Stefanie Ellis’ cool job at Girl Scouts of Western Washington
What do you do? I am the PR director for Girl Scouts of Western Washington. My goal is to put girls’ achievements in the spotlight. I do this by sharing stories about how girls are changing the world. I hope I get people to think about Girl Scouts in a way that shows how, as an 102-year-old organization, we are more relevant, necessary and impactful than ever.
How did you get started in that field? I’ve been a journalist for 14 years. I’m a storyteller, but I feel like a traitor to myself if I don’t believe in the stories I’m telling. When I worked in advertising and corporate America, I’d go home feeling empty. Once, a boss actually told me I had too much heart, and I’d never make it in his world. When I saw the job for Girl Scouts, my heart started pounding in my chest. It was telling me I had found a place where I could use it! That was six years ago, and, as they say, the heart never lies.
What’s a typical day like? I might go on TV to talk about cookies; work on organizational campaigns and initiatives; build partnerships and collaborative opportunities with folks in the community who share our mission; pitch media stories about amazing things girls are doing; interview Girl Scout alumnae for our Awesome Woman series; write scripts, and coach girl speakers at our luncheons or give talks about Girl Scouts.
Sometimes I dress up as a Girl Scout cookie just because it’s a Tuesday. I ran into Dave Matthews recently, and asked if he’d consider throwing on a cookie costume sometime. He said he’d think about it. I really want him to say yes, so my business card can say: PR Director/Celebrity Cookie Fashion Designer.
What surprises people about your work? That our stairs are not made out of Do-Si-Dos, and the water fountain does not dispense caramel.
What’s the best part of the job? The most pleasant side effect of my job is hope for the future. I’ve never met a Girl Scout who hasn’t inspired me in some way. I get so pumped watching girls make changes in their communities, and in their lives. I was so uncertain about myself growing up, and didn’t find my voice until later in life. When I see girls embracing their potential at such a young age, I just want to high five them. They truly believe they can make a difference and, because of that, they will. I feel like the world is going to be okay if we leave it in their hands.