by Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania (GSEP)
Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania (GSEP) is thrilled to announce its 2024 Take the Lead Berks County honorees, women who exemplify the Girl Scouts’ mission to build girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place.
This year’s honorees are leaders in industry and the community who serve Berks County and its residents not only as part of their professional careers but also through their commitment to the causes and communities they support. They will be honored at a special Girl Scout-led event at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Reading on April 3, 2024.
2024 Take the Lead Berks County Honorees
- Auria Bradley, M.S., Associate Vice President of Workforce & Continuing Education, Reading Area Community College: During Auria’s 20+ years at Reading Area Community College, she has held various positions in student affairs, such as an Admissions and Career Counselor, Director of Literacy Programs, GED instructor, and more. Throughout her career, Auria has exemplified a focus on Adult Education and workforce training, with a desire to bridge the communication and business-critical skills gap in the workplace to establish innovative workforce training programs that support the local community. Driven by her devotion to learning and making connections, Auria works with her students to determine their passions and help identify areas where they can make a difference. Her belief in the power of workforce training shines through her collaborations with the Berks County Workforce Development Board (WDB), employees, and community organizations.
- Glynis A. Fitzgerald, Ph.D., President, Alvernia University: Glynis currently serves as Alvernia University’s eighth president and first female president in over 30 years, first arriving on the campus in 2019 as the Chief Academic Officer. Her time at Alvernia has been dedicated to recruiting world-class faculty talent and implementing the university’s strategic efforts to improve student success through transformed education. Working closely with faculty, staff, and academic advisors, Glynis successfully applied policy and process changes and course redesign to significantly impact progression rates, graduation, and employment to enhance the college experience for students. Throughout her career, Glynis has mentored women at all stages of their lives to help them achieve both their personal and professional goals, empowering those around her to challenge themselves and take risks to achieve success.
- Amanda J. Hornberger, Chief Operating Officer, Jewish Federation of Reading/Berks: In her current role, Amanda oversees the daily operations of the Federation, Lakin Preschool, and the Foundation of the Jewish Federation of Reading/Berks. She also serves as Secretary of the board of Acts of Generosity and as a member of the Greater Reading Unity Coalition. Passionate about fighting hate and antisemitism, Amanda has dedicated her professional career to Jewish programming, interfaith projects, and Holocaust education. Through her passion, Amanda is paving the way for women and families to connect with their own beliefs through interfaith educational opportunities and to practice acceptance of all religious views in the community.
- Christi Sychterz Terefenko, Co-Founder & Executive Director, VOiCEup Berks: As Co-Founder of VOiCEup Berks, a nonprofit that seeks to connect people to meaningful volunteer and service-learning opportunities, Christi looks to inspire youth in Berks County to turn to service and search for ways to volunteer. Christi’s involvement in youth projects is a testament to her passion for providing young people in our community, especially young women, with a space to speak their truth and empower them to have confidence in leading by example for future generations. As a Berks County resident, Christi has volunteered for many organizations and served on several boards, using her experience in medical research, proposal writing, and organizational leadership to assist nonprofits in creating positive change in the community.
“Our 2024 Take the Lead Berks County honorees have impacted Berks County through their authentic leadership journeys. Their pursuit of excellence, commitment to service, and passion for making the community better inspire us all, and we are thrilled to honor them this year,” said Kim E. Fraites-Dow, Chief Executive Officer of GSEP. “These exemplary leaders are incredible role models for our Girl Scouts who are building their courage, confidence, and character to make the world a better place.”
Take the Lead is more than just an opportunity to recognize women leaders. It’s also a unique leadership opportunity for Girl Scouts.
As part of the program, high school-aged Girl Scouts are paired with each honoree to shadow them for a day, gain valuable career and leadership insights, and receive guidance on building their professional network. The girls, who are selected through a competitive application and interview process, then creatively reflect on the experience and deliver presentations at the event. In addition, Girl Scouts will serve as presenters, emcees, event hosts, social media influencers, and chorus at the event.
Take the Lead is co-chaired by Andi Funk, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at EnerSys, and Virginia Rush, Vice President of The Wyomissing Foundation. Beyond her professional role at the energy storage technology company, Andi prioritizes giving back not just to the community but specifically to other women and girls looking for guidance on finding their own paths to success. Virginia lives out the mission of The Wyomissing Foundation by striving to improve the quality of life in Berks County with the intentional focus of serving as a catalyst for community and economic development by providing grants to local nonprofit organizations.
“Our Take the Lead Berks County event raises important funds for Girl Scouting in Eastern Pennsylvania, which makes this a highly anticipated ceremony every year. Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania is incredibly grateful to our event co-chairs and committee members who work diligently to support programs for Girl Scouts across the region, ensuring that every girl has access to the Girl Scout Leadership Experience,” said Fraites-Dow.
This year, GSEP will highlight the important program pillars of Girl Scouting, STEM, the Outdoors, Life Skills, and Entrepreneurship as guests are welcomed to join Troop Take the Lead and engage in Girl Scout-led activities throughout a themed cocktail reception followed by an inspiring program celebrating outstanding leaders and girls making a difference in our community.
Guests will enjoy a reception featuring a menu of passed hors d’oeuvres and food stations followed by a seated program and paddle raise for campership support, helping provide hundreds of Girl Scouts throughout Greater Philadelphia the opportunity to experience all that camp has to offer with the help of financial aid.
For more information about Take the Lead sponsorships and tickets, visit www.gsep.org/takethelead or call 267-281-5610.
Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania (GSEP) is the largest girl-serving organization in Pennsylvania and builds girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. What was started in 1912 in Savannah, Georgia, by founder Juliette Gordon Low as one small yet dedicated troop of diverse girls has grown into 2.8 million Girl Scouts across the U.S. today. GSEP serves more than 25,000 girls in partnership with more than 11,000 volunteers in Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Delaware, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, and Philadelphia counties. Today, 80 percent of women in leadership and executive roles in the U.S. were Girl Scouts. Girl Scout alum comprise 70 percent of women in the U.S. Congress. For further information about Girl Scouting and how to join, volunteer, reconnect, or donate, call 215-564-2030 or visit www.gsep.org. Follow @GirlScoutsEPenn on X, Instagram, and Facebook.