Friday, March 15, 2019

By: Girl Scout Senior + Lime Green Giraffe writer, Zora F.

The 2019 Changing the World Awardee, Soon Mee Kim is the Executive Vice President and Global Diversity and Inclusion Leader for Porter Novelli, an international public relations consultancy. A fellow Girl Scout, Kim welcomed a group of girls to tour her office space and for a sit down with some women of leadership in her organization.
Touring Porter Novelli was really exciting. The office space was really nice and very welcoming. It wasn’t like any ordinary cubicle office were the workers just typed away at their computers all day. All the employees looked really happy and that they enjoyed their work environment. While we were touring, a special week was going on called, “WOW Week.”  During this week employees were matched with someone, similar to secret Santa. The task was to be able to “wow” them for the whole week. We all thought it was really cool and fun!
The all-female Porter Novelli panel shared some of their favorite memories as a Girl Scouts and how women are taking the lead in the workforce. The panelist were Executive Vice President, Global Diversity & Inclusion, Soon Mee Kim, Executive Vice President, Ayanna Robinson and Vice President, Demeika Wheaton
 I felt the panel was impactful because they talked about how women are advancing by being their authentic selves and how it was for them growing up and finding success in college. Being able to see behind the scenes of Porter Novelli and ask questions to the panelist will always be remembered.

While sitting down with Soon Mee Kim for a one-on-one interview I was able to ask some questions that I find to be pretty important to all of us girls. 

Lime Green Giraffe: What impact will diversity and inclusion have on girls and women who will became leaders in the future?

Soon Mee Kim: Well right now all the studies show that women are actually getting more degrees and are higher educated then some of our male counterparts. We have actually regressed or we are at a standstill in terms of our progression up the corporate ladder which is very sad thing.
The why behind the importance of diversity and inclusion of women is really important. Because we right now don’t have pay parody. We don’t accelerate our careers and get the promotions early on and all I can say to that is there must be something that's beyond the things that we traditionally think of that's holding us back. That's called implicit bias. We want to level the playing field so great incredible women have the opportunity to lead, participate and be a part of creating innovative solutions for the better.

Lime Green Giraffe: How did you get started in your field?

Soon Mee Kim: I got started in my field actually out of failure. My major in college was Political Science. Studying in college was pretty easy for me. I made good grades and had a good understanding of the subject matter.
But when I went to college I faced some adversity when my dad past away. I love the fact that right now people are really focused on mental health and that they’re really taking care of themselves. Back then when I was growing up that wasn’t really a thing. We were expected to just bounce back no matter what came your way. After my dad’s death, I wasn’t getting up to go to any of my classes. I wasn’t really dealing with my grief in the best way. I wasn’t really making the grades to get into a good law school, so I had to change my plans. I think if I knew back then what I know now I would have taken the time to take better care of myself.
I needed to look at different options and I didn't really know a lot about careers. I really got started by looking in the areas of my strengths which were in communication. When I got out of school it took me into the field of public communications.

Lime Green Giraffe: Who inspires you? 

Soon Mee Kim: I’m inspired by people who are really curious. I’m inspired by people who take a chance on things and get out of their comfort zone. When I was growing up that really wasn’t me because I felt like there were things that I was just naturally good at, so I gravitated towards just doing those things. For me I think it was really important to get outside of that of the idea that I could only try things I was good at doing. When other people are really courageous about trying things that makes me really courageous about trying things too.

Lime Green Giraffe: What do you do when you are drained or need to reboot?

Soon Mee Kim: I like being by myself! I just like to binge watch a show and I will get really into it. I think that just really helps me to relax.

Lime Green Giraffe: What college did you attend? What was your major?

Soon Mee Kim: I went to Emory University. I was a Political Science major but I also minored in a lot of different things. I minored in Women Studies, Sociology and Psychology.

Lime Green Giraffe: What’s your favorite Girl Scout Cookie and why?

Soon Mee Kim: My two favorite Girl Scout Cookies are Samoas and Thin Mints! It’s purely a taste thing, I like coconut and caramel it's a great combination. Thin Mints just go with everything!

I think, the 2019 Changing the World Awardee,  Soon Mee Kim, has lived up to the Girl Scout mission by being a girl of courage, confidence, and character, who makes the world a better place. We at the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta are honored to have had the opportunity to have meet you!

Signing off ~ your Lime Green Giraffe reporter, Zora F. 
Lime Green Giraffe -- written by Girls for Girls.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Welcome all to February!

Love and snowflakes are in the air and you know what that means... a new issue of the Lime Green Giraffe is here!

We are so excited for you to read all of our new content. Look out for spellbinding short stories, playful personality quizzes and a heart-to-heart about what Girl Scouts has meant to some of our older staff. Whatever you choose to peruse, there is something for everyone to enjoy!

And since it is the month of love, just a reminder that that also means self-love. Take some time to do what you enjoy, what makes you happy and forget about the rest. You are powerful girl, don't ever be afraid to be confident and be you!

So from everyone here on staff at the LGG, we hope you enjoy the new issue and have a wonderful start to 2019! <3

By: Lime Green Giraffe Webmaster, Meghan K.

It’s kind of weird being a senior in high school. On one hand, it’s exciting; you’re finally going to be out of school, you’re about to get a lot more independence, and for a lot of folks, there’s college to look forward to. But it also means a lot of change. For some, that change could be moving to a new city; for others, it’s leaving their friends or watching their friends move away; and for most, it’s a complete change of pace from their life in high school. For me, that change is leaving all the activities I’ve been involved in: musical theatre, the dance studio I’ve been going to on and off since I was four, and, perhaps most jarringly, the Lime Green Giraffe.
I found the Lime Green Giraffe through their 2014 Writer’s Workshop when I was in the seventh grade. My mom was the one who suggested it to me—in fact, she’d found the Lime Green Giraffe when I was in Brownies and had been hinting that I should join the committee since I’d become old enough—and although I was hesitant at first, I decided to go to the workshop. There was no long-term commitment, some of the girls from my troop would be going with me, and I didn’t have to publish anything I wrote—that afternoon was completely risk-free. What I didn’t know was that they’d be handing out applications that day, and that I would enjoy the workshop so much that I started filling out my application right then and there. I spent the next few weeks working on a sample of my best writing, trying to get my forms in order, and then waiting to hear back.
I still remember my first Lime Green Giraffe meeting. From the moment I turned my application in weeks before to the moment I walked into the building, I was incredibly nervous. After all, this was the first time in years that I’d really strayed out of my comfort zone, and the first time that I’d ever shared my writing for a wider audience. Were the other staffers going to like my writing? Were they going to like me? What if the readers hated my writing? And then there were other unknowns that troubled me, like what kinds of things we were supposed to write about—did it just have to be Girl Scout stuff or could we write about other things?—and what non-writing things we were expected to do—basically, what if I just wasn’t cut out for being on the LGG? But those questions were answered immediately, and as I finally settled in, I found myself counting the days between meetings, desperately waiting for the next time we’d get together.
That first year flew by fast, and before I knew it, I was staying on for a second year, and then a third and fourth. I joined the leadership team in 2017 as the Photography Editor and stayed on this year as the Webmaster, a position I almost applied for in my first year; I’ve published 28 different articles on topics from National Novel Writers’ Month to perfectionism to jazzing up a pair of plain sneakers with Sharpies; I’ve gone to the Volunteer Leadership Conference three times; I’ve attended four of the very same workshops that brought me to the Giraffe; and I even persuaded my younger sister to join last year. So many things have happened that I haven’t expected over the past five years.

The idea of leaving the LGG isn’t an idea I like to entertain very long. After all, the only activity I’ve ever stuck with longer than the Lime Green Giraffe has been Girl Scouts itself, which I’ve been in for twelve years. When your life changes as much as mine seems to, staying involved in things for very long is challenging, so when you find a good groove, you’ll do anything to stay in it. And that’s what I did.
Whenever someone asks me why I stayed on the Giraffe for so long, I give them a few reasons. The first is that it allows me to share my passions. I wrote an article about improv (improvisational theatre) last year and not only did it give me the opportunity to share my experience trying a new and challenging art form, but it also allowed me to teach other people about something I’m deeply passionate and point them in the direction of something they might enjoy. I’ve had the opportunity to share what it’s like to be homeschooled, which not a lot of people are familiar with and some aren’t even aware of; I’ve taught people how to survive travelling to Europe, a concept that can seem daunting if you’ve never done it; and I’ve even told the story of how I almost quit musical theatre, one of my favorite hobbies. I love sharing those stories with others and introducing them to things they may never have heard of.
In the same vein, being on the Lime Green Giraffe has allowed me to share my more difficult personal experiences and help others going through some of the same things. I’ve contributed to the “Ask Gigi” column more often than not, I’ve shared my struggles with perfectionism, I’ve shared the things that I wish people had told me when I started driving—being on the Lime Green Giraffe has given me a voice I can use to help others, even if it’s just making them feel like they’re less alone.
The Lime Green Giraffe has also been a stable point in my life. Over the past five years, I’ve gone from middle to high school, worked my way through no less than five identity crises, watched my confidence yoyo from up to down and back up again, gotten braces twice, bridged from Cadettes to Seniors and then from Seniors to Ambassadors, and I’ve watched my life change so much that I can’t believe that all of those things happened to the same girl. But even in the craziest times, when I’ve been trying to juggle musical theatre, school, and regular teenage life all at the same time, the Lime Green Giraffe has always been there as an oasis from the universe’s insanity; I can always count on the LGG to be safe, fun, and carefree.
The best thing about being on the Lime Green Giraffe, though, is the people. The staffers that I’ve had the honor of working with over the past five years are phenomenally talented, funny, kind, and supportive individuals. We’ve shared ideas, watched each other grow as writers, gone on some of the most amazing field trips, laughed together, cried together, and made memories that I’ll never forget. Our adult volunteers—Marnye, Melissa, and Jo—keep us (mostly) sane, together, and on track and make sure that everything that we want to do can be done. I cannot express with words how lucky I am to have gotten to work with these people.

I definitely haven’t covered everything I could possibly say about the LGG, and to be honest, I don’t think I could, even with a hard drive with unlimited space and enough dictionaries to fill a library. So I’m just going to say this; being on the Lime Green Giraffe has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I’ve gotten to work with amazing people, step out of my comfort zone, and share my ideas and experiences with the world. I’m certain that when I look back on my time on the Giraffe in the future, I’ll remember these days with a smile.

By Lea M. 

Chocolate. The classic sweet treat. It can be found in many different forms, brands, and flavors, but it will always be that beloved dessert that we all know and love. But, have you have you ever wondered how it came to be? How it evolved over the ages from just a simple bean, to a dessert that practically everyone knows about? Well now you will finally get the answers to those questions. 
The first cacao trees were found in Mexico, 1900BC by ancient civilizations called the Mesoamericans. They cultivated the cacao bean into a bitter drink nothing like present-day chocolate. The Olmecs, Aztecs, and the Mayan civilizations all believed that chocolate had mystical, magical properties, and then Mayans actually worshiped the god of cacao. They all agreed that only people of royal blood, warriors, or nobles should drink chocolate. Soon the Aztecs dominated the Mesoamericans and traded with the Mayans for cacao beans. Soon they were so valuable, cacao beans were actually currency. For example, you could get a turkey for 100 beans.  
Later on, in the 1500, a Spanish conquistador named Hernan Cortes visited Mexico in search for gold and silver, but returned with chocolate. The Spanish sweetened the drink, but just like the Mesoamericans, it was only for people of great importance. 
The Spanish want to keep chocolate for themselves, but when the daughter of King Philip III brought chocolate to France when she was wed to King Louis XIII, they all agreed there was no way to keep it secret anymore. The European powers loved and craved chocolate so much that they established cacao plantations so that they could have it more often. But when people started coming back with Mesoamerican diseases, they put African slaves there to work. 
In 1828, a Dutch chemist by the name of Coenraad Johannes van Houten created the coco press, which made dry chocolate cakes, and revolutionized the chocolate industry forever. Later on, in 1847, British company J.S. Fry & Sons made the first ever solid chocolate bar. Soon in 1879, Rodolphe Lindt created a conching machine, which gave chocolate bars a velvety texture and an amazing flavor. This made a picture-perfect chocolate like the ones we have today. 
By: Emma B.

Sometimes a writer’s biggest challenge isn’t editing. It’s not thinking of the right words or checking your character development. Sometimes it’s not even writer’s block. Sometimes it’s simply not knowing what to write. Fear not I’m here to help.  
As the snow (or rain if you live down South) hails from the sky and we all fight to keep our long-sleeve shirts clean, here are some writing prompts to keep you occupied by the fire.  

Group 1: “The Delightfully Awkward Prompts” 
Prompt 1: You’re a philosopher in the 1980’s who’s trying to figure out the meaning of life, when your girlfriend/boyfriend comes in with chocolates and your favorite song…and a note from your ex. 
Prompt 2: You’re at a café in Europe when a nerdy weirdo asks you on a date. What do you do? Prompt 3: Take your favorite pair of shoes and write an existential poem about it. 

Group 2: “The Song Prompts” 
Prompt 4: Pick your favorite song and your least favorite song and put the writers of those songs on a blind date together.  
Prompt 5: Write a recipe for a latte, sandwich, or cake based on your favorite song to cry to.  
Prompt 6: Write an informational essay about why your boyfriend/girlfriend should date you because of one song…and that song is from one of your favorite movies. 

Group #3: “Those Weird Ones” 
Prompt 7: A magical flower comes to life and has an obsession with Broadway. 
Prompt 8: Death offers not to kill you if you give him a spa-day. 
Prompt 9: Write an argumentative essay defending something utterly ridiculous. 

Group #4: “Word Prompts”: 
Write a Story Based on One of These Words:  
  • Strange 
  • Beautiful  
  • Cheetos 
  • Caterpillar  
  • Lively  
  • Water Bottle  
  • Plot 

These writing prompts are very easy to get into and you can do whatever you’d like with them, but you also have the ability to use all these prompts as is. They are fairly unspecific and elements can be changed as long as they still have some of the original elements. So have fun and try not to freeze this winter, there’s writing to be done!