NASHUA, NH – Amanda Hwalek and Kimberly Frye, co-leaders of a Girl Scout troop in Nashua, have been chosen by The Nashua Telegraph as part of this year’s 40 Under 40, a yearly recognition of individuals who go above and beyond every day. They may be the anchor in an organization, contributing to change, or driving business. All must be 39 years old or younger in the Telegraph’s coverage area.
Hwalek, 38, is a leader in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), both at work and through her volunteerism. A principal systems engineer at Raytheon, Hwalek has earned multiple professional peer recognitions. Active in Toastmasters for seven years, she earned the Competent Communicator, Competent Leader, and Advanced Leader awards. She has served as a math mentor through the Stand & Deliver program. A Girl Scout for more than 30 years, Hwalek co-leads an inclusive Girl Scout troop serving girls who participate in robotics, engineering and other STEM activities.
“It’s exciting,” she said. “I’m surprised to be recognized!”
Along with helping girls take on new challenges, Hwalek finds that Girl Scouting leads to lifelong friendships, and teaches skills that last into adulthood. She became a Gold Award Girl Scout in 1998.
“I’m a shy person,” she said, “but earning my Girl Scout Gold Award really helped.” She learned how to reach out to the community and talk to adults in authority as a Girl Scout, skills that paid off for her in the long run. After graduating college, she volunteered as a Girl Scout Gold Award advisor for four years. She says, “I encourage all Girl Scouts to go for the Gold!”
She is a lifetime member of Girl Scouts, and leads Troop 10250, a multi-level troop of girls in grades 5 to 8 for Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains.
Frye, 37, teaches English to speakers of other languages in the Hollis-Brookline School District, and tutors through the Adult Learning Center. She has volunteered at Birch Hill Elementary School, as a La Leche League leader, and as an environmental educator and trail work volunteer with the Student Conservation Association. Frye is a Gold Award Girl Scout and co-leads an inclusive Girl Scout troop, where girls get outside and flex their leadership muscles while camping, hiking, and doing service. Frye’s ongoing outdoor training through Girl Scouts ensures these girls get to flex their muscles outside!
She became a Gold Award Girl Scout in 1999, and a lifetime member of Girl Scouts. In addition to co-leading Troop 10250 with Hwalek, she is also very busy as a mother of children into sports.
“I’m just doing things that I think are good for my kids,” Frye said. “I want them to have fun and be excited about coming (to troop meetings and activities).” Her Junior-Cadette Girl Scouts are learning to make their own decisions and choose their own paths. “They wanted to do indoor sky diving, so we did that! And goat yoga!” They’ve also gone indoor rock-climbing and love to be outdoors, going camping.
She loves that Girl Scouts are self-directed. “Girls decide to do different things. There’s more opportunity to decide.”
Both were recognized in the Telegraph’s 40 Under 40 publication on July 19, and honored at a dinner on July 18 at Rivier University.
Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains is proud to have these two outstanding troop leaders recognized for their leadership and outstanding contributions. Girl Scouts unleashes the G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ in every girl, preparing her for a lifetime of leadership. More than half of female business leaders were once Girl Scouts, and more than 80 percent of female tech leaders were Girl Scouts. Girl Scouts fuels the female leadership pipeline that helps girls take the lead in their own lives and in the world.