Synopses & Reviews
You Can Do It!
is the vision of Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas, a heroine of United Flight 93 and a woman who was an inspiration to all who knew her. Lauren's dream was to create the ultimate self-empowering resource, a book to help women of all ages realize their dreams. Inspired by her beloved Girl Scout badges, nurtured to publication by her family and friends led by Lauren's two sisters, Vaughn and Dara You Can Do It!
is the merit badge handbook for every grown-up girl who's said, "I wish I could..." Jam-packed with practical advice, here is step-by-step instruction and kick-in-the-pants encouragement for achieving 60 exciting badge activities. Start your own business, go back to school, speak in public, play a musical instrument, fix the car whatever the ambition, each activity features a female expert to mentor the reader and guide her to success with clear how-to, practical resources, and the wisdom of experience. Learn a new language with Susan Carvalho of Middlebury College, take a great photograph with Lauren Greenfield, climb a mountain with Annapurna expedition leader Arlene Blum. These 512 can-do pages are about dusting off fantasies, overcoming fears, and achieving long-held desires. And to top it all off, the book includes 60 colorful badge stickers a fun reward for goals accomplished. With its warm and encouraging message, You Can Do It!
will help women everywhere discover that, yes, they can!
A portion of the proceeds from new copies of You Can Do It! will go to the Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas Foundation, which supports charitable causes and scholarships for women.
Many of the badges are based on adventures from Lauren's own life: taking her husband sky-diving to celebrate her 30th birthday, earning her emergency medical technician credential, learning how to kayak and Rollerblade. Other badges are more practical, such as getting personal finances in order or quitting smoking. "Lauren worried that women got too caught up in their 'To Do' lists instead of their 'Dream to Do' lists," says her husband Jack. "This is her final gift." Book proceeds will be donated to a foundation supporting Lauren's favorite charities. Newsweek
"...it is more than just a life-maintenance manual - the emphasis is very much on breaking through personal boundaries and trying something new." London Times
"You Can Do It!: The Merit Badge Handbook for Grown-Up Girls, for all Girl Scouts at heart, embodies the spirit of sisterhood." USA Today
Grandcolas was an experienced sales and marketing professional embarking on a writing career when she died on United Flight 93 on 9/11; her husband, family, and publisher rallied together to complete her outstanding debut, which encourages middle-aged women to do the things they have always dreamed of doing. The text-patterned after a Girl Scout manual-is made up of seven "badge" categories (e.g., "Dare," "Create," and "Learn") that are further organized into activities such as learning to skydive and care for one's car and building family rituals or breaking bad habits. Each badge takes readers through the task from start to finish and includes excerpts from professionals in that field. A bibliography of books, magazines, and web sites for further information is included. A pure pleasure to browse, this is the perfect gift for those celebrating 40th birthdays and beyond and will enjoy a high circulation among public library patrons. Highly recommended. Library Journal
Not long before 9/11, Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas posted a motto on her refrigerator door: "Get busy living or get busy dying." The 38-year-old marketing executive, pregnant with her first child, had recently started work on a book encouraging women to pursue their dreamsno matter how outlandisheven as they struggled with the daily demands of children, marriage and career. Grandcolas came up with a set of "merit badges for grown-ups" and even hung her old Girl Scout sash above her desk as inspiration. Before she could finish, Grandcolas was killed aboard United Flight 93. After her death, Lauren's husband and sisters gathered her notes and met with her agent. This week, Chronicle Books will posthumously release "You Can Do It! The Merit Badge Handbook for Grown-Up Girls." "She truly, truly wanted women to get out there and taste life," says Vaughn Lohec, Lauren's younger sister. "But it's bittersweet that she can't be here to talk about the book herself." Newsweek
Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas (1963-2001), a heroine of United Flight 93, began You Can Do It! more than a year before her death on September 11 on her way home to the San Francisco Bay area. Jam-packed with practical advice, here is step-by-step instruction and kick-in-the-pants encouragement for achieving 60 exciting "merit badge" activities.
About the Author
Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas: You Can Do It!
was Lauren's idea, begun a year before she died on September 11, 2001, aboard United Flight 93. A former Girl Scout, she saw the book as a way for women to re-create the feelings of accomplishment and community found in the Scouts. Lauren embodied the book's goals. Personally, professionally, athletically, and creatively dynamic, she is remembered by her friends and family as their personal coach and champion. She had fifteen years of marketing and sales experience, started her own consulting company, and, most recently, served as account executive for Good Housekeeping
. An avid biker, hiker, runner, and on her thirtieth birthday, a skydiver, she lived in the San Francisco area for many years with her husband, Jack Grandcolas. With the special help of her sisters, Vaughn and Dara, Lauren's dream of empowering women to "go out and do it!" will now be realized.
Vaughn Catuzzi Lohec and Dara Catuzzi Near:
Lauren's younger sister, Vaughn Lohec, is a nearly-always-frantic full-time mother of three. Vaughn has a professional background in the media industry, most recently as regional marketing manager for USA Today and program coordinator of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. She lives with her family in Frisco, Texas. Lauren's older sister, Dara Near, worked in international banking in London and New York for ten years as a vice president for The Bank of New York. She is now busier than ever directing community service projects and raising three sons in Short Hills, New Jersey.