by JENNIFER FRAKES | photos by Soul of Photography

Leading the Way

volunteer_mullen2For Michelle Mullen, volunteering for the Girl Scouts is a fulfilling and empowering way to serve the local community. “I joined a friend to become co-leader of my oldest daughter’s Girl Scout troop when my daughter was in fourth grade, and I was hooked! I was able to support our troop and help the girls grow until they went off to college,” revealed Michelle. When she was a troop leader, she developed close relationships with the girls in her troop as they grew from first graders to 12th graders and led them on many adventures such as traveling locally, regionally, and internationally. Michelle also emphasized the importance of giving back through community service and mentoring.

volunteer_mullen4Currently, Michelle is the Encinitas service unit manager who, along with a team of leaders and volunteers, supports all the Girl Scout troops in Encinitas. The Encinitas Girl Scouts serves more than 500 girls, and as service unit manager, Michelle facilitates opportunities for Girl Scout leaders and volunteers to grow their own leadership skills and confidence. “I work with other volunteers to organize activities for our girls to take risks, to learn and to find a sense of belonging. My main goal is to help parents and other community members see our Girl Scout troops as a powerful way to grow girls who are leaders,” stated Michelle. She believes that Girl Scouts creates a space for volunteers to lead and mentor young women and provides girls with role models and guidance about how to make a difference in the community. “Girl Scouts also creates a community of girls – locally, regionally, and nationally – to support one another to be strong, to follow their passions and take risks, to lead with positive values, and to have fun,” related Michelle.

Name: Michelle Rene Mullen
Community: Encinitas
Volunteer Affiliation: Girl Scouts
Profession: Executive vice president for AVID Center
Family: Husband, two daughters, two dogs, a cat, and a snake
Hobbies: Hiking, camping, entertaining at our house, family and friend activities, volunteering
Favorite Spots in 92024: All of our outdoor locations: trails, beaches, parks, lagoons


Michelle has lived in Encinitas for 26 years and she, her husband, and two daughters enjoy living in a community that believes in the things they value most, including quality education, nurturing of the arts, physical and mental well-being, and care for the environment. She is the executive vice president of AVID Center, a national education nonprofit devoted to closing expectation, opportunity, and achievement gaps for students. “All of my volunteering, as well as my work, allows me to create opportunities for our kids to find and work to their potential, to appreciate who they are, and to extend themselves to others,” said this hard-working community volunteer.

Group: Girl Scouts
Mission: Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.