Impact'19: Dr. Linda Farley

June 20, 2019

 

 

 

Linda E. Farley, Ed.D, joined Girl Scouts Heart of Central California (GSHCC) in 2013 as its Chief Executive Officer.  A lifelong advocate for youth development, Linda holds a doctorate in leadership from the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul. She has dedicated her career to creating opportunities for young people to learn and lead through programs in education, community service and the arts.

Bio Source: girlscoutshcc.org

 

Alan 

I'm sitting here today with Dr. Linda Farley. She's the CEO of the Girl Scout organization for the Greater Sacramento area. Welcome.

 

Dr. Farley

Thank you. Thank you.

 

Alan 

So I understand there are some 18,000 Girl Scouts under your jurisdiction.

 

Dr. Farley 

There are about 18,000. And we actually serve 18 counties. So we go as far north as Yuba City and down south into Merced County & Los Banos. So we're a pretty big geographic area, but about 18,000. Girls. Yes.

 

Alan 

There's a big movement today about girls and leadership and companies. And one of the pieces on your website, talks how about girls that take the risk become the leaders of tomorrow.

 

Dr. Farley

Yes, Girl Scouts is such a wonderful program. We've been around for over 106 years now. And what we're finding is girls who stay in our Girl Scouting program for at least three years, actually perform better on life outcomes. So you're going to find that girl scouts will earn more money, they'll be higher educated, they will volunteer more in their community, they'll be engaged more their community, and they'll be more they'll they're more apt to take leadership positions. So our vision is to be the premier leadership development organization for girls. So we really feel like we're the pipeline for organizations who are needing female leaders,

 

Alan 

The public often associates Girl Scouts, but the cookie drive which is always wonderful. But what is the age range for the girls that you serve?

 

Dr. Farley

We serve girls in kindergarten through 12th grade. And you mentioned the cookie program. It is our entrepreneurial program. It's one of our four pillars we have outdoor is a pillar, we have stem science, technology, engineering, and math as a pillar, we have life skills as a pillar. And then our entrepreneurial program was just all about cookie sales. And it really is a program that helps girls with financial literacy. It helps them understand how to run a program, how to manage their money, how to market. So our cookie program is a very serious program for our girls and girls kindergarten through 12th grade participate.

 

Alan 

When we talk about the entrepreneurial side of things with the girls, is it didn't an individual or a troop effort for fundraising.

 

Dr. Farley

It's actually both we have girls in troops who choose not to sell cookies, they're busy with other things. But it does tend to be a troop or group activity, but there are girls who have individual goals. So quite often the girls set their own goals in terms of how many boxes of cookies they want to sell, and how many they sell. And then they earn individual incentives. So we have girls who actually are on a trip to Hawaii for a program in Hawaii because they were our top cookie sellers. So these are pretty serious incentives. We have a group that hiked the Grand Canyon, we usually take a group to Disneyland, some of our younger girls, so they work for those incentives and they're typically working on their own.

 

Alan 

Dr. Farley, when did you get involved in Girl Scouts?

 

Dr. Farley

I got involved when I was in kindergarten when I was in first grade, actually, I was a Brownie, my mom was my troop leader and I stayed in Girl Scouting through probably eighth grade. And then like many girls, we find that trend still holds today, dropped out I got involved in student government and cheerleading and other things. I have since been the CEO for six and a half years. here in Sacramento, we have an office in Sacramento, Stockton, and an office in Modesto. But I've always been a Girl Scout really my whole life, and very actively engaged the last six and a half years.

 

Alan 

In the world that we live in today with technology and change. It seems that our schedules become ever more busy. You mentioned that your mother mentored you into the Girl Scout program. Do you find a challenge in having the mothers continuing to come and work with the girls?

 

Dr. Farley

We are, it's difficult we have more women in the workplace than certainly in the 60's when my mom was my troop leader. And a lot more I think opportunities for girls, I am a pre Title Nine woman and so I didn't have organized soccer or any of the other sports. And so girls have so many more options. And therefore the mothers, typically mothers and we have some dads who are troop leaders- if you're man enough to be a Girl Scout, we like to say, and so we look for alternative ways to serve girls. So we do a lot of partnering with school districts and their after school programs who serve a lot of Title One lower income girls who probably wouldn't have this advantage because their moms are working three jobs to put food on the table. We want those girls to have a Girl Scout experience. So we partner with after school programs. We train those folks to do our program to lead our program. And we are currently in about 75 sites within our council where we have those partnerships. So we do a lot to look at alternative ways to bring the program to girls.

 

Alan 

Let's review those four pillars once again with the Girl Scouts.

 

Dr. Farley

So outdoors, of course is a big pillar for Girl Scouts. Entrepreneurship, which is primarily our cookie program, life skills, which is a range of life skill badges for girls. And then of course science, technology, engineering and math stem, which we support heavily.

 

Alan 

Dr. Farley, how does one get involved with the Girl Scout organization?

 

Dr. Farley 

It's pretty easy, go to our website: GirlScoutsHCC.org. You can register online. Everything is done now through a Salesforce platform. So we have a pretty sophisticated method to get involved but everything's on our website. So it's the best place to go and find us.

 

 

 

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