The courage to start

Every day across Canada, girls in Guiding are accomplishing great and amazing things: overcoming obstacles, realizing their goals, and contributing in positive ways to their communities. I know this personally because I have seen it first-hand over the 13 years I have been privileged to be a member of the Girl Guide community – first as a Spark, then Brownie, Guide, Pathfinder, and now as a Ranger.


Guiding teaches us valuable life skills that will stay with us forever. Confidence. Resourcefulness. Courage. And that each of us, regardless of our age or gender, has the power and potential to Make a Difference in our world.  These are important things for girls to learn because society still bombards us from an early age with subtle messages about who we are, what we are capable of, and what we should aspire to. Without Girl Guides, we might grow up believing in these limitations.

Through Girl Guides, we learn that we can succeed in any endeavor we choose to work towards – whether or not we also like to wear makeup, bake for fun, or obsess about boy bands. All we need is the confidence to believe that we can make a difference, the courage to start, and the persistence and the resourcefulness to overcome any obstacle we encounter. This is an empowering lesson to learn.

My goal was combating climate change. When I learned that aviation-generated emissions from hydrocarbon fuel combustion account for approximately 3.5% of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions, I decided to see if I could come up with a solution. As an aspiring pilot I didn’t want to be a part of the problem; I wanted to be a part of the solution!

After a year of work, I created a new type of morphing multi-winglet for airplanes that is 257.2% more efficient than a standard airplane winglet in reducing the trailing vortices that negatively impact fuel consumption and increase greenhouse gas emission. My design was chosen to represent Canada at the 2015 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair where it was awarded the NASA Grand Award. I hope that by sharing my design and research with the world it will help in our fight to combat climate change in the near future.

Girl Guides gave me the confidence to believe in my ability to make a difference. It fills me with immense pride to know that across Canada girls similar to me are equally determined to make our world a better place.

Guest post by Candace Brooks-Da Silva, a Ranger in Windsor, Ont., and recipient of a 2016 Girl Greatness Award for Making a Difference.

Girl Greatness Award pinNominations are now open for the 2017 Girl Greatness Awards! Help celebrate the amazing girls in Guiding and all the amazing things they do. Girls can self-nominate or nominate another girl in Guiding.

Nomination deadline: Wednesday, March 15.

This entry was posted in Girls' Guides and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The courage to start

  1. Elise Sine says:

    What a truly inspiring and motivating story. When girls see girls dreaming big, it encourages them to do the same. Globally, women are the most unused resource we have; just imagine the possibilities that we could create if all girls and women were empowered like Candace is. Amazing work! Keep on aspiring to solve problems!

  2. USHA ANAND DHIR says:

    I am a firm believer that a girl/woman can do anything that a man can do and surely BETTER, given the encouragement and opportunity. Congratulations Candace & keep up the Good work. Excel in life…

Leave a Reply