Following a meeting with Mayor Tara Campbell, a mighty group of eight-year old girls from Heritage Oak Private School held a mother-daughter discussion about female leadership. The scouts named some well-known historical leaders such as Rosa Parks and Harriet Tubman, but many of their role models are still making indelible marks on them today. The girls named Mayor Tara Campbell, Greta Thunberg, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Alex Morgan, and Oprah as some of their role models in government, human rights, law, sports, and philanthropy. But it is their mothers that count most to these girls.
Madelynn Lee, Isabella Vargas, Aanya Parikh, Bella Latham, Ariela Sperling, Charlie Yuen, Livia Cullotta, Analiese Lim, Victoria Yoon, and Jada Urban shared who inspires them most and why they want to be leaders when they grow up. Scout leaders Maria Bravo Latham and Fabiola Sperling then shared their dreams for their daughters.
Nearly half the girls reported learning discipline, sportsmanship, and inclusivity through their sports coaches and teachers. “A good leader isn’t necessarily a good athlete,” says Analiese. “A good leader is someone with good sportsmanship, cheers for all her teammates, and is inclusive and kind to everyone.”
Victoria stated “being a good listener with confidence and control” are as important as being a leader, while Aanya says important leadership qualities are “being able to recognize differences and strengths of individuals to learn how to work together.” Pointing to Mayor Tara Campbell as an inspiring government leader, Bella says, “I could be in Congress or President one day. If she can do it, I can do it too.”
It is not just famous people who inspire them to be good leaders. “[My mom] tells me to always just try,” says Ariela. “and never give up.” Charlie agreed that her scout leader, Mrs. Latham, is inspiring “for her kindness and care for the environment and people.” Madelynn, Charlie, Aanya, and Bella are interested in being leaders to make a difference in public health to stop vaping and smoking, protect animals, create more fairness between people, and prevent pollution of the Earth.
For all the dreams parents hold for their children, the virtues that stand out most are independence, fairness, generosity, and to use their voice to stand up for those who cannot. “It is my hope that she remembers the lessons she’s learned from the countless warrior women that inspire her,” says Maria Latham, “and that she pays it forward.”
We stand on the shoulders of the women who spoke loudly and persistently for a better future, but kindness is also a strong power that changes the world. “When I am a future leader,” says Analiese, “I will spread kindness.”