By Dy'Almond McGhee
Editor’s note: Dy’Amond McGhee was valedictorian of the Bryan County High School class of 2019. She’s already got one college degree and is headed to UGA in the fall. Her ultimate goal is to be a U.S. Supreme Court justice.
Manda Hingston invited me to speak to her Girl Scout troop, Pembroke Troop 30079, and give the girls some words of encouragement. I could not turn down an amazing opportunity to be a role model for these young girls, so my reply was an emphatic, “Yes, I would love to speak to the girls!”
That happened on June 28, when I attended the Girl Scout meeting as special guest. I received a warm welcome from these delightful girls, who were astonished to hear about everything I have done over the years.
As I delivered my speech, I knew the girls were going to be full of questions.
One girl asked, “How are you able to accomplish so many things without getting overwhelmed by everything else in life?
I responded, “I believe that I can achieve any goal that I set for myself if I stay focused and keep a positive attitude towards life.”
There are no limits to what you can accomplish if you have confidence. The sky is not the limit, your mind is. When things get overwhelming stop and take some time for you to relax. Self-care is essential for your mental and physical health.
I was also asked, “How do you balance going to school and hanging out with your friends? Is it hard? I would feel bad to ditch my friends.”
I answered, “You have to have self discipline and prioritize what is most important to you and your future.”
You can have fun enjoying time with your friends, while focusing on your goal by surrounding yourself with people that have similar goals as you. People who are striving towards the same goal as you will understand that your priorities come first.
At the end of the day, all the hard work and discipline will have paid off. Sometime, you have to miss out on the good times or you can jeopardize your future.
While we were discussing school and academics, I wanted to strongly express the importance of education. I told the girls how important education is in today’s world. Education is not a waste of time, it is valuable for your future. I encouraged the girls to learn to try new things, such as taking a class or joining an organization that you may or may not have a great interest in.
You may enjoy the activity, but you will never know if you never try.
You can achieve anything you set your mind to with a positive attitude, not only in school but in life too.
Another important aspect of life is to be active in school beyond the classroom, and in your community. I encouraged the girls to participate in extracurricular activities including sports, interest groups and clubs and organizations.
Just because you’re a girl, do not let that stand in your way of experiencing learning opportunities.
Last but not least, I was asked, “How do you deal with others who criticize you about being smart?”
I answered, “You cannot worry about what others think about your goals and what you are trying to achieve. Follow your dreams.”
I really enjoyed being able to talk to these girls, and I believe Girl Scouts is a great leadership organization.
The Girl Scouts do more than just sell cookies, the organization allows girls to make friends and teaches them valuable skills for life.
I encourage young girls to join Girl Scouts. Girl Scouts help prepare and motivate girls for their future.
If you would like to get involved in Girl Scouts, Troop 30079 meets every Thursday at 6:30 pm at Ellabell United Methodist Church in Ellabell.