Renee Parsons, co-founder of the Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation, shown with some of the Girl Scouts at the Bob & Renee Parsons Leadership Center for Girls & Women.
Renee Parsons talks cookies and empowering young women
As I look across the modern-day landscape, surrounded by amazing, successful women, I can’t help but think back to the female powerhouses who came before us — women who paved the way, women who were the pioneers of their time. One such woman is the founder of the Girl Scouts, Juliette Gordon Low. More than 100 years ago, Juliette founded the organization under the controversial belief that every girl has the power to change the world. Today, that belief lives on in every troop leader, parent, camp counselor and community member who supports their neighborhood girl scout.
We’ve all seen the cookie stands outside the grocery store or been asked, often more than once, to purchase cookies from girls in our neighborhood. But have you stopped to think what it means to buy a box of Girl Scout Cookies? Or what the girls learn through this process? Or even how the money will be managed? As the largest girl-led entrepreneurial program in the world, the kind act of buying a box of cookies is much more than simply deciding between a box of Samoas or Thin Mints.
Every box sold empowers girls and helps develop future business and community leaders. The cookie program is giving girls their first taste of entrepreneurship. It teaches them money management and delivers lessons on goal setting. It’s not always easy to ask friends or family to buy cookies, but the sales process helps girls build independence and self-confidence. Sometimes lessons unfold around persistence and dedication – overcoming disappointment when you get a rejection and moving forward even when you don’t meet your short-term goal. Often in life, these are the most important lessons we can learn.
The Girl Scouts cookie program also empowers girls to make decisions themselves about how the net proceeds from their hard work are utilized. They learn it’s OK to invest in themselves and their troop and are also encouraged to use their money to give back to their community through service projects and donations.
As an entrepreneur and business leader, I am personally interested in providing motivated girls with the resources they need to become happy, thriving and successful women. It’s this passion that has led me to support the Girl Scouts, an organization that is teaching and inspiring the next generation of female leaders. This year, I am honored to have been named “Cookie Boss” for the Girl Scouts Arizona Cactus-Pine Council and encourage girls – one entrepreneur to another – as they participate in the cookie program. I also look forward to cheering on their success.
For the past 100+ years, the Girls Scouts have made being a G.I.R.L. (Go-Getter, Innovator, Risk-Taker, Leader) something to be proud of and created a path to success for countless women across the country.
I’m Renee Parsons and I support the G.I.R.L. movement.
Renee Parsons is the co-founder of The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation and president of PXG Apparel. A passionate philanthropist, Renee is a member of the global organization Women Moving Millions. She and her husband, Bob Parsons, are Giving Pledge signatories. Renee was named this year’s “Cookie Boss” by the Girl Scouts Arizona Cactus-Pine Council.