Naomi Porter is a go-getter. 

The Palos Verdes Intermediate eighth-grader is one of only 25 Girl Scouts in the country selected for a prestigious twenty-two-month internship. 

She's part of a team planning a Girl Scout conference held in Florida in June.

“Porter is an inspiring Girl Scout in her community and will be an amazing asset to the G.I.R.L Team Planning Committee in preparation for the 2020 Girl Scout National Council Session,” said Jennifer Palmer, Director, Membership Retention& Volunteer Development, of the Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles.

According to Palmer, the Girl Scout Cadette has welcomed 10 new girls into her Palos Verdes troop.

“An outstanding accomplishment for Porter is her ability to welcome new girls to Girl Scouts, thus furthering our mission of inclusivity in her community," said Palmer.

But the eighth grader is no stranger to volunteerism and special projects.

In 2013 when she was eight years old, she paid homage to her grandmother’s legacy as a life-long educator.

“We built a Little Free Library as a tribute to my grandmother,” Porter said, “We inherited her sewing machines and supplies and opened an EBay business to sell them and turn her dreams into our dreams. The first thing we did with the proceeds from our business was to buy a library structure to share books with our community.”

Unfortunately, just a few weeks after the little library was installed on the Porters' property, it was stolen.

“The Palos Verdes Peninsula News wrote an article about the theft," Porter said. “Many people in the community helped us rebuild our structure. Many more people donated books to us.”

Porter and her sister have spent the past five years stocking the shelves.

"We’ve received so many book donations that we have a traveling library that we take to community events, like the St. Peter's Trunk or Treat. We’ve given away over 1000 books in the past 5 years," she said.

Peninsula residents still drop off boxes of books at the Porters, hoping to help.

Porter is also a community entrepreneur.

When she was in sixth grade, she was selected for the Palos Verdes Chamber of Commerce Young Entrepreneurs Academy in 2016—the other students in the program were high schoolers.

“I learned how to open and run a business,” Porter said. “I learned public speaking skills, accounting, and how to write a business plan. I learned about deadlines, drafting business plans, and at the end of the program I launched a business.”

Porter won second place in the program’s competition and received $250 in seed money to launch her business.

“I also won the Spirit of Entrepreneurship award and was recognized by the Chamber for demonstrating innovation, leadership, and character. The program taught me not only how to run a business, but how to communicate with others, manage my time, and deal with an intense program while balancing school and other activities.”

Today she is the C.E.O of Spice It Up, a company that sells portable and affordable travel spice kits. The product is marketed to travelers, scout groups and people who use rented accommodations for their vacations. It’s currently available on EBay.

“Being an entrepreneur means that you’re always looking for opportunities to make a difference,” Porter explained.

When she realized that a lot of sixth graders weren't prepared for the amount of homework and study demands they faced in middle school, she knew she could help.

In September 2018, she launched Bright Future—a tutoring/academic coaching business.

Porter currently helps five students with goal setting, study skills, math, writing and Spanish. And, she's harnessing the power of social media and technology to help.

“My business model stands out because it includes mid-week phone calls on Face Time. I check in with my students to offer encouragement and accountability. I create quizlets to help them practice their skills online and I link into my Instagram account where I post weekly study tips. My tips are the same reminders that the students would hear from their parents, but when they’re delivered on Instagram, it’s not as nagging as it would be if your parents were telling you.”

Porter isn’t all business; the industrious teen enjoys dancing. She dances at school in her physical education class and she manages to squeeze in four other classes at a local dance studio.

Porter interviews Palos Verdes residents about their lives, faith, and experiences for her Silver Award Girl Scout Cadette project. The Silver Award is the second highest award a Girl Scout can earn. It encourages the Girl Scout to do big things and to make their communities better in the process.

“The most successful part of my project was that I touched individual lives. I learned to respond kindly and appropriately when people started to cry as they shared their lives. Not only have I strengthened my communication skills, but also I’ve become a wiser and patient person.”

The interviews are recorded on Story Corps and uploaded to the Library of Congress where family members and the general public can access them.”

Because of the positive response and feedback that Porter has received, she is continuing and expanding her Silver Award project. Her new goal is to create the largest archived collection of South Bay oral histories. She is interested in interviewing local school leaders, community figures, business owners and politicians.

If you would like to be interviewed, or know someone who would, please contact Naomi Porter at hollywoodstacey@hotmail or visit

https://archive.storycorps.org/user/gsnaomi

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