Sunday, September 30, 2018

Meet 2018 Famous Former Honoree Vickie Kearn

On Thursday, November 29, Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast will honor eight women at the Girl Scouts Famous Formers luncheon. This event is held annually to honor local women who continue to exemplify the values of Girl Scouts through their leadership roles in the community. Throughout the month of October and November, we will share the honorees’ Girl Scout stories on our blog. Vickie Kearn is one of the eight women being honored this year. She is the Executive Editor of Mathematics and Computer Sciences at Princeton University Press and a Girl Scout alum!

A Hampton Roads native, Kearn started her Girl Scout journey as a Brownie in Jacksonville, Florida. Her family moved to Venezuela when she was 10 and Kearn’s mother started a Girl Scout troop there so her daughters could continue being a part of the best leadership organization for girls. Her most vivid memories stem from her time spent in Venezuela as she remembered building campfires, hiking and cooking outside. One award that made her particularly proud was the Curved Bar Award- now referred to as the Gold Award. Her Girl Scout experience stayed with her as she went away to boarding school at the age of 15. Kearn is now a proud Girl Scout alum!

As a young girl, Kearn developed a strong interest in math despite women being underrepresented in that field- a reality many women still face today. She was empowered to pursue her passion for math with the help of the Girl Scout organization and her math teacher.

“I never gave a thought to the comment that ‘girls don’t do math.’ If I had not had that support of the Girl Scouts and my math teacher, I might not have had the confidence I have today,” she said.

After graduating from the University of Richmond, Kearn went on to teach for eight years, which allowed her to serve as a mentor to her students- something she feels every girl should have and something she knows Girl Scouts can provide girls with.

“Many young women do not have mentors and others are not aware of the many wonderful opportunities that exist,” she said. “Girl Scouts can provide all of these things.”

During her years as an educator, Kearn witnessed- what she deemed- an educational crisis: a lack of math skills. A true leader thanks to Girl Scouts and her mentors, she decided to help address the issue. In 1977, she moved to New York City to work in publishing and continues to do what she loves- making people aware of the power, fun and amazement of math through books.

Girl Scout alum like Kearn are so important to our communities. They show girls that with Girl Scouts, anything is possible! Help us celebrate Kearn’s accomplishments and our seven other honorees at this year’s Famous Formers luncheon on November 29 at 11:30 a.m. Tickets are on sale now.