Thursday, February 12, 2015

Agents of Change in the EPA

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By: Allison B.



            Everyone wants to make a difference in this world, and everyone can! From teaching to being President, whatever you do, you’ll always be making a difference. And with STEM jobs on the rise, we see how many girls are needed to break the mold and be adventurous in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. When you go into a STEM job, you’re not only making a difference in the world, but also a difference for the world, as EPA worker Dionne Delli-Gatti knows very well.

Delli-Gatti
            The STEM careers are being highly advertised among Girl Scouts today, something many people like Delli-Gatti are excited about. And being a Girl Scout herself, she knows how important it is to get girls interested in these fields of study. She was a Girl Scout for four or five years and respects them very much. She enjoyed the many hiking and camping trips she went on with her troop. And these are the small activities that are so important for girls because they get them outside and active and learning and observing the world around them. And now that she’s grown up, Delli-Gatti still does that every day.

            In her childhood, Delli-Gatti had many struggles. Despite all the hardships she faced, she has become a professional, wife, and mother and an excellent role model for girls everywhere, showing that if you are determined and faithful, anything is possible! Because of her determination, she has gone on to work for the EPA, also known as the United States Environmental Protection Agency, as a Congressional Liaison, and that must have been a very cool job. This is where Delli-Gatti got to experience the things some of us only dream of! When I asked Delli-Gatti why she wanted a job like this, she told me “I wanted to do something that helps people and makes the world a better place but I'm a complete wimp when it comes to blood and things, so being a Doctor was not an option. Science seemed like an interesting path that still gave me the opportunity to do good.” And boy has she! She’s been all over protecting the Earth we love, in places like Washington DC, Alaska, Texas, California, and much more. And here in Georgia to of course! One of her favorite projects she’s done is when she went to Texas to help fight power plant problems. Her research and studies and opinions were even used in an article in the Rolling Stones magazine!

            Delli-Gatti has a Masters degree and, while in college, was also in the Air Force. Being in something as meaningful as the Air Force is such a great thing, and it really helped Delli-Gatti decide on her career path. She said “The Air Force was exciting and gave me some time to really figure out what I wanted to do in college. I got to travel some and serve my country before finishing up college.” She wanted to be in the Air Force because there was an army base in her hom-town, and she wanted to serve her country like the men and women before her. The Air Force helps build leaders and relationships that will last a lifetime, and the former Girl Scout certainly experienced that in her time with the Air Force. It also showed her how much she wanted to be an Agent of Change for the environment.

Delli-Gatti has done so much for our community, country, and world! She wanted this job because she wanted to do something important and make a difference.  It’s her way of trying to make the world a better place, and especially now that she has children, she’s realizing how important it is to help protect our resources and our food. One of the biggest changes she wants to see in the near future is with our food. She’s working hard to make sure that in the future, fewer chemicals are used in our farming and food processing, as well as less antibiotics in our meats and pesticides in our plants. And with everything she’s accomplished already, we know this astonishing woman will continue to make the difference she intends to, just like she has been doing.

            So what can Girl Scouts do? A lot more than some of us think! And it’s easy to start small when you’re young to help prepare you for when you’re older and looking for a job. When girls start finding their passions, they’re able to discover their career options. Girl Scouts is all about building girls of courage, confidence, and character, like our mission says. To help make that happen, Delli-Gatti says it’s important for girls to start “Learning and focusing on what is truly important to you and not just popular with the in-crowd.”

This is very true, and with more girls being needed for STEM type jobs, we’re learning that we can’t stick to the status quo of what people think girls normally do. And it’s not that hard to do! For girls wanting to get into STEM careers, Delli-Gatti thinks “Try it out if you can; shadow someone in the industry or do a summer internship if you can and really research the options. There are so many opportunities with a STEM degree, more than I ever thought.”

            So if there’s something you want to do, do it! Dreams are often not as unreachable as you think, because if you work hard, they can become real. Remember that the word IMPOSSIBLE says I’m Possible! And whether you’re striving to be in the Air Force, or work for the EPA, or the one to help cure cancer, go for it! Because no matter what, just by being here, you can and will change the world, one step at a time! Take those steps to become something great, because with a Girl Scout, a cookie means more than just a cookie, and a girl is more than just a girl. We are life-changers!!! 

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