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A Place to Belong

“I got teased a lot because of my clothes. For how I looked. Bullied because I was different,” says 10-year-old Taylor, a sixth grader at Jefferson Middle School in Tracy. “I didn't have a lot of friends at school.”

“It's was a hard time,” says Taylor’s mom, Tina. “Taylor fell into a routine of coming home, crying and at one point was acting sick just to avoid going to school.”

Tina knew she had to do something to help her daughter find a place to belong. Girl Scouts was the answer.

Once Taylor joined her new troop, Tina saw the light return to her daughter’s eyes. “Girl Scouts gave Taylor the chance to see that there were many kids in her community that came together as one….to make a difference,” says Tina. “You have no idea how much Girl Scouts has changed my daughter’s life.”

At Girl Scouts Heart of Central California (GSHCC), we’re proud of how membership in our movement has given Taylor–and so many girls like her–a sense of purpose and belonging. Taylor says it best: “I signed up to be a Girl Scout and made lots of friends. They are my sisters now, and they never tease me or make fun of me.”

Tina is grateful Taylor has a newfound sense of purpose. “Girl Scouts gives my daughter and all of her worldwide Girl Scout sisters the hope and beliefs that we can all make a difference.”

Creating community change means a lot for the girls and adults involved in Taylor’s troop. “I personally think girls get so much more than fun patches and earned badges by joining Girl Scouts,” says Tina. “Most importantly, they are taught life and survival skills that prepare them to enter the real world when the time comes. Many times Girl Scouts come together to help someone in need. Which teaches all girls how to give back.”

In addition to being featured on many of GSHCC’s promotional materials with her friends in Troop 1111, Taylor just finished her first camp overnight this summer.

Taylor already has leadership plans. “I now want to be a lifetime Girl Scout and want to lead my own troop when I grow up. I can't wait to earn my Gold Award one day!”

Her proud mom will be with her every step of the way. Tina was inspired by her daughter’s enthusiasm and signed on as a troop volunteer. “Girl Scouts was the missing thing in Taylor’s life,” says her mom. “Once Girl Scouts was found, Taylor was found!”

“All I can say is ‘thank you’! What your organization has done for my daughter’s spirit, well-being and in her everyday life...it has made her confident, welcomed, happy. She is proud to be a Girl Scout and I’m proud to be a Girl Scout co-leader.”

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