SOUTH EUCLID, Ohio — Friday night, high school junior Nia Guess will be one of three young women honored with the Girl Scouts Leaders of Tomorrow Scholarship.
Guess has been a Girl Scout for 12 years, working her way from Daisy to Cadette. In all that time she’s learned the value of service, telling News 5, “Other people were really being impacted by what I do.”
Tomorrow, she’ll be recognized for her hard work. Guess says she and two other girls were chosen from among 30 nominees for the scholarship. It’s easy to see why people are taking notice. After her troop earned their Silver Award, Guess started mentoring other troops trying to earn theirs. Now she’s working on finishing up her Gold Award, a rain garden in South Euclid.
She also participates every year in a walk to benefit Autism Speaks. She said her interest started young, when her mom was her troop leader and took the troop to the walk every year. One year, a mom asked her to watch her daughter for a few minutes while she used the restroom.
“She started talking and interacting and things like that and mom came back very curious. She walked back like ‘wow I’ve never seen my daughter this interactive,’” Guess said. “That really helped me to see this is something I want to do.”
It’s not uncommon for Girl Scout troops to get smaller as the girls grow up and find other interests. Guess saw the benefits early on. “I saw the reward at the end of the rainbow,” she explained. “Everybody thinks about the cookies. Everyone thinks about the selling of the candy. They don’t think about the skills that you learn, the serving that you can provide to others, and so that’s what I really saw.”
Friday night’s ceremony will be a virtual affair because of the pandemic. But Guess will still have the support of her troop, ready to cheer her on from afar. “All the Girl Scouts got a lovely box with pom-poms and little signage like ‘That’s my Girl Scout’ and things like that,” she said.
As for what’s next, Guess says she wants to continue working with kids with Autism in some form or another. She’s still looking at schools, but wants to go somewhere in the south for a break from our cold winters.
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