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GIRL Talk is a podcast for girls, hosted by Girl Scouts River Valleys. Join Hannah and Shanna as they dive into topics like careers, STEM, culture, advocacy, nature, failure, and what it takes to be a leader. Featuring interviews with subject-matter experts, community leaders, women with cool careers, and girls like you who are out there doing amazing things. G.I.R.L.—Go-Getter, Innovator, Risk-Taker, Leader

GIRL Talk Girl Scouts River Valleys

    • Gesellschaft und Kultur

GIRL Talk is a podcast for girls, hosted by Girl Scouts River Valleys. Join Hannah and Shanna as they dive into topics like careers, STEM, culture, advocacy, nature, failure, and what it takes to be a leader. Featuring interviews with subject-matter experts, community leaders, women with cool careers, and girls like you who are out there doing amazing things. G.I.R.L.—Go-Getter, Innovator, Risk-Taker, Leader

    Episode 020: Finding Your Calling – Veterinary Medicine with Dr. Amanda Doran

    Episode 020: Finding Your Calling – Veterinary Medicine with Dr. Amanda Doran

    For this episode we welcomed Dr. Amanda Doran to the show for a conversation about her unique journey in the field of veterinary medicine. We know a lot of girls are passionate about helping animals and making the world a better place, and Dr. Doran has found a way to do both of those things through her career. We think you'll will be interested in hearing about the way she is able to care for animals and people, and how she recognized her calling.

    Dr. Doran talks about why she became a veterinarian - she never even considered doing anything else! She shares about her love of her mom's family's dairy farm, how much she cared about animals and helping them, and why she always wanted to be the magical green healing crystal in the game Tales of the Crystals when she was a kid.

    Dr. Doran started out in general practice, which is what we usually think about when we think about a vet, then got into emergency medicine, then pathology and research, but she wanted something more from her career as a vet and just didn't feel like what she was doing was satisfying or sustainable. Dr. Doran had a personal experience with her own dog that made her realize her real passion, and now she's headed in a new direction working with animal hospice and at-home euthanasia helping animals and their families through end-of-life care. She helps bring comfort and care, pain management, and quality of life to pets that have a terminal illness or are at the end of their lives, while supporting their families and taking into account beliefs and needs.

    Dr. Doran talks about learning about herself, setting boundaries, and taking a big risk with her life and career. She recognizes that at one point she was hiding from the world, feeling a little defeated and like she had to settle for something that wasn't fulfilling. She talks about finally tuning into what would make her happy and feel like her heart was on fire, and that finding your calling, passion, or gift isn't always easy or obvious. It can be scary and hard! It took a lot of mentors and supports to guide her on her path. She talks about the "hero's journey," like Harry Potter, Frodo, Katniss…and the journey she's on to help pets and their families and ultimately change the face of end-of-life care for animals and people.

    Science fields aren't just about facts and figures, there's an interpersonal, connected, and very helpful piece that plays into a lot of STEM careers too, especially veterinary medicine. Dr. Doran's experience is so moving, we really appreciate how open and honest she was with us in sharing her personal story.

    We had so many great takeaways from this conversation, we hope you will too.

    As always, stay tuned at the end for Would You Rather and Girls Pick. We hope you're all safe and well - see you next time!


    Reach out to our podcast team at girltalk.girlscoutsrv.org/contact.

    • 49 Min.
    Episode 019: Finding Yourself Outside with Grace Heneghan

    Episode 019: Finding Yourself Outside with Grace Heneghan

    In this episode we're talking with Grace Heneghan. Grace is an expert in the field of wilderness guiding and is passionate about connecting wilderness tripping with gender, feminism, identity, and the environment.

    Grace talks about how she really didn't have a lot of interest in the outdoors as a kid until she started going on trips with YMCA Camp Widjiwagan, and discovered a love for being in the wilderness even though at times it can be super challenging. She found where she fit in and found out things about herself that she didn't expect. Having these experiences helped her discover things about her own identities in an accepting and supportive space.

    Grace started going on longer trips and expeditions as a young adult where she was empowered by stretching the limits of her body and mind. She met other women and queer identified people who helped pave the way for her to figure out what she wanted for her future and make college and career choices.

    We talked about how helpful and even healing it can be for some of us to discover informal learning spaces like those related to outdoor education. Some people fit right into the traditional classroom learning setting and thrive with that structure (like Hannah), while others (like Grace and Idelle) do better in a more informal space where learning is more hands-on, and sometimes even outside!

    We got to hear about some of Grace's favorite trips - so cool! She told us about some of her own successes and failures, and what it means to have "type 1" or "type 2" fun and the good parts about both. She also talks about how lonely guiding and backcountry travel can be, and why self-care is so important but is so easily ignored.

    There's a lot of risk that goes into wilderness travel, and Grace talks about how she learned and became proficient in the skills she needed to be safe and keep her groups safe. Like with anything else, it's important to push yourself and take risks to grow, but also to recognize your limits and where you need to learn more or lean on others to be safe and successful.

    Some things Grace focuses on that can be overlooked or not really talked about enough are being queer in the outdoors, being fat in the outdoors (Grace talks about claiming the word "fat" as an empowering term for herself), being femme in the outdoors, whiteness in the outdoors, and identity politics in the outdoors. She talks about always wearing earrings when she's on a wilderness trip to connect to her femme/feminist queer identities. We also get into social media and representation in the outdoors and how it can often look very white and masculine, and not representative of BIPOC identified folks, people with queer identities, or people with disabilities.

    This was such a great conversation, we're so grateful for Grace's willingness to share her personal experiences and expert advice. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did! A couple of our takeaways - if you're interested in the outdoors, or if you're looking to get started, recognize where you're at in your outdoor journey and be proud of it. If you're new to outdoor activities and travel, start small and close by. If you already have experience, push yourself a little and try something new like taking on a challenging trip at a camp or with a guide, or even working at a camp!

    Stay tuned at the end for Would You Rather and Girls Pick.

    Reach out to our team at girltalk.girlscoutsrv.org/contact.

    During our conversation Grace shares her strategy for curating a social media feed that's empowering and not isolating. Here’s a list of Instagram accounts she follows to find inspiration:








    • 1 Std.
    Episode 018: Becoming a Writer with Maddy Dietz

    Episode 018: Becoming a Writer with Maddy Dietz

    In this episode we're talking about creative writing with Maddy Dietz. We've wanted to talk to Maddy for a while now - she's got some interests that we think a lot of listeners will identify with. She's a high school student but is taking college courses, and shows up as a leader in Girl Scouts as part of the Girl Leadership Board and as a founding member of the Press Corps. She's working on building a career as a fiction writer and journalist and has already had a couple of her works published.

    Maddy can't remember a time when she wasn't writing. Even before she actually learned to read and write, she was telling stories and asking her mom to write them down. It has become more than just a creative outlet, it's her passion and something she's actively pursuing as a career. Maddy writes short stories, is working on a novel, and dabbles in poetry. She loves fiction and science fiction and talks about how she gets lost in creating worlds and characters. If she could, she'd write all the time!

    We talked with Maddy about how writing helps her personally, but also helps others. She knows how important it is to see yourself reflected in media, and she makes the media she wants to see herself reflected in. She writes characters she identifies with, but also those that she doesn't. She's trying to break some of the science fiction stereotypes of masculine, militaristic white men being the main characters, creating strong but realistic teenage girl characters that are more along the lines of who she'd want to read about.

    Maddy shared her perspective on the severe lack of teen girls in fiction that are just being teen girls. They're either very childish, or super mature with unrealistic skills. She took on the task of creating a teenage character who really is a teenage character. She describes it as freeing, and as her favorite character so far.

    We talked about Maddy and Hannah's shared love for sci-fi and why it speaks to them, like imagining a future where sexism and racism aren't the main story - where our society has moved past those issues. Also, robots and space!

    We also got into trial and error, inevitable failures that come along with submitting creative writing pieces to publishers, and how Maddy has learned to move past feeling defeated and keep putting her work out there. Maddy works on her writing craft by going to writing camps, joining online sharing and editing communities for young writers, and just working on different types of stories and practicing different styles all the time.

    What's your passion? How do you work on it? We hope you find Maddy's story inspiring!

    Check out Maddy's published work in the short story anthology Triangulation: Dark Skies. Her story is titled Why We Endured the Darkness.

    Here's a resource Maddy asked us to share:

    The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are a fantastic way for young creators of all skill levels and mediums to become more used to sending their works out into the world! They also have plenty of great scholarships.


    Find out more about the show and reach out to our podcast team at GIRLTalk.GirlScoutsRV.org.

    • 36 Min.
    Episode 017: Justice, Hope, & Action

    Episode 017: Justice, Hope, & Action

    In this episode, we took time to hold some space for a conversation about what's going on in our community here in the Twin Cities in Minnesota. We checked in with our friend and former co-host Shanna to talk through what we've been experiencing, feeling, and doing after George Floyd was murdered by Minneapolis police on May 25, just a month ago.

    We got into some tough things like feelings of grief, fear, and anxiety, feeling like we're not doing enough, how we find credible news and deal with social media, and the scary idea of society getting used to seeing violence and how it felt when it was happening around us.

    We talked about how everything is heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic, feeling guilt about not feeling like we’re doing the right things, and how hard it can be for those of us in white bodies to have conversations about racial justice with our white family members and friends who might not be in the same place as us or have the same perspective.

    We also talked about having to figure out how to avoid toxic messages on social media where we're seeing things like virtue signaling, white people targeting other white friends, and people trying to prove who's the best ally. These posts aren't an effective way to bring each other along on our journey toward racial justice, and can sometimes even bring us in the opposite direction. But through everything that has made us feel sad and disheartened, there’s also a lot of hope for moving forward. We talked about what that means for each of us.

    If you're looking for ways to help and things to do, you can find anti-racism resources and ways to take action on the Girl Scouts River Valleys Takes Action webpage.

    Keep listening, learning, and doing, and take care of yourselves and your friends, families, and neighbors.

    • 58 Min.
    Taking Action

    Taking Action

    Hi GIRL Talk listeners. As many of you know, Hannah and I both live in the Twin Cities in Minnesota, where there’s been a lot going on. George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, was murdered by police in Minneapolis on Monday, May 25th. In the wake of George Floyd’s death, Minneapolis and St. Paul experienced protests that spread across the country.

    Our hearts ache for George Floyd’s family and community. While we’re feeling tremendous pain, outrage, fear, and anxiety, this is the time for change. Girl Scouts stand up for what’s right, are courageous in the face of adversity, and work to build better, stronger communities. We urge you to find ways to get involved. Join together with your family, friends, and neighbors to support your community and advocate for what you believe in.

    We won’t be posting an episode this week. Instead we’d like to take this time to show our support and stand in solidarity with our Black friends, colleagues, and neighbors in a time of increased turmoil and injustice.

    Take care of yourselves and your friends, families, and neighborhoods. We’ll be back soon sharing stories and experiences from strong girls and women.

    Girl Scouts River Valleys Takes Action resource page

    • 1 Min.
    Episode 016: Finding Your Creative Outlet with Keziah Ojika

    Episode 016: Finding Your Creative Outlet with Keziah Ojika

    Right now when we're releasing this episode, we're in the midst of changing and challenging times. We recorded our conversation with Keziah Ojika before everything with the COVID-19 pandemic started, but we think you'll find it interesting and maybe a little inspiring. A lot of us are stuck at home, and it might just get you thinking about doing something that lets off some creative steam and allows you to find your voice.

    Keziah works with us at Girl Scouts, where she is a leader on our ConnectZ team helping deliver culturally specific and relevant programming to girls in places like schools and community centers. We welcomed her to the podcast to talk about having a creative outlet, which for her is creating and editing videos and posting them online. We know there are a lot of girls out there who are interested in – or already are – producing their own videos for platforms like YouTube, or doing other cool, creative things in their free time.

    Keziah has been creating and producing videos since high school. She got started by making music videos with her family and friends and doing projects for school, finding it to be a way to tell stories and do something fun and interesting. It takes a lot of time and effort to edit videos, but that's the part she likes - figuring out how to tell a story and going through the challenge of using effects to make the idea in her head happen on the screen.

    When she started out, YouTube and vlogging weren't a thing, she just knew she loved making videos. It was a way to share her experiences, adding drama and expressing the essence of things going on in her life. She pretty much just figured it out by trying things, using relatively inexpensive equipment and getting her stories out there.

    Keziah has always been behind the camera, but now has a YouTube channel and has turned the camera on herself, using it as kind of a video journal of her life and experiences, which is a new and brave endeavor for her. We get into how it feels to be vulnerable and have her own personal story published online, what it's like to interact with people in the comments on her videos, and how she deals with negativity.

    Keziah shares with us how she tried to go to film school but had what you might classify as an "epic fail" - but she bounced back and figured out how to transition her passion for filmmaking to more of a creative outlet rather than a career, still in a way that felt worth it.

    We talk about times she's connected with people online through her YouTube channel who have had similar life and family experiences to her, and how that gives her the energy to keep going even when it's hard and maybe doesn’t seem worth i

    Our takeaways:

    It's good to have a creative outlet, to create just for creation's sake. It can be therapeutic and beneficial to your well-being. That could be making music, writing, doing makeup or hair, painting, drawing, making videos or other media content, whatever you enjoy.

    Keziah has a mantra: perfection is the enemy of progress. Think about that, is there anything in your life it applies to?

    As long as you know why you're doing something like creating videos, art, music - that's all that really matters, even if it can be hard to keep it going. Find something that makes you feel good!

    Stay tuned at the end for Would You Rather and Girls Pick, and reach out to us with your comments and ideas at girltalk.girlscoutsrv.org/contact. Stay safe and healthy!

    • 45 Min.

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