• GS Southern Arizona

"I Am Hopeful" - A Message from Our CEO

Updated: Jun 18, 2020

Like so many others, I have struggled to find the words to express how I feel as I process the racial injustice and the unrest that our country continues to face. The enormity of this brings out many thoughts and emotions, and with that, I share my heart.

As a mother, my heart aches. I want nothing more than for my children to be happy and healthy. Naturally, I worry about the challenges life will bring them. That is understandable and something I can accept. What is unfathomable is a mother fearing for her child’s life because of the color of their skin. Life shouldn’t be that ugly, that evil.

Yet, I am hopeful.

As a Latina, I am frustrated. I cannot understand that, after all that history has taught, racism and hatred is still so prevalent. The jokes, the categorization, the notion that people of color are a threat to society and should be treated as such . . . all of it is inexcusable and I hurt for my ‘minority’ sisters and brothers.

Yet, I am hopeful.

As a woman of faith, I agonize. I pray for clarity, for understanding— I pray for the misguided to come to the realization that we are all children of God and, therefore, precious. I pause for self-reflection and own my responsibility in doing my very best to be an example of love and compassion, knowing very well that I, nor others, are perfect.

Once more, I am hopeful.

As a leader, I am determined. I am fully committed to propel our Movement’s mission forward. Building girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place. In order to do that, I will listen and learn. I will encourage girls to use their voice, and I will be a voice for those who are silenced. I will be a connector in the community to foster dialogue and action.

Why? Because I am hopeful. I am hopeful because we have Girl Scouts.

Girls who are thinking for themselves and challenging the norm

Girls who recognize right from wrong and speak up when they see injustice

Girls who appreciate uniqueness, individuality and celebrate differences

Girls who take pride in their culture and share the beautiful traditions

Girls who lift each other up and cheer one another on

Girls who share their fears and speak their truths

Girls who fail and fall and get right back up

Girls who work hard and remain focused on achieving goals

Girls who want to make a difference and leave their mark

Girls who are responsible for what they say and do

Girls who are holding others accountable for their actions

Girls who are becoming more and more fearless at tackling issues of the world

I have hope because I see the shift in momentum and our girls are taking action. If there is one thing I have learned in Girl Scouts it is this: there is nothing more powerful than a girl on a mission! Will I leave this fight for the girls to take on alone? No. I will do my part to affect change with love, commitment, vigor, and hope. Hope for a better, peaceful world.

Stronger Together,

Kristen Hernandez

Chief Executive Officer

Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona

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