Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Alumna Spotlight: Judge Debra Goldstein

Judge Debra Goldstein is a remarkable example of the success that Girl Scouts breeds. Not only has she succeeded in career, family and other endeavors, but she has been dedicated in service to Girl Scouts for many years. As this year’s Mildred Bell Johnson Award recipient, Judge Goldstein, continues to be a woman of distinction and leadership, having served as a Girl Scout board member, chair of several committees and for 10 years as a troop leader, guiding 10 girls to their Gold Awards.

Judge Goldstein believes Girl Scouts helped to instill many of the characteristics that lead to many of own her life’s accomplishments. From a tender Girl Scout Brownie to a Girl Scout Junior, Judge Goldstein learned about responsibility, teamwork and leadership from Girl Scouts. “The most rewarding experience for me was interaction with other women and being exposed to ideas,” Judge Goldstein shared. “I learned one can strive for many things: careers, education and different opportunities, [and] I was shown by example.” 

With that, having placed her daughter in various sports and extracurricular activities, Judge Goldstein deemed it necessary to expose her daughter to Girl Scouts, where she served as troop leader, just as her mother was leader of her childhood troop. Likewise, she utilized troop leadership as a platform to serve as a positive role model for her daughter and the other Girl Scouts of Troop 734, instilling in them a drive to simply “leave things better than you [found] them,” she says.

Everything Judge Goldstein has gained from Girl Scouts has translated into real world experiences, contributing to her success in corporate and government law, a judge seat for more than 23 years and accomplishments as a novelist. Always excelling, Judge Goldstein believes that Girl Scouts taught her the important art of skill development. 

Looking back, she realizes how through the many activities and badges earned throughout her Girl Scout days, she gained confidence and useful lifetime skills, often times without even realizing it. She also learned “it’s okay to not be great at everything,” and to “lean into the skills that you are good at."  A great leader, she used this same approach when her troop was formed, taking on responsibilities in the areas of her strengths and delegating other responsibilities, allowing everyone to function in their specialties.

Another approach to life Judge Goldstein has taken away from Girl Scouts is that “if everybody does a little bit, it all gets done,” she shares. This is a tactic that has not only brought her personal success, but has enabled those around her to attain success through her leading. Judge Goldstein credits Girl Scouts with giving her the tools that have helped her live a remarkable life, and she’s worked tirelessly in a variety of capacities to make sure that other girls have the same opportunity to realize their dreams.