“Path to the Stars” is the inspiring memoir of Sylvia Acevedo, the CEO of the Girl Scouts of America. It shows just how impactful Girl Scouts can be on the lives of girls of all different backgrounds. This organization has been under fire because of girls being allowed to join Boy Scouts, but in her book Acevedo demonstrates how Girl Scouts is in a league of its own.
Acevedo grew up in a poor Latino family in Las Cruces, New Mexico, with no real concept of planning ahead or of girls having worth outside of the household. When she joins the Girl Scouts, all of that changes. Being in the Brownies (Girl Scouts in 2nd and 3rd grade) taught Acevedo how to be responsible with money, try new things, and create a plan for the future. When she starts to learn about planning ahead, she realizes that things don’t have to go wrong. Their family’s car can run for years if the maintenance is kept up, for example. Sylvia can create her own opportunity. Through lots of trials and hardship, she ensures her own future. When her troop leader notices her looking at the stars, she encourages Acevedo to continue her curiosity of space. This leads her to fulfill her dreams at Stanford University and become a rocket scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
I enjoyed this book. I felt it was meaningful to all girls, Scout or not, and all ages from about 2nd grade up. Kids and adults alike can find it meaningful. It is also available in Spanish. If you liked “Hidden Figures,” “Path to the Stars” is definitely for you, because the theme of girl empowerment in STEM fields is similar. Sylvia Acevedo’s memoir is powerful because it shows you that even when you come from a different background than everyone else, even if you don’t have all the privileges that others do, you can still be successful in a way all your own. Girls can love things like STEM and have a career in those fields if they work hard and persevere through obstacles.
Acevedo went on to become a rocket scientist with NASA, meet President Barack Obama, and go skydiving with the Golden Knights (an elite military parachuting team). This book addresses many real-world issues such as poverty, racism, sexism, and domestic violence. Not just that, it talks about pushing through and solving these issues. This book is a message to girls: Don’t let yourself be pushed around. Take chances, and you can change the world.