When people think of Girl Scouts, the first thing that often comes to mind is those delicious boxes of cookies. But for the over three million girls and women who make up the Girl Scouts of the USA, being a member is about so much more than Tagalongs and Thin Mints. Here at Justine, we reached out to current Girl Scouts to see which of them is the most Remarkable, Energetic, Aspirational Leader. If our Justine R.E.A.L. Girl winner is any indication, we’d have to agree that Girl Scouting delivers a lot more than cookies.
Antonia “Toni” Gutierrez, an 18-year-old California native, has been a Girl Scout for the past 13 years. As a consultant to their National Board of Directors, president of her chapter of the National Charity League and her school’s National Honor Society, Toni also received the esteemed Girl Scout Gold Award for her work raising awareness for Alzheimer’s disease. She is anything but ordinary and to call her outstanding is an understatement. She recently spent the summer before her first year of college working with kids, participating in some local community service projects and hanging out with her family. She credits Girl Scouts for giving her the confidence that has made her who she is today.
“It has been such a large part of my life. As I grew older and got more opportunities through Girl Scouts to volunteer and needed to speak publicly with that volunteering, I grew more confident. With the help of my leaders, I was able to take baby steps and here I am now,” she says. Scouting has allowed her to travel to beautiful countries like Costa Rica for exciting trips. Toni advises that stepping out of your comfort zone allows to you gain a strong sense of independence. She is very passionate about promoting awareness for Alzheimer’s disease, which afflicts her own grandmother, and encourages other teens to feel more comfortable working with seniors. Toni says she owes all her success and accomplishments to perseverance. Her determination to never give up makes us so sure that Toni has an extremely bright and successful future ahead of her.