PEORIA -- The Girl Scouts orgnization of central Illinois is preparing for a luncheon to celebrate and spread awareness for its mission. We're highlighting three community leaders who grew up in the Girl Scouts program.
Mary Ardapple owns Apple's Bakery in Peoria. She credits her Girl Scout's cooking badge for her start in the food business.
As the only licensed Gluten-free kitchen in downstate Illinois, she's paving the way for a new kind of cooking. Ardapple said, "The badge program of girl scouting really helps us as young girls to lay the foundation as who the adults we're going to be when we grow up. So in my case you had a lot of again food, the outdoors, gardening, hobbies."
Dr. Sara Rusch, M.D., spent much of her career saving lives before becoming the Dean of the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Peoria.
Her time in Girl Scouts gave her the opportunity to recognize her full potential, even as a young girl. Rusch said, "What it really is is an increment of eye opening experiences. Yes, I can do that, oh and I can do that too, or this is another possibility. So I think Girl Scouts is one of those steps for me."
Dr. Grenita Lathan knows a thing or two about community involvement. For the past three years, she's been the leader of Peoria's District 150 schools, watching over almost 14,000 students. Lathan shares her experience. "It just taught me a lot about never giving up being able to get along with others and knowing that I was destined for greatness. I think Girl Scouts does make a difference in the life of a young lady."
A difference all three of these women said they strive to make in our community.
The Girl Scouts include about 5,000 girls in the Peoria area and more than two million nation wide.