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Ossining Girl Scout Heads to Rio for UN World Summit

OSSINING, N.Y. – As Emily Rodriguez boards a plane to Brazil on Friday, she hopes to make an impression on a world stage by using the skills she learned in her hometown of Ossining as a Girl Scout.

“I’m going to be representing Girl Scouts, and I’m really excited to go,” Rodriguez, 23, said during a phone interview Thursday. “I know it’s going to be a lot of work, and it’s going to get very busy and hectic. But I couldn’t be more excited.”

She was 3 the last time the United Nations held a sustainable development conference in Rio de Janeiro. But from June 9 to 23, she will be among world leaders and a 24-member World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts from countries that include Rwanda, Nepal, Bolivia, Denmark and Australia during Rio+20.

Rodriguez leaves Friday from Sweden, where she is studying for her master’s degree in science in sustainable development. She participated in UN climate change conferences in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2009 and Cancun, Mexico, in 2010. But Rodriguez said Thursday she can’t deny the excitement that comes with Rio+20.

“I think it’s going to be huge to actually be there,” she said. “Copenhagen was huge in 2009 in terms of what it did for climate change. But I think this is going to be even bigger for sustainable development. And to be representing Girl Scouts, that’s going to mean a lot to me.”

Her membership in Girl Scouts began at age 5. It encouraged her drive to make the world a better place, Rodriguez said.

“I did a lot of community service even at a young age, and Girl Scouts helped me do it and learn how to give back to other people,” she said. “Being in Girl Scouts helped me develop confidence while working on projects that were aimed at working together toward a bigger goal. And I think that will help me when I’m talking to delegates and negotiators.”

Representatives with Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson, which encompasses the Ossining Girl Scouts, say they are “proud to claim Rodriguez as an alumna,” according to a statement.

Those interested in learning more about Rodriguez’s travels can check her blog for daily updates during her trip. 

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