iN our owN
girl sCouts: 100 year legaCy,
oNe woMaN’s story
My name is Miyukiko Kostelny, but my nickname is “Koko.” I go to the University of Central Missouri (currently a grad-
uate student) for Aviation Safety. My undergraduate degree was a
double major in Professional Pilot and Flight Operations management with a Business Adminis-
tration minor and an international relations minor. I grew up a military brat so I actually had a
unique experience with the Girls Scouts. I lived in Marine
Corps Air Station Iwakuni (located in Japan) most of my life,
and with the small base the troop of American Girl Scouts
was not stable. Leaders were constantly
switching, so my parents put me in both
the Girl Scouts of America and the local
Girl Scouts of Japan troop off base.
titude such as, “girl scouts is for sissies,” but I love telling
them how much I have gained. I even won scholarships because of my involvement! When I won the Women in Aviation Delta Air Lines Business Scholarship in 2010, the scholarship committee
told me how impressed they were about
my activities, including Girl Scouts.
I still carry with me the friends I
made. By being in both the Girl Scouts
of America and Girl Scouts of Japan I
was able to make friends throughout
the military bases in Japan but also off
base. It helped me become fluent in Japanese (and I have no Japanese ancestry
at all—yet I’m fluent like a native because I grew up there) and gain friends
that I still keep in touch with. With International Camps I made fellow Girl
Scout/Girl Guide friends around the
I also learned to be thankful for everything I have. When I was a senior in high school, I went to
Myanmar refugee camps in Thailand to hand out care packages through a peace package promotion with the Girl Scouts
of Japan. Although they were simple packages with school
supplies, toys, and hygiene items, the refugees appreciated
them. Hearing these women speak about their stories was inspiring and shocking at the same time.
I’m grateful that I got to experience both the Girl Scouts of
Japan and the Girl Scouts of America—and growing up overseas as well. It has shaped me into who I am today. Because
of my upbringing and my involvement in the Girl Scouts I
have a broader view on the world. I appreciate cultures and
differences more. I almost feel like Girl Scouts has made the
world smaller to me—and everyone I met has been very nice.
I never had a bad experience with the Girl Scouts. ✈
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Miyukiko ‘Koko’ Kostelny (WAI #41327) has accomplished a lot
for someone who just turned 23! She’s currently studying Aviation Safety at the University of Central Missouri.