Queens Girl Scout Determined to Be NYC's Top Cookie Seller

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska on December 20, 2013 7:25am 

Slideshow
 Najah Lorde’s goal is to sell more than 2,000 boxes of cookies before mid-January 2014.
Top Girl Scout Cookie Seller Najah Lorde
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QUEENS — This tough cookie isn't going to crumble.

A 12-year-old Girl Scout in Jamaica who sold more Girl Scout Cookies last year than any other scout in Queens is aiming to double her sales this year and win the citywide title. 

Najah Lorde, a seventh-grader at Divine Wisdom Catholic Academy in Flushing, sold 1,111 boxes of the addictive treats during the month-long selling period in December 2012 and January 2013, she said.

But a Manhattan Girl Scout who sold more than 1,800 boxes of the troop's signature Thin Mints, Samosas and Tagalongs was crowned the city's cookie queen.

Najah referred to Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York" to describe her hopes for this year's cookie-selling season, which started Dec. 13 and will end Jan. 20.

“It’s like in the song,” she said. "I want to be top of the list. I'll be ‘Queen of the Hill,’ though.”

The pre-teen began developing her sales strategy this fall, including thinking about all possible buyers.

“I started making my list in September,” said Najah, who joined the Girl Scouts in second grade.

Her parents also got involved in selling the cookies, which cost $4 per box. "We ask our friends and coworkers," said Donovan Lorde, 48, Najah’s father.

Najah is offering cookies to local business owners and selling them at school and at her church, the Greater Allen Cathedral in Jamaica.

Motivated Girl Scout Cookie sellers are rewarded with incentives. Last year, Najah — who in her spare time takes dance classes and cooks — won an iPad, which was a reward for girls who sell more than 1,000 boxes. This year, the top cookie sellers will have a choice between an iPad Mini and a Wii U game system, according to the organization.

The proceeds from cookie sales help finance activities for the New York Girl Scouts, according to Katie Soper of the Girl Scouts of Greater New York, which has in its ranks about 28,000 girls ages 5 to 17.

The cookie program allows girls to "develop five key leadership skills that help them towards success — goal setting, decision-making, money management, people skills and business ethics," Soper said.

Najah's proud father, a contract specialist at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, said selling cookies gives his daughter practice planning and working with others.

"She also learned that, while it's OK to be competitive, it’s also OK if the person she is competing with does better,” he said. “It doesn’t mean that she lost.”

But Najah said she'll do her best to be the city's top seller.

"My plan is to be persistent," she said.

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