WISE hosted a panel of three inspiring women who are entrepreneurs for the older girls whose job it was to chaperone the younger ones during the day. We had Laura Meier, who started her own law firm with a focus on families; we had Sona Shah, who left a law firm to start her tutoring business “My Private Professor”, which tutors every subject and standardized test from K-the LSAT; and Cheryl Beck, owner and founder of Bold Girlz, the fashion experience made to empower girls to give back to their communities.
Chandi Jackson served as moderator, all panelists spoke very well to this audience and answered with candor, humor, and wisdom. After answering several questions about their journey to business ownership, we opened the room up for Q&A. The girls were quite shy at first and needed gentle prodding to keep momentum. They had great questions, and the moms really enjoyed the panel as well.
Overall, without actual evaluation forms, I’d say the panel was a success. This group had great chemistry and was really able to talk to this audience. All three said they’d love to do it again. One suggestion we had from Cheryl Beck was to offer break-out sessions after the panel discussion, then come back for a re-cap. We plan to use this format next year. We also put in a request for a floating microphone for next year to allow everyone to hear the audience questions – though if we do the break-outs, this may be unnecessary.
Cookie Rally 12:00-1:00 TRAINING
Over lunch, our fearless volunteers got to know one another and went over pages 5-7 in the Cookie Rally Workbook. These pages were about goal setting (how to spend the cookie money) and the math of cookie money earnings. We focused on one page that had several examples, ranging from a small goal to some extremely lofty goals for cookie money experiences from the troop sales. The basic math was how many boxes do you have to sell if you earn .68 per box to reach $xx and achieve your goal. The volunteers were supplied with calculators to facilitate the process and relieve some math anxiety. Our goal was to get the girls thinking about the goal for their troops, write those ideas down, and give them a rough idea of how many boxes they’d have to sell in order to reach the goal – and to get them excited about selling cookies.
Cookie Rally 1:00-4:00 GO TIME!
We staffed three tables with our eight volunteers and easily had 600+ girls come through our station during these intense three hours. Some volunteers preferred to work one on one and others were fine with a group. We stopped for sips of water to keep us running and, like running a marathon, just kept on moving! I think the new volunteers were amply warned about the pace of the day; but it’s really something that must be seen to be believed. We worked with the girls in their workbooks, signed their passports and sent them to the next station. For the few older girls who have “seen it all before” we introduced an extra activity about the math of running your own business – a lemonade stand. This exercise got the girls thinking about sales, cost of goods sold and margin analysis. It was exactly the challenge they needed. I had them work on it alone, then went over it with them. Sue had them printed with the answer key on the back – so I hope they took it back to the troop for further study.
Looking forward to next year:
We’d like to have 12 volunteers and four tables next year. The tables are booked…we just need the volunteers! The ladies who helped this year seemed to enjoy themselves, so I hope we will have all or most return.
They plan to have a workbook again next year. This is a wonderful development because we can have a copy ahead of time and teach to their curriculum rather than inventing our own – which is so time consuming!
We will do the training on site and over lunch again next year to keep it as simple and “done in a day” as possible. We will include the challenge activity again next year – though make a new version.
Next year, I’d like to either include a WISE marketing piece in the Girl Scout totes, or preferably to whatever materials the leaders get at check-in. We had some cards at the tables, but with the velocity of the traffic, there is little to no chance of engaging the leaders. We will be able to make the most of this relationship by getting the OC troops to know us a little better and invite WISE to speak to their troops (preferably in large groups) to educate them on financial matters and fulfill our mission!
We ask for your vital support of the WISE mission, which ensures that we can continue to help women and girls make life-changing decisions please donate to our orginization at http://www.wiseinvestors.org/#!angel/.
In closing, a BIG THANK YOU to our wonderful volunteers!
Panelists: Laura Meier, Sona Shah and Cheryl Beck
Volunteers: Darlene March, Denise Schuler, Janet Palka, Kasey Houston, Laura Meier, Sharon Buck, Eileen Puza and Chandi Jackson
Barbara Krumsiek was a Keynote speaker for a WISE event in Oct. 2010, and in this clip is a snapshot of her interview with Consuelo Mack of her experience as a Girl Scout.
Here is our video from the Cookie Rally http://vimeo.com/85174761