Education Tools for Success: My Mom’s Legacy

Guest Post: Gabriela Robles, CEO and President

As a young girl in El Monte, California, every other community had a Girl Scout troop but ours. My mom’s perspective of education was broad. She knew what it takes for people, particularly female minorities, to succeed. Girl Scouts was a pathway to success for other young girls, and she wouldn’t let the lack of a troop hold back our neighborhood.


She helped start Troop 89 to ensure that my sister, our classmates, and I had similar opportunities as other girls. When our troop didn’t have money for uniforms, the families found them at thrift shops. With no more than a 4th-grade education, she inherently knew the skills I would learn from scouting were invaluable.


My mom always talked to people to discover new and unique ways for my siblings and me to thrive beyond the classroom. Not only did we get library cards, but we were also told it was an honor that they trusted us with books. She signed me up for debate club, stating the skills would help me later in college. When I turned 16, my gift was a job application to McDonald’s. I loved that job and the independence it provided me. I loved the feeling of making my own money.


The onus wasn’t just on the kids. She volunteered for every opportunity at the school that was available as a parent. She wanted to be visible to our teachers and develop her skills. My mom was resourceful, tenacious, bold, and ahead of her time, seeing that education is holistic.


I imagine she had a hand in calling me to sit on the Girl Scouts of Orange County board. I know she would think it was special that her efforts to raise a successful child paid off. Like many Latinas, I sometimes feel like I must work harder than others or that maybe I don’t deserve to be where I am. Then I remember my mom, who searched for every tool she could find to help her children succeed. I will do the same for my kids because that’s the legacy she left for me.


I’m curious – what educational legacy was passed on to you? Or what do you hope to carry on to the next generation?


This article was originally posted on LinkedIn.