provide help to the deaf community. Thanks to Minely, now if a deaf driver gets pulled over, they can simply show the officer their driver’s license, which includes (if the driver has registered) the international symbol for deafness. This reduces the chance of misunderstandings occurring. In trying to get the law changed and updates to driver’s licenses implemented, Minely heard a lot of no’s—but she never gave up. With a lot of determination and Girl Scout grit, she drove meaningful change. Thank you, Minely, for stopping at nothing to make the world a better place for all. You are proof that anything is possible when we believe in ourselves and keep pushing.
And last but far from least on today’s epic No-Limit Latina highlight reel is 2017 Gold Award Girl Scout Vilmarie! Vilmarie is a pioneer of multiple sclerosis (MS) awareness in Puerto Rico. When her mother was diagnosed with MS when Vilmarie was 15, she decided to turn her fear into raising awareness about the disease. She created a robust MS education program and advocated for the passage of Senate Act 1180 in Puerto Rico to properly document cases of MS at the government level. With this legislation, a national registry now reflects an accurate count of Puerto Ricans with MS, which positively impacts federal funding and resources for the island. Thank you, Vilmarie, for your bravery and hard work—and for showing us that when life delivers a tough blow, there is often something positive to be found in uncertainty. You are extraordinary!
Know an exceptional Latina Girl Scout who’s taking the lead in your community to create positive change and make amazing things happen for herself and others? Shout her out on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter using #NoLimitLatinas. And don’t forget to tag @girlscouts so we can follow the inspiration!