By Sylvia Acevedo
Interim CEO at Girl Scouts of the USA –
“Dreams can come true, the story behind my CEO patch”
As the interim CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA, I have a great perk, my own CEO patch. Whenever I meet with Girl Scouts, I present them with this special patch. To me, it signifies that girls can achieve their dreams, because I did—thanks to Girl Scouts. I became an engineer and rocket scientist by training, thanks to Girl Scouts. This video explains the elements on my CEO patch and the significance behind each item.
The atom in the middle has the Girl Scout symbol as the nucleus. That is appropriate as the heart of the patch because Girl Scouts was a catalyst for me to study science and to meet new friends. Thanks to my Girl Scout leader who saw me looking at the stars one night and joined me to point out the constellations, the systems, in the night sky. To this day, I look up to find those same constellations, serving as a comforting mainstay in my life. I earned my science badge making Estes rocket kits which gave me the confidence to study science and math at a time when many girls did not take those courses, much less go on to become an engineer. The planet Jupiter symbolizes the mission that I worked on at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Voyager fly by of Jupiter and its moons, Io and Europa.
The symbol for pi, harkens to earning my sewing badge by making a gym bag. My mother advised me that she had never seen a pattern for a gym bag, but I told her that it was ok, I had done the math. She looked at me quizzically as I explained the drawings and the math I had done to figure out how much material I needed. For the round ends, I had calculated the circumference, using the equation of 2 Pi R. My mother, not knowing that pi was a math symbol and not just a dessert, smiled at me as she said, “I’m glad you like math, Mija.”
The symbol for Sigma, stands for summation. I like numbers. Whenever there is a row or column of numbers, I instinctively sum the total.
The symbol for Infiniti represents infinite potential, which is what Girl Scouts represents to me. Thanks to my experience as a young Girl Scout, I gained the skills, the confidence and the courage to dream big dreams, bigger than anything that I saw around me in southern New Mexico. I am grateful for Girl Scouts that led me to have the skills, interest and passion that led to a great career in technology, entrepreneurship, in philanthropy, in education and now as the opportunity to serve as the interim CEO of the Girl Scouts.
Dreams do come true.