This Time Person of the Year shares 3 ways the Girl Scouts helped her become a woman.

Katie Meyler had an unusual journey from her childhood in New Jersey to the pages of Time magazine.

All photos provided by Katie Meyler, used with permission.


Meyler moved to Liberia in 2006 to help young girls get the education they need to succeed in life. In doing so, she founded a non-profit organization called More Than Me, and after winning a $1 million award, she opened the More Than Me Academy — the first tuition-free all-girls school in Liberia.

In 2014, she fought Ebola on the front lines by turning her school in Liberia into a safe house to provide food, water, shelter, and emotional support for the people who needed it.


Meyler's work saved many lives, and Time magazine named her a Person of the Year in 2014 because of it.


But if you're looking for some Ivy League education or prestigious internships as the drivers of her success, keep guessing.

Meyler would be the first to tell you that it all started when she was a Girl Scout.

Here are three simple (but important) ways the Girl Scouts prepared Meyler for the life she's living today.

1. Service to others is great.

Parents can do an amazing job of teaching kids to be selfless, but there's something powerful that occurs when you're doing it in the presence of your peers.

Meyler remembers when her troop volunteered at a senior citizens center. They would visit with the residents to play games, sing songs, and provide laughter. That's when it hit her: Giving is actually better than receiving. Even science will tell you that's true.

"What I learned is that serving others ultimately served me," Meyler told Upworthy. "I felt great doing it, and the Girl Scouts is rooted in service to others."

That helped lay the foundation for her to serve others on a larger scale as she currently is in Liberia.

Meyler is a gamechanger for little girls in Liberia.

2. Girls benefit from a safe, girl-specific space.

Meyler didn't grow up wealthy. As a matter of fact, she was always made aware of the fact that she didn't have as much as the other kids in her neighborhood while she grew up. That made her feel left out and isolated, but thankfully something came along to save the day.

"It didn't matter who had what because we shared the common bond of being Girl Scouts," Meyler said. "It was our safe, all-girl space. At that time in my life, I needed that."

Unlike sports, where the talent isn't always evenly divided, Girl Scouts provides an environment where everyone is on an equal playing field, and that meant a lot to her.

Meyler believes that girls need a safe space where they can truly be themselves, and Girl Scouts provides that.

That safe space gave her the confidence to know she could do anything and overcome her fear of failing. For that, she will always be thankful.

3. The impossible is always impossible ... until you try.

As a young Girl Scout, Meyler tried new things that freaked her out — like camping. There were times as a youngster when she thought about quitting, but she pushed forward anyway. That never-say-never mentality stayed with her to adulthood, when she encountered her biggest challenge to date: launching More Than Me.

"That skill set is invaluable," Meyler said. "But as I learned in the Girl Scouts, if I surrounded myself with the right team and tackled projects piece by piece, the impossible would become possible."

The work Meyler is doing in Liberia is a huge undertaking, but the Girl Scouts gave her the skill set to handle it.

Patricia Carroll, CEO of Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey, is very proud of Katie Meyler.

"Katie's journey is an example of our core mission," Patricia said. "She's encouraging girls to have the confidence and courage to make an impact in their communities and in the world."

When it comes to empowering young women, the Girl Scouts have proven to do it as well as anyone. Big props to Meyler for recognizing how it all started for her.

But those cookies, though...

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On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

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Cadbury has removed the words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars in the U.K. to draw attention to a serious issue, senior loneliness.

On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

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Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

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One of the major differences between women and men is that women are often judged based on their looks rather than their character or abilities.

"Men as well as women tend to establish the worth of individual women primarily by the way their body looks, research shows. We do not do this when we evaluate men," Naomi Ellemers Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today.

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