Guadalupe Cocon: the proud Girl Scout mom and volunteer!
With a knot in her throat, Guadalupe Cocon tries to hold back tears when reminded of the wonderful letter her young daughter, Isabel Herrera, wrote to San Jacinto Council. Isabel, a Girl Scout Brownie, wanted to boast about how integral her mother was to her Girl Scout experience.
I think without my mom, I could not do it, Isabel’s letter read. She is my leader and my guide…someday I’ll be a leader like my mom.
Guadalupe beams with pride when describing how Girl Scouts has impacted her family. In a society where screen time can hinder a girl’s interpersonal skills, she has found a way to engage her family and become her daughter Isabel’s personal hero.
“Isabel is looking at me not only as her mom, she’s looking at me as her leader,” Guadalupe said. “I need to be careful. I’m responsible for what I’m saying, what I’m doing because somebody else is looking at me and wants to be like me.”
Through Girl Scouts, Guadalupe does not feel like she needs to ask her daughters what their interests are or how they are feeling. She prefers to learn about their interests through volunteering with their Girl Scout troop. According to her, spending time with them and observing their interactions is the best way for her to stay connected with her girls.
“I can know more about my daughters being in Girl Scouts,” Guadalupe said. “When you do something together you don’t need to ask them. Just watch them, listen to them, [look at] what they are doing.”
A leader through and through, Guadalupe boldly embraces new opportunities and challenges. She did not let her inexperience with Girl Scouts hinder her desire to get involved. She began as a shy volunteer and has blossomed into a passionate Girl Scout advocate. Even her husband sports a “Man Enough to be a Girl Scout” T-shirt when he’s volunteering at parades.
“I invite a person to come join us and discover what Girl Scouts offer to young girls,” Guadalupe said. “They are going to be surprised what a young Girl Scout can learn in this program.”
Guadalupe is now a facilitator in the Hispanic community and helps train new Spanish speaking families to volunteer with their daughter’s troops. According to her, the lessons Girl Scouts teaches the volunteers can be implemented outside of the organization and help change their lives.
“I start working with my family but now I am working with my community…because my life changed for the better,” Guadalupe said. “I want this life for this community…to be better.”