Friday, September 5, 2014

Spotlight on National Young Woman of Distinction, Laura M. Robert Rivera

The National Young Women of Distinction honor is given by Girl Scouts of the USA to the top ten Girl Scout Gold Award recipients whose Take Action projects demonstrated outstanding leadership, had a measureable and sustainable impact, and addressed a local challenge related to a national and/or global issue. The girls and their projects will be showcased on the blog in advance of being honored at the 2014 Girl Scout Convention in Salt Lake City this October.

Laura M. Robert Rivera: Mi Casita Feliz
Age: 17
Hometown: Aguadilla, Puerto Rico

Background:

Laura first visited “Mi Casita Feliz II,” a shelter for abused girls, when she was 12 years old. The experience affected her profoundly. During the next five years, Laura continued to support the shelter and learn as much as possible about the issue of abuse. When it came time for her Gold Award project, she seized the opportunity to take action.

How Laura Is Changing the World:

Laura wanted to empower these victims, help raise their confidence, and show them that they were cared for. Beyond that, she knew that preventing future abuse meant educating people about the issue. Laura started a child abuse prevention campaign in 2 schools in her community. The following year, she was able to carry out the same week-long educational campaign in 30 schools throughout Puerto Rico. Understanding the power of people working together for a common cause, Laura passed on the materials and tools to other young leaders.

Along with the educational piece, Laura kept up her visits to the shelter. The most special activity she organized, Laura says, was the “Dress Me For a Party” event. Last year, 300 girls dressed up for socializing and fun. What a great way to help girls feel special!

Next Steps:

Laura hopes that her educational campaign will reach 3,000 people in the next year. We can’t wait to see all of the amazing things that can be accomplished with a few more helping hands and open ears working together. This summer, she spent two weeks at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., as part of the Running Start Program.

On the last day of our 2014 Girl Scout Convention, we hope that you’ll join us to hear from Laura and her fellow honorees. As Laura recently shared in discussing her Gold Award project, she’s really excited about attending convention!