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...

Courtesy of Verizon
True

If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

via @Todd_Spence / Twitter

Seven years ago, Bill Murray shared a powerful story about the importance of art. The revelation came during a discussion at the National Gallery in London for the release of 2014's "The Monuments Men." The film is about a troop of soldiers on a mission to recover art stolen by the Nazis.

After his first time performing on stage in Chicago, Murray was so upset with himself that he contemplated taking his own life.

"I wasn't very good, and I remember my first experience, I was so bad I just walked out — out onto the street and just started walking," he said.

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