Women’s History Month: Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay CEO shares passion to help & advice for future leaders
SALISBURY, Md. – In honor of women’s history month, 47 ABC had the opportunity to sit down with the woman who made history as the first Latina and first woman of color to serve as CEO of the Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay, Claudia Pena Porretti.
Porretti says her journey to non-profits was spearheaded by her passion to help others and being a mentor for young women. That passion, she says, guided her to the Girl Scouts, where she got the best of both worlds: helping people and working with young future female leaders.
Now after serving as CEO for nearly two and a half years, she says the position has been an honor and impactful because young girls can look up to her and say, “I can do that one day.” For those girls, she has some advice.
“Be their authentic self, be true to themselves,” Poretti said. “The work is going to be hard, it is hard. It’s work. But tomorrow, don’t worry about today. Tomorrow is another day. Just be honest, be respectful and live your passion. But also write down your goals, that’s a big one.”
The concept behind physically writing down your goals, according to Poretti, is so that the goal does not just remain as a thought in your mind. Instead, it becomes a tangible aspiration.
Being in the Girl Scouts her self, now progressing to become CEO, Poretti says the organization holds a place close to her heart. That’s because she is able to see young women come in and blossom and see their lives be changed in the process. That is something she says is the most important part because girls from all walks of life can join together and grow.
With that growth, comes leadership skills and characteristics any Girl Scout will learn when they join the non-profit, “courage, confidence, and character.”
Along with those, Poretti says, the girls learn business, social, economic, financial skills, and more. With all of that combined, and the experiences girl scouts leave with after joining, Poretti says she just hopes this experience for her is just as rewarding for the girls, because she truly loves what she does and hopes the girls feel the same way.
“If I just know I’m making a difference if in just one girl that would be truly rewarding for me,” Poretti said.
As Poretti continues to serve as CEO, she says all the work she puts in and the success of the organization, would not be anywhere close to what it is if it was not for her team. She says she has never worked with a more dedicated, passionate, and hard-working group of people like her team at Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay.