A Volunteer Spotlight on Jenny Kreutzer, Ms Wheelchair Kansas 2011
Meet Jenny Kreutzer of Wichita. Jenny is many things; a wife, a mother, a graduate of Fort Hays State University and a Girl Scout. In 2011 Jenny was crowned Ms Wheelchair Kansas and will compete in August for the national title. Jenny has served as an advocate for people with disabilities for more than a decade. She herself sustained a spinal cord injury in 1996 but feels that, by being active in her community, she is showing all people that having a disability does not limit a person.
When were you a Girl Scout? Jenny’s experience with Girl Scouts is different than most. She was not a Girl Scout growing up. The oldest of four children, Jenny was a leader at home. It was not until her two daughters were of age to register for Girl Scouts that she was introduced. Jenny’s husband is a Boy Scout and encouraged them to get involved with Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland. A natural leader, Jenny soon found herself as a Girl Scout, too, and now leads a troop of 17, including her daughter. Now in her fourth year of Girl Scouting, Jenny is an active role model for young women and for the disability community.
What was your favorite thing about being a Girl Scout? Jenny loves to see how lessons of leadership and initiative in her troop translate to her Girl Scouts acting in the community. They have held fundraisers and events for the congregation of the church in which the troop meets. Her own daughter planned and executed an Easter Egg Hunt for 80 families in their neighborhood this year.
How will being a Girl Scout impact your daughters in the future? Jenny explains that the leadership skills that she and her co-leaders instill with activities and conversations are very valuable. Not to mention what the girls learn from each other. They learn teamwork, social interactions, and manners. And, as a parent, Jenny says that Girl Scouting is a different outlet than girls can get from just playing sports. Young girls need a variety and Girl Scouting can offer that or be a supplement to other after school activities.
What plans do you have for the next year? Jenny shares that her troop is really focusing on community service and have set high goals for the next cookie sale so that they can plan more things outside of their traditional troop meetings. Personally, Jenny will serve as a role model and spokesperson for people with disabilities in Kansas in the coming year. She strives to education, advocate, and empower all people to lead by example. She will have the opportunity to travel throughout the state educating various groups about the issues of importance to people with disabilities as well as telling her story of being a role model.
And a very important question, what is your favorite kind of Girl Scout cookie?Jenny says that Peanut Butter Sandwiches are her favorite!