Anne Bauer, 17, is a senior at East Lake High School in Pinellas County.
If you ask her Principal, Carmela Haley, she will tell you that Bauer is a problem-solver. Bauer has proven that skill isn’t just used in the classroom. She noticed there was a serious issue among her and her friends and the answer was not in a textbook.
“I realized I didn’t feel prepared [for the working world] and I didn’t know the skills to be successful,” said Bauer. “To go on a job interview. To write my resume. To make it stand out. [How] to network.”
To answer the need, the resourceful Girl Scout of more than 13 years, started the Career Café. A one-day, free event in October 2017, for young women ages 16-23. The event’s purpose was to teach those young women the skills they needed for success. Her ongoing efforts were recently noticed by the Tampa Bay Lightning, prompting the organization to award her the Community Hero award. Bauer is the 297th recipient of the $50,000 check since the Vinik family introduced the Lightning Community Hero program in the 2011-2012 season.
The Career Café was part of Bauer’s Gold Award project for the Girl Scouts, in which she successfully completed. She will receive the Girl Scouts highest honor this summer. The Gold Award is one the organization says “recognizes girls who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through remarkable take action projects that have sustainable impact in their community and beyond.”
The Career Café has done just that and will continue to do so in the community thanks to Bauer. Half of the $50,000 she was awarded with the Community Hero award will go back to the Girl Scouts of West Florida to continue the Career Café as an annual event. The other half will go towards Bauer’s college education.
"I was on cloud 9,” Bauer said after finding out about the award. “It felt completely surreal. My mom and I literally jumped up and down the whole day." Bauer says she hopes her efforts will also help with a problem that has been around for some time; the gender pay gap in America. She hopes by helping young women build the self confidence and get the tools they need to succeed, that gap will get smaller, faster.
She will graduate from East Lake High School with 40 college credits, as she is currently dual-enrolled in St. Pete College. After high school, she plans to double major and minor in biomedical engineering and business.