Courage, Confidence and Character
The possibilities that hard work and collaboration could bring were never in question for Maryann Barry, CEO of Girl Scouts of Citrus. As the daughter of an engineer and a journalist raised on Florida’s Space Coast in the 1960s, she “was immersed in the worlds of science and community relationships.” Thanks to that immersion, her list of dream careers at that age included both pediatrician and astronaut — anything she could think of that would allow her,
as she recalls saying as a child, “to do science and do good.”
In 2011 she took on her current role, continuing her focus to make a difference in the lives of children and families, a passion that has driven her career for decades. Her work with the Girl Scouts of Citrus allows her to serve 21,000 Central Floridians, leading her team through education programs, advocacy, food distribution, volunteer management and more. With the resources and legacy of the Girl Scouts on hand, “doing good” comes more naturally than ever.
“There is nothing more inspiring than seeing the future unfold through the eyes of a girl as she creates her vision of a better world. Having a front row seat and being there to cheer our girls on to great things is truly the best part of my job.”
— Maryann Barry
“Rooting yourself in kindness leads to positive and productive action, allowing you to make the world a better place in ways big and small,” she said. “Our greatest value to our community and our country is that we build girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place.”
One experience at a time, she does just that. On a behind-the-scenes tour one of the organization’s teams took to Kennedy Space Center, Barry recalled entering the prep area where the space shuttle Endeavor was being processed for permanent display. The reaction of one of the girls made a lasting impact on her.
“This normally quiet and shy young lady transformed right before my eyes into a bubbling fountain of energy and excitement,” Barry said. “You could see her imagination in overdrive. I will never forget the look on her face when she turned to me and said, ‘I could do this!?’”
Those kinds of experiences with the Girl Scouts are constant reminders to girls and women that they can, and they will. Recently, Barry signed on with Virgin Galactic as a future pioneer commercial astronaut. She’s looking forward to making a childhood dream come true, as well as the possibilities new worlds might bring — and how she can share them with others.