Scout leader teaches work ethic and volunteer spirit

Glendale native Debbie Bright spends a lot of her daytime activity performing administrative work as the vice president and co-owner of her family's Glendale business Arnol Salon and Spa. Despite her time at the office, however, she said she loves to give back to the community where she grew up.

As a child, she said she learned many valuable lessons as a Girl Scout. So when her daughter, Destiny, decided to join the Scouts, Bright jumped at the opportunity to be a leader. Bright leads Girl Scout Troop 9231 in La Crescenta, where she said she gets a chance to share her values with 12 sixth-grade girls.

"When I was young, I learned a lot about volunteering, helping the community and just about being a girl," she said. "Now, I get to lead an amazing group of girls. I teach them about work ethic, life, volunteering and how to be a good person."

During meetings, Bright said the junior Girl Scouts focus on creating arts and crafts, planning various service projects, such as adopting an elderly woman at a nearby retirement home, and strategizing ways for all the girls to attain their Bronze Award.

For the troop's most recent service project, Bright partnered her juniors up with the Salvation Army, and, with the help of others, the group put together a giant food drive for the homeless. Bright's troop contributed by getting more than 1,100 pounds of food from surrounding neighborhoods and Vons customers for the drive.

"The girls learned so much," Bright said. "They were so excited to help… As the girls are getting older, it's been wonderful for me to see so many of them step up and be leaders."

On top of her work at Arnol Salon and Spa and leading the Girl Scout troop, Bright also serves on the Glendale Adventist Guild board. She will be co-president of the group in 2011 — a position her peers feel is the perfect fit for her.

"She's very enthusiastic, willing, cheerful, dedicated and she specifically loves the hospital," said Gayle Craig, an overseer in charge of the guild's annual giving and special events. "She has a very can-do attitude and the spirit of volunteerism within her."

Bright also is a former member of the Glendale Foundation for the Retarded—a foundation she still donates to. And she also took on the role of designing, creating and running La Crescenta Elementary School's private website.

Bright said she has her hands in so many different hats because, when it comes down to it, she loves volunteering for the community, and she believes that she's setting a great example for her daughter.

"I want her to be all she can be, to work hard and give back to the community," Bright said. "Young women are very important to me. Some people sit there and do nothing, but lots of people need help.

"I want Glendale to stay as great as it is," she continued. "I want people to continue to volunteer and encourage young people to volunteer as they continue to grow into leaders."

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