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Volunteer Spotlight: Jennifer Contreras

Jennifer Contreras

Congratulations to our April Volunteer of the Month, Jennifer Contreras of Knox County! Learn more about Jennifer, her Girl Scout journey, and the difference she has seen Girl Scouting make.

What is your occupation? Stay-at-home mom

Hobbies? Camping, swimming, organizing, quilting, four wheeling

How long have you been a Girl Scout volunteer? Two years with Girls Scouts of Southern Appalachians and two years with Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee 

Why did you get started as a Girl Scout volunteer? I have always wanted to help girls reach their full potential. My daughter wanted to try Girl Scouts to learn more about outdoors, camping, and horses. I thought Girl Scouts was the best program to teach that while giving her the tools to lead others and become a strong independent woman. 

What are your goals for volunteering with Girl Scouts? I want to make a difference in girls’ lives and give them an opportunity they wouldn’t get anywhere else. My girls plan to get their Bronze Award this year. My goal over all is that each girl in my troop gains the skills and knowledge from Girls Scouts that will help her in her career and future endeavors. 

Favorite memory associated as a volunteer? Last season during cookie pick up I went into labor with my son Connor. I got all the girls’ cookies sorted and they each picked them up and off to the hospital we went. This is my favorite memory because the girls now refer to my now one year old as the Cookie Monster. His favorite cookie is the Thin Mint. The girls will hold the box up and he goes crazy. They say he came three weeks early because he wanted their Thin Mints! 

Were you a Girl Scout growing up? No, but I volunteered as a camp instructor at a local resident camp during summers while in college. I played sports in high school but always wanted to do Girl Scouts.

Volunteer Pro Tip(s)? Let the girls plan and vote. Make notes of things they want or plan to do and during cookie season help them figure out what they need to sell to be able to accomplish all those things. Go to service unit meetings. Talk to your fellow volunteers and collaborate. Remember there is no I in team! 

Favorite Girl Scout cookie? Tagalongs® 

What you think is the most important/valuable thing about Girl Scouts? That it is girl led and is a safe place for girls to learn and explore what they want on their own timeline. I love that they get to choose and there are so many options from outdoor badges to cyber security. 

How have you seen girls benefit from Girl Scouts? I’ve seen quite shy girls make friends, go up to people and ask them questions, and try new things like boating, archery, or learning about bugs they wouldn’t normally touch. 

Girl Scouts unleashes the G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ in every girl, preparing her for a lifetime of leadership. The inclusive, all-female environment of a Girl Scout troop creates a safe space where girls can try new things, develop a range of skills, take on leadership roles, and just be themselves. Jennifer embodies the G.I.R.L. spirit and helps to instill it in others. Girl Scouts of the Southern Appalachians is proud to name her as Volunteer of the Month for April!