Thursday, April 23, 2015

Xerxes Nabong is Man Enough to Be a Girl Scout

When it comes to finding great local businesses and the next popular event in Hampton Roads, many locals turn to Yelp—an online community that connects people to the latest and greatest in their area. The driving force behind Yelp in Hampton Roads is Xerxes Nabong, who loves trying new restaurants, finding local gems, and has now declared that he’s man enough to be a Girl Scout. He has joined the Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast’s campaign designed to attract a whole new group of supporters to the organization—men. It’s an opportunity for more men to see themselves as part of the Girl Scout movement and discover how they can be a positive influence in a girl’s life.

Part of Xerxes's job as the Yelp Hampton Roads Community Manager is to connect the Yelp community with great local businesses and organizations. Two years ago, Xerxes learned about Samoa Soiree, the Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast signature event where top chefs create unique desserts and appetizers using Girl Scout Cookies as key ingredients. He called Girl Scouts to find out how Yelp could get involved and has been working with Girl Scouts to make this annual event a success ever since.

“The Samoa Soiree was so well-received within the Yelp community that it made sense that we continue what we started,” Xerxes said. “Now I’m looking to take my involvement with Girl Scouts to a different level.”

Xerxes's own first scouting memory dates back to elementary school. He remembers an evening at his school where representatives from Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts came to sign up new members. Xerxes says that he begged his parents to sign him up for Boy Scouts—his classmates were already involved and proudly wore their uniforms to school and chattered about their scouting activities. For some reason, Xerxes didn’t get to join, but all these years later now that he has connected with Girl Scouts, he has taken another look at the Boy Scout and Girl Scout Laws and sees just how relevant and significant they are.

“The Girl Scout Law specifically talks about being honest, courageous, strong and responsible for what you say and do,” Xerxes said. “It’s how I try to live. I look at this Man Enough campaign as a way to get in with what I wanted to do over 20 years ago, but in a fun and unique way now.”

Xerxes is excited to be a part of the positive impact that Girl Scouts makes on the lives of girls. He says that everyone needs some sort of mentorship and guidance at some point in their life, and he personally wishes that he was able to build courage, confidence and character at a much younger age. Girl Scouts provides the safe and nurturing environment for girls to try new things and take risks, while building self-esteem and leadership skills along the way.

What will Nabong be doing next with Girl Scouts? He’s looking forward to creating an opportunity to use his schooling and professional background in business and marketing to help Girl Scouts hone their communication skills and build lifelong relationships through personal branding. He wants to be a part of building the next generation of leaders and help girls prepare to take advantage of personal and professional opportunities that arise.

He’ll also be at the upcoming Man Enough event—a cookie and beer pairing event on June 28 at Smartmouth Brewing Company in Norfolk. For more information about this event and joining the Man Enough to Be a Girl Scout campaign, visit