Danielle D’Ambrosio living out Girl Scout Promise
Manhasset resident Danielle D’Ambrosio has been elected to serve on the Girl Scouts of Nassau County Board of Directors through 2025. D’Ambrosio was one of 17 board members sworn in during the organization’s 58th Annual Meeting, which was held at the Ruth S. Harley University Center on the Adelphi University campus. The Girl Scouts of Nassau County Board of Directors comprises lifelong Girl Scouts, community leaders, and nonprofit and corporative executives who provide leadership, innovation and constant support to the Girl Scouts of Nassau County council. This is D’Ambrosio’s first term as a member of the Girl Scouts of Nassau County Board of Directors.
D’Ambrosio’s history with Girl Scouts runs deep. “My mom was a Girl Scout. My grandmother was a Campfire Girl. When I joined kindergarten, my mom signed me up for Daisies, which is the first step in Girl Scouting.” Her Girl Scouting career culminated in 2004, when she graduated with her Gold and Silver Awards.
One of D’Ambrosio’s favorite memories of Scouting was being involved in International Scouts. As a girl, she had always had an interest in other cultures and learning more about the ways girls all over the world were living their lives. At a Girl Scout fair at Nassau Coliseum with her parents, D’Ambrosio managed to convince her family to sign up to host an international Scout. They thought it was highly unlikely they would receive a call, but that’s exactly what happened only a few weeks later. A young woman from St. Lucia needed a place to stay while travelling to and from her Girl Scout program in the U.S. “This young woman came and stayed with us and it was an amazing experience. And so for the next three summers, we hosted Girl Scouts for like I said, three to five nights, each one and so we hosted girls from St Lucia, one from Mexico and one from Ireland. I had always had a desire to see other parts of the world and we didn’t have a lot of money growing up. I never got to do that as a child… I think of how that expanded my horizons, to see how people live differently in different places. I think I’ve carried that with me,” Said D’Ambrosio.
With her time as an active Scout behind her, D’Ambrosio went off to college and then career. But the values instilled in those years never left her. D’Ambrosio said, “I think, like most people who had a Girl Scout experience as a child, there’s a moment where you graduate high school and that Girl Scout alumni community kind of dissipates…(but) I think that the Girl Scout Promise, and the Girl Scout Law, doing good for others, giving back to your community, those things are deep inside of me.”
After spending time away from Long Island, D’Ambrosio moved back with her husband to her hometown. Once re-established there, it was important for her to live out the Girl Scout ideals and start helping the community that had shaped her as a young person. “I was thrilled to be chosen to be part of the board. I applied, I interviewed, and they did a few reference checks as well. So when I was told I was chosen to be part of the board, it was a really validating moment. (Now I am) able, as an adult, to give back to an organization that gave me a lot as a girl,” D’Ambrosio said.
One of the things that is close to D’Ambrosio’s heart is encouraging girls to pursue their passions. Part of the Girl Scouts mission includes an emphasis on exposing girls to science, technology, engineering and math careers, which are often represented by the acronym STEM. Females have historically been underrepresented in these fields. “I’m really excited about helping girls find where they want to succeed, whether that’s a traditionally male-dominated environment like real estate or STEM jobs, or other things that may be more traditionally female, like teachers or nurses. Just allowing them to have more experiences and to see more opportunities,” D’Ambrosio said.
Girl Scouts of Nassau County was one of 22 councils nationwide to receive funds donated by Mackenzie Scott, ex-wife of Jeff Bezos. D’Ambrosio is hoping they can use the money to open a program center. “We don’t have one currently. It’s where troops can go to help with resourcing and planning for badges and things like that. Right now, it’s a small room inside of our council, but other councils of our size have these types of programs centers. They’re especially beneficial for those who can’t afford to have an experience themselves. They can go to this free place where we have resources.”
With the resumption of in person meetings and activities, D’Ambrosio sees this experience as an opportunity to reimagine what is possible for Girl Scouts of Nassau County. After nearly three years of dealing with and adapting to the pandemic, “We really are just coming out of COVID. We had a board meeting in June, and it was the first time that the board was all together in person since before COVID. So how nice to be able to rethink what a Girl Scout is, and the connection points that they can make inside of their community and person to person in their troop after being virtual for so long. I think it’s a unique opportunity that we’ll have as a board to think about those things.”
D’Ambrosio’s enthusiasm for Girl Scouts is evident. She cites her passion for connecting with young women and girls and her desire to return some of the care she received back to her community as reasons for seeking the position on the board. “What drew me to the board specifically, I think, is the Girl Scout belief that you should always be giving back to your community. Over the years I’ve given back in monetary ways and in time, but I’ve never been able to give back in a strategic way. I have the strongest passion about young women in this organization. I actually attribute a lot of my core values and where I am today (to Girl Scouts). It will be nice to be able to go back and do that for another young woman.”
The Girl Scouts of Nassau County Board of Directors provides strategic leadership and work collaboratively to build courage, confidence, and character in Nassau County girls. It also helps raise vital funds to expand access to Girl Scout experiences that socially, academically and emotionally empower girls throughout our community. For more information about Girl Scouts of Nassau County and its efforts to support girls and communities throughout Nassau County, visit www.gsnc.org.