Girl Scouts has provided me a lot of amazing opportunities. I am Ariana Freitag and I am an Ambassador Girl Scout with Troop 583 in Austin as well as the team captain of the GSCTX Lady Cans robotics team. I had the privilege of attending the 6th annual Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network in Berlin, Germany and participating in the inaugural Youth Track module of the conference. Girl Scouts of the USA CEO, Anna Maria Chavez, was a keynote speaker. Dell Corporation, one of our major supporters, generously invited two Girl Scouts to attend with her. The conference is one Dell’s many initiatives to support the empowerment of women in business and technology and to reach girls and young women early to prepare them for their participation in the growing global economy.
The conference was attended by more than 150 female entrepreneurs and executives from all over the world and created the opportunity to network and connect with resources to help them to expand their businesses. Being in the rising technology hub of Berlin, networking with adults and other kids, attending workshops on subjects ranging from presentation skills to product marketing was truly amazing. I also got to spend a day sightseeing around Berlin. Along with the amazing technology everywhere, the modern architecture was outstanding.
The Youth Track at DWEN was attended by over 20 young people from diverse backgrounds. The program was developed by two amazing young women, Jordan Howard and Cynthia Hass, Youth Innovation Advisors for Dell. The Youth Track was focused on learning the process of developing our own start-up and pitching it to potential investors. We went from brainstorming ideas to creating a 3 minute pitch presentation in just two days. We attended workshops on creating concise pitches and heard from the adult entrepreneurs about their experiences as business owners and innovators. After a lot of hard work I presented my start up idea as a closing presentation to the DWEN attendees. This was one of the most awesome things I have ever done and after that moment I was even more certain that I wanted to become an entrepreneur, CEO, and own my own business.
Learning from the Chief
Getting to meet the CEO of Girls Scouts USA was pretty cool, too and having a private chat with her was not just exciting but also impactful. Anna Maria Chavez’s keynote speech about the importance of Girl Scouts left me feeling inspired to keep supporting girls in both Girl Scouts and around the world. I share her belief that empowering young women is “not a job, but a mission”. Anna Maria Chavez continually called us, the two Girl Scouts accompanying her, her bosses and she is always open to hearing feedback from any Girl Scout. I even got an “Eagle One” patch-Ms. Chavez’s signature patch-to put on the back of my sash and remember this moment forever.
Looking back at my experience at DWEN I am so grateful I got the opportunity to represent Girl Scouts at such an amazing event. The opportunities for girls, with exposure and preparation are limitless, and any girl can be an entrepreneur if they want to. Events like DWEN provide that exposure and preparation to empower young girls to become the next innovative CEO. I hope that one day I will attend DWEN as an executive and that I will see more Girl Scouts at the Youth Track as well.