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Meet Fazana Saleem-Ismail

Photo of
County of Residence
Albany
Volunteer Position
Troop Leader
How long have you been a volunteer?
2010
Were you a Girl Scout?
Yes
If yes, how many years?
1 year
How many generations of Girl Scouts are in your family?
Two
 
How has the Girl Scout Movement impacted your life?

As the product of both an all-female high school and college, I believe that there are no limits as to what girls can do. The Girl Scout Movement has impacted my life by giving me a forum to share this message with the next generation of girls so that they can begin to believe in themselves and their ability to have a positive impact on the world at a very young age. I always tell my daughter that she can do or be anything she wants to be with hard work. The Girl Scout Movement exemplifies this reality.

What does being a Girl Scout volunteer mean to you?

To me, being a Troop Leader means that I have the unique opportunity to empower girls as well as teach them about the world in which they live and how they can make it a better place. It has brought me great pleasure to see girls in our troop who once were reluctant to join in activities or share their thoughts now eager to try new things and articulate their experiences. Last year, we participated in our region's International Day and represented Sri Lanka (the country my parents are from). Many of our girls have never traveled out of North America before so their excitement about learning about another culture and country was very rewarding. My fellow troop leaders and I believe strongly that Girl Scouts should be service-oriented so we try to involve our girls in activities that help others as much as possible. Our troop has collected clothes, toys and books for a child who lost everything in a house fire, made table runners for a homeless shelter's Thanksgiving meal, sent gifts to poor children in Mexico, and collected pet food for animals at a local rescue shelter, among other activities. We are hoping to lead a donation drive for those affected by Hurricane Sandy in the coming weeks.

Do you have a favorite Girl Scout word or phrase?

I don't have a favorite Girl Scout word or phrase but the Girl Scout Law really resonates with me since every word in it describes how I try to live my life.

What's your favorite Girl Scout cookie?

Tagalongs...I can polish off a whole box within days if they are not hidden from me!