Girl Scouts in the Heart of PA staff member defines story-telling as key to career success

Girl Scouts in the Heart of PA staff member defines story-telling as key to career successPictured, from left, are Lyndsey Mackie, Major Gifts officer, GSHPA; and Katie Garland, coordinator for Strategic Partnerships and donor relations, GSHPA. Provided photo.

Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania (GSHPA) is defined by a mission which encourages girls to explore a wide range of fun, skill-building programs – white water rafting, science / technology / engineering / arts / mathematics activities, hiking, traveling the world – offering girls the opportunity to build skills for a lifetime of leadership. It comes as no surprise that members of GSHPA staff also have developed a variety of skills, which apply across different areas of interest and expertise.   

In fact, one staff member’s education and experience is the true definition of transferable skills. Katie Garland, employed with GSHPA for three years, earned her bachelor of arts in history from Messiah College in 2012, and her masters of arts in history from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2015. Katie is, in both passion and purpose, a public historian.

At GSHPA, however, Katie’s official role is that of a fundraiser. Katie raises money to support girls across the central and northeastern regions of Pennsylvania by writing grant applications, sending annual appeals to donors, and facilitating programmatic partnerships with local businesses and community organizations.  

Katie’s deep understanding and appreciation of public history bridges into the complex world of fundraising, making possible countless opportunities for more than 17,500 girls across central and northeastern Pennsylvania. 

“It’s a big job, and one that I succeed at because of, not in spite of, my background in public history,” says Katie. “Good public historians tell stories that tie facts together, breathing life into them, giving them meaning, and making them memorable. Good fundraisers do the same.”

Katie’s full story of her journey from public historian to private fundraiser is detailed in an article she recently published in the American Historical Association, a well-known news and information source about the discipline of history. Read Katie’s full story at

Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania provides the character-building benefits of Girl Scouting to more than 17,500 girls across 30 counties in central and northeastern Pennsylvania. The organization’s mission and long-term goal is to build girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place. For more information, visit

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