The Girl Scouts is an incredible organization that turns young women into leaders. Deelyn Cheng is one of these amazing young women who became involved in the Girl Scouts when her best friends encouraged her to join. She earned her Gold Award by preparing the City of Lakewood for emergency and disaster situations. She took a multi-faceted approach to her project, including educating residents, acquiring emergency kits for local schools, and even designing menus that can feed hundreds of residents for several days in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. Pretty great, if you ask us.
Now, Deelyn studies International Business, Finance, and Marketing at the University of Washington. She has spent time interning and living in Hong Kong, and she is passionate about learning about all things business. Deelyn shares with Carpe Juvenis what she thinks makes a good leader, the lessons she learned from being a part of the Girl Scouts, and that for her, success means “making a positive impact on the world and leaving a legacy.” With determined and caring young women such as Deelyn, the future definitely looks brighter.
*The Girl Scouts Spotlight Series is an exclusive weekly Youth Spotlight on amazing young women who have earned their Gold Awards, the highest award that a Girl Scout can earn in the Girl Scout organization.
Name: Deelyn Cheng
Education: International Business, Finance, and Marketing at the University of Washington, Class of 2018
Carpe Juvenis: How do you define “Seizing Your Youth”?
Deelyn Cheng: Be proactive and seize every opportunity that would develop and enhance one’s identity. It is important take opportunities that prompts you to try new things or to push you closer towards a goal. There is this quote which I love by Milton Berle: “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” Time is valuable, so treat it preciously. Go out and find your passion, explore, and reach your full potential. Change the world for the better by turning your dreams and ideas into reality.
CJ: You’re studying International Business, Finance, and Marketing at the University of Washington. What led you to those academic passions and why are you choosing to study them in a formal setting?
DC: The world is becoming more dependent on globalized trade and investment, and worldwide financial institutions are prominent. I want to contribute and become involved with the international network and I’m very interested in cross-cultural business. A business degree would also provide a strong foundation of skills and knowledge that is applicable to a wide range of careers. From critical and creative thinking to personal development, I am passionate about learning all things business!
CJ: You are an Investment Assistant Intern at Rongtong Global Investment Limited in Hong Kong. That sounds very interesting. What do your duties entail as an intern?
DC: I assisted colleagues with a variety of tasks including organizing trade settlements in excel, managing an online banking system, reading paperwork, completing office tasks, and proofreading.
CJ: What have you learned from living in Hong Kong? What do you like to do there when you’re not interning?
DC: I learned to have patience, tolerance, and adaptability. The way of life in Hong Kong is extremely different to what I’m used to…a lot of people and very fast paced. However, I just went with the flow, immersed myself in the culture and it worked out just fine! The cuisine in Hong Kong is absolutely spectacular so I spent most of my time eating. If not that, I would be sightseeing.
CJ: Moving to another country for school or an internship can be intimidating and nerve-wracking for some. Did you feel this way? What advice do you have for those who are thinking about living abroad to work or study?
DC: I was a little nervous but was more excited! I would definitely advise them to take the opportunity. It is so valuable to see and experience different cultures, especially when you can stay in a place for longer periods of time. Have an open-mind and don’t be afraid to try new things. And take every event (positive or negative) as a learning experience!
CJ: How did you get involved with the Girl Scouts, and what did you love most about being a Girl Scout?
DC: My best friends were in a troop and encouraged me to join. I loved the opportunities it gave me! I had the chance to lead, learn, experience new things, and meet new people that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I also greatly enjoyed camping-nothing better than sitting around a campfire singing songs with your best friends!
CJ: What are the top three lessons you learned from being a Girl Scout?
DC: Have patience, be confident, and help others!
CJ: To earn your Gold Award in Girl Scouts, you set out to better prepare the City of Lakewood for emergency and disaster situations. You took a multi-faceted approach to your project, including educating residents, acquiring emergency kits for local schools, and even designing menus that can feed hundreds of residents for several days in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. Why did you choose this topic for your project, and what did the process of putting it together entail?
DC: I believe people need to be prepared. They need to have the information and knowledge so they can be ready when an emergency happens. I feel that knowing about First Aid and how to help people is very important. My mom’s family is from Thailand, and when the tsunami hit, I thought it was interesting to watch the process of aid. Global issues interest me, and I wanted to share that locally.
Lots of meetings! I honestly enjoyed them though. I had the opportunity to interact and connect with people which I love to do. I focused on using my organization and time management skills to orderly conduct my project. This includes identifying who I would work with, steps I would take, and not having a delay to take action. Additionally, I communicated with my advisor, my troop, and others who helped me. I also prepared the teaching/presentation materials and activities I would use for the public and the students to educate them and raise awareness. I assigned tasks to my team, and was able to take action and lead a sustainable project.
CJ: How did you keep your project organized as you were working on it? How did you balance your workload with school, extracurricular activities, etc.?
DC: I had to really focus and hone my time management skills. I’m a visual person so I kept a planner. I allotted specific amounts of time for different tasks. However, I would sometimes procrastinate or underestimate the time to complete a task, but this project was definitely a learning process!
CJ: Do you have mentors? How did you go about finding them?
DC: My mentors constantly change-they depend on the time and situation. I believe life puts you in a situation where you build relationships with the people around you and a mentor-mentee relationship will naturally form.
CJ: To you, what does it mean to be a good leader?
DC: A good leader wants to serve and tries their hardest to make the best out of a situation for themselves and others. They make dreams and ideas become reality. And leaders follow their heart, but always do the right thing even when it is hard.
CJ: How do you define success?
DC: Overall, I believe happiness equates to success. Success is when we reach the point of living the life we truly want/desire, and found and fulfilled our purpose in life. Lastly, making a positive impact on the world and leaving a legacy should be part of someone’s success story!
CJ: What advice would you give your 15-year-old self?
DC: Be more diligent in learning and retaining a language. I wish I had focused on learning Mandarin.
Images by Deelyn Cheng