Everyone in the United States is familiar with Girl Scouts, one of the most widely recognized youth organizations in history. The first Girl Scout troop was established more than a century ago in 1912 with the vision of empowering girls to be courageous, confident, and make the world a better place. Girl Scouts is emphasizing just what it means to be a G.I.R.L.: Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader. Although there are currently about 2.5 million Girl Scouts exemplifying these amazing qualities, we have one in particular we would like to highlight for going above and beyond in terms of living out what it means to be G.I.R.L.
The Girl Scout program is often associated with the undeniably delicious Girl Scout Cookies that are sold every year during what is called “cookie season,” which spans about six weeks from January through early March. As much as #FAM loves enjoying a Thin Mint (or five), we love highlighting people who inspire us even more, especially when they are carving out their path in a truly special way.
Makenna Ivey is currently a second grader in Lubbock, Texas. She is a fighting Tiger at Westwind Elementary School, and a proud Girl Scout member. She has been a Girl Scout for three years and is inspiring us with her innate entrepreneurial drive.
Each year during cookie season, Girl Scouts gives each troop member a template to use as a basic guideline for selling cookies. They also provide troop members with business card templates. While many members choose to forego the use of the template, or perhaps just forget to pay it any mind, Makenna not only used it, but she let that be the framework for an even larger-scale operation. After noticing that many people said they wanted to buy cookies but were unable to at that time, Makenna came up with the idea utilize the business card template provided to print out her very own business cards to allow people to order when they are able or even to re-order should they find themselves out of cookies sooner than expected.
In addition to this ingenious idea, Makenna also handwrites a personalized thank you card to mail to everyone who buys a box of cookies from her. Yep, every. single. person. In this age of digitalization, there is something even more special and intentional about receiving a handwritten card, especially for something as thoughtful as this.
According to Makenna’s troop leader, “Makenna is a real go-getter and utilizes these tools provided to her. She is one of the top sellers in our entire troop.” There are approximately 15 girls in Makenna’s multi-level troop currently, ranging from elementary school through 10th grade.
Makenna says part of the fun of selling Girl Scout Cookies is setting a goal that seemed insurmountable, and then not only reaching it, but also exceeding far beyond it. Her first year as a proud Girl Scout member, Makenna set out to sell 500 boxes. Her second year, she raised the bar to 600. This year, she was a bit apprehensive about how the COVID-19 pandemic would influence people’s desire to buy cookies, so she set it a bit lower than she would have in a pandemic-free year, but quickly surpassed that and adjusted the goal to 700. Makenna ended up selling an astounding 818 boxes in 2021!
When asked how she sets her goals, she said she considers the prize sheet and things that she would most look forward to at the end of each cookie season. According to Makenna, each girl gets to have a special reward of some sort, and she is very hopeful that she will have something extra special to look forward to for surpassing her goal by a landslide. These special events include events like outdoor adventures, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) activities, community service projects, or other incredible opportunities to build memories with other Girl Scouts.
In addition to a fervent love of setting and reaching goals, Makenna is also passionate about the aspect of getting to help out other people through selling cookies. All profits made by the Girl Scout entrepreneurs is poured back into local communities. Each Girl Scout troop chooses who to donate cookies from the profits earned to. For example, last year cookies were donated to the military. Makenna was able to help load a giant military plane with cookies.
Additionally, Makenna’s troop is involved with all kinds of community service efforts. Two years ago, the members of Makenna’s troop went to Walmart and selected a gift for a boy and a girl, then went to a children’s hospital to give the gifts for Christmas. This year, donation bags and items are being put together for Grace Campus in Lubbock. This is still a work in progress, and Makenna’s troop will continue working on this project in the coming weeks.
Outside of Girl Scouts, Makenna stays busy with gymnastics, mixed martial arts, and working on artistic projects. (Come on, how incredible is that?!). When she is older, she aspires to become a coach because she loves learning things and then finding ways to apply that to others so they can learn, too. Makenna is currently learning subtraction with regrouping in school, which she says really came in handy this year when figuring out customers’ totals for their boxes as well as the amount of change they need to receive. According to Makenna, “It is so neat getting to actually use what I am learning in school when I am counting money for my customers.”
With her inspiring determination and creative problem solving, we are certain Makenna is going to continue working hard and surpassing her goals, not only in Girl Scouts, but in all facets of her life. She models G.I.R.L. power and makes us feel encouraged by her natural entrepreneurial spirit. Makenna, we want to be like you when we grow up!
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