• Gianna

#14 Maybe you don’t have the same imagination as me…yet.

My hope for Grounds of Change is that teenagers, my peers, will see themselves somewhere in the stories of the 100 world changers I interview and be inspired to make a difference. This project is an experiment to test my theory that the world can be changed through conversation. Recently while I was interviewing Brooke Wiseman, the CEO of Blessings in a Backpack, I suddenly realized that her story is a perfect example of my theory. It all started when she was 16 after she had a conversation with someone who was having a positive impact on the world.

When Brooke was sixteen, her Girl Scout Council sent her to the national Girl Scout Convention. This convention and the conversations she had while she was there lead Brooke down her life path of making a difference. She met Debbie Reynolds, a successful actress, singer, and businesswoman, but more importantly, a Girl Scout leader. Talking with Debbie, Brooke realized that the Girl Scouts organization was not just something for little girls; it was something for ALL girls. She understood that Debbie and other Girl Scout leaders were dedicating their lives to something larger than themselves- something that was giving young girls confidence and courage to dream. Brooke learned that day that she could give her life to service. She saw herself in those women and was inspired to follow in their footsteps. That conversation opened her eyes to a different future – it was her Grounds of Change.

Brooke started working for the Girl Scouts. She transitioned through the organization becoming program director then executive director of Girl Scout’s Chicago, and eventually the National President of the Association of Girl Scouts staff. Brooke’s service didn’t end there. She now serves as the CEO of Blessings in a Backpack. It is a nonprofit that mobilizes communities to send food home in backpacks with 87,000 students so they will not go hungry over the weekend. Talk about impact! Go check out their website!

If you ask Brooke why she has spent her life working for these nonprofits, she would mention that she believes in their missions to help children. She would remember those conversations she had as a sixteen-year-old at the National Girl Scout convention.

Brooke’s story may not fully prove my theory, however, it is evidence that conversation can be powerful. She saw herself in someone by speaking to them and look what came from it. Can you imagine if every teenager had an experience like Brooke? I can imagine sixteen-year-olds from all across the country beginning to see their futures differently. I can imagine teenagers learning that they matter and that they can make a difference. I can imagine this world being changed. Maybe you don’t have the same imagination as me…yet. That’s okay. Keep reading Grounds of Change and, more importantly, go have a world changing conversation with someone.

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