A mother/daughter bond is hard to break — and Sandrell and her daughter Rachel’s bond is even stronger thanks to their involvement with our United Way and impact partner Girl Scouts of Tropical South Florida.
Since becoming a mom at the age of 20, Sandrell has navigated the hardships of everyday life. She followed her cousin Catherine’s footsteps by also enrolling her daughter in one of United Way’s partner agencies, the Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida, at a young age.
“That single action changed our lives, I just didn’t know it at the time,” Sandrell says. “While I navigated several jobs and other life changes, the magic of Girl Scouts was working.” Girl Scouts helped shape Sandrell as a parent, as she engaged with other troop parents and gave her perspective and direction. She learned how to advocate for her daughter and become a proactive parent.
The experience also helped her daughter prepare for the real world — even before she was able to understand what the real world was. Through Girl Scouts, Rachel was able to strengthen her public speaking, navigate college financial aid applications and earned the Girl Scouts’ highest award — the Gold Award. She was also a part of United Way Youth Institute while in high school, and now as a freshman at Florida Atlantic University, she sees how her involvement with United Way and the Girl Scouts taught her to value her presence in the world, seek opportunities to do great work and make an impact.
“I understand the old cliché, ‘It takes a village,’” Sandrell says. “I see now how strong my village is, a village that I now realize includes the troop leaders, the troop parents and United Way. [It has] greatly enriched my experience as a parent.”