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Cookie program teaches Girl Scout to believe in herself

Top Cookie Seller 2019 Ashlyn

Ashlyn Sweeney set a big cookie goal for herself during the 2018 Girl Scout Cookie Program: 2,000 packages of cookies.

In her seven years as a Girl Scout, it was the largest goal Ashlyn had ever set. But she believed in herself after achieving her goal of 1,200 packages the year before.

“I like challenges,” she said.

As the cookie season went on, Ashlyn said she decided to push her goal even higher. She revised it to 2,018 packages to match the year. And just like the year before, Ashlyn met her goal.

For Ashlyn, the cookie program has taught her the determination and confidence needed to take on such a big goal. When she started participating in the program in the first grade, she was shy and timid. Her voice was quiet when she would ask someone to purchase cookies.

Now the 12-year-old speaks clearly and with confidence while going door-to-door with her decorated cookie wagon or working a cookie booth.

“Usually for the past three years I’ve been more enthusiastic about it because I found the more enthusiastic you are, the more you get people buying,” she said.

Ashlyn, who lives in Hilliard, said she thrives off the excitement and loves the adrenaline rush she gets from working at a cookie booth.

“Because you have this certain goal and you have a lot of people coming and coming and coming for cookies so that nice adrenaline rush just comes in and is like ‘Alright, you got all these people, you got all these cookies, let’s sell them.”

Ashlyn’s mother, Shannon Sweeney, said it’s been amazing to see Ashlyn’s transformation through participating in the cookie program.

“We just sit back and let her run the show. When we do a booth with her, she just kind of takes over,” Shannon said. “She’s very confident. She has no problem talking to people.”

Ashlyn said while she is a taekwondo black belt and a cheerleader, Girl Scouts is the activity that has caused her confidence to grow the most.

“They teach us to stand up to bullies and … that one person can make a huge change in the world even if it was just a small act.”

As Girl Scouts are working toward their cookie goals this season, Ashlyn said one of her tips is for Girl Scouts to always believe in themselves.

“At all times believe in yourself because when I was going to do the 2,000 cookies I was like ‘I’m never giving up on this’ and I believed that I could actually do it,” she said.