When Girl Scouts of the USA told me that they named me one of the 2015 National Young Women of Distinction, I cried. I cried because it had been a big dream of mine that I never thought could become a reality. I also cried because I realized that Girl Scouts, through my national award, could provide me with a larger platform for fighting child pornography.
Why did I choose this topic for my project? Frankly, because child pornography makes me angry. And over the past couple of months, I have come to recognize that I can serve as the inspiration for other girls to take on a Gold Award project that addresses an issue that makes them angry. To any girls out there who want to earn their Gold Awards, my advice is to start with a conversation. Find someone who tells you something that changes your view of the world. Get passionate about it. Use your passion as a guide to fix the injustice that you find in your community. To quote Gandhi, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
Child pornography is not something that I have forgotten or have stopped fighting against. I am currently working with professors on my own campus, American University, to see how I can best spread my message to students. In particular, I will continue the work of my Gold Award project next year as part of my sophomore social action project within American University’s Leadership Program. Additionally, I will continue to work with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children on their efforts to spread awareness of this issue.
The 2015 National Young Women Of Distinction recipients will be celebrated on October 7, 2015, at Edith Macy Conference Center in Briarcliff Manor, New York. For those who can’t attend the event but still want to be a part of the conversation, join via livestream or follow #NYWOD15 on Twitter. As part of this prestigious honor, the Kappa Delta Foundation affirms its commitment to girls by providing $50,000 in scholarships to Girl Scouts’ National Young Women of Distinction. GSUSA will be matching the Kappa Delta Foundation’s gift with an additional $50,000 in college scholarships for the ten extraordinary young women.