In the Community

Cookie season confidence boost for local Girl Scouts

Fast Pitch program gives scouts real-world practice in pitching to business leaders

PHOENIX, Ariz. (STN) – Samoas. Thin Mints. Tagalongs.

The names of classic Girl Scout cookies, and newer recipes, pop into the collective conversation every January. And, while the cookies usually get the headlines, the yearly arrival of cookie season also brings thousands of girls in Arizona, and millions across the country, a chance to learn valuable life lessons.

“Girl Scouts is all about building girls of courage, character and confidence,” said Christina Spicer, Co-CEO of Girl Scouts-Arizona Cactus-Pine Council.

Creating opportunities to help young girls gain more confidence, especially when it comes to building future business leaders, is one of the reasons the GSACPC teamed up with the State Forty Eight Foundation for their annual CEO Fast Pitch event.

“It kicks off our cookie season,” Spicer said. “We have a chance to bring together some of our older girls with executive leaders and CEOs in our community to be able to learn some of these incredible entrepreneurship skills.”

During Fast Pitch, participating Girl Scouts not only have the opportunity to hear from CEOs, they also get the chance to present their cookie sales pitch to well-known leaders in the business community.

“As leaders we encourage,” said Bashas’ Director of Communications and Public Affairs Ashley Shick. “We help guide [them] as they go into the world and meet some obstacles for cookie sales.”

Take a look at the GSACPC Fast Pitch program in action:

“We got together with smaller groups of girls and they’ve practiced their fast pitches on us to help them develop better sales skills for their cookie sales,” said Deanna Salazar, CAO and General Council Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona (and lifelong Girl Scout). “So it’s really fun for them to break out of their shells and do these fast pitches in front of people who are there to help them improve their skills.”
The opportunity to practice pitching to local leaders and the lessons that come along with doing it hit home for a couple of the 2024 program participants.

“I can kind of refine how I’m going to sell during cookie sales,” said Girl Scout Kiana Jeskewitz. But then I’m also going to take this advice into the real world within the next few years. So it’s helped me gain a lot of confidence and it helps me in a lot of social situations.”
Fellow Scout Willow Warren agreed.

“I feel a lot more confident,” Warren said. “Once I get into it, I’m not as nervous because I know I’m going to do a great job.”

CEO and Co-Founder of State Forty Eight Michael Spangenberg, who helped GSACPC put on this year’s event, said investing in future business leaders is important.

“Let them know we believe in them,” Spangenberg said. “We’re responsible as business owners and leaders in the community to do that for these young women.”

“It is an honor to be part of an organization that allows for community to engage in a way for girls to learn this very valuable skill,” Spicer concluded.

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