Girl Scouts of the USA CEO Sylvia Acevedo first became a Girl Scout at 7 years old. Although today she boasts previous careers at NASA, IBM, Apple, Autodesk and Dell, Acevedo tells CNBC Make It that she feared her family couldn't afford for her to be a part of the program as a child.
"When I got into Girl Scouts I really loved it. We were planning all the activities we were going to do," Acevedo says, recalling her disappointment.
Growing up, her Mexican-American family lived paycheck to paycheck at their home on a dirt street in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Her troop leader told her all would be okay because they were going to sell cookies, an entrepreneurial training program that today earns the Girl Scouts $800 million each year.
"I thought, 'Sell cookies?'" Acevedo says, highlighting her shock at the time.
"If you are a kid who's living in poverty and living paycheck to paycheck, you don't know how to create opportunities," she adds.
But, to this day, she uses the lessons learned from selling Girl Scout cookies as a child. Here are three things she took away from the experience: