Today, in celebration of International Day of the Girl, Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) announced its 2016 National Young Women of Distinction—10 young women from around the country whose efforts reflect extraordinary leadership.
As background, each year GSUSA honors 10 Girl Scouts as National Young Women of Distinction, selected from the thousands of exceptional young women in grades 9–12 who earn their Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest achievement in Girl Scouting. National Young Women of Distinction transform an idea and vision for change into an actionable plan with measurable, sustainable, and far-reaching impact at the local, national, and global levels. From creating an original comic book to support siblings of individuals with special needs, to developing a mock diagnostic activity to help young people learn about Ebola, the actions of these girls show how they’re taking the lead to solve today’s pressing issues, both in the United States and around the globe.
Each of the National Young Women of Distinction's projects exemplify the extraordinary leadership, grit, and collaborative efforts of Gold Award recipients as they lead the Girl Scout way, like a G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™. Approximately 5 percent of all Girl Scouts earn their Gold Award each year—and just 10 girls in this already high-achieving group are honored as National Young Women of Distinction!
Hanna, a Girl Scout from USA Girl Scouts Overseas, was inspired and motivated to take action through her experience living overseas in Singapore, where she noticed the stark income inequality that existed in neighboring countries like Bhutan. In her sophomore year of high school, Hanna partnered with a small NGO to cofound a service club called READ (Rural Education and Development) Bhutan. Club members constructed a READ center in a rural village in the Haa Valley of Bhutan, and Hanna collected and donated 3,200 books to the center. She also developed a school-sponsored trip that now takes 20 students and 2 supervising faculty members to Bhutan for one week every year, to engage in service at the READ centers as well as cultural experiences.
Earning the Gold Award and receiving scholarships are just two of the incredible opportunities girls have through Girl Scouts. To join Girl Scouts and find out more about the Gold Award and National Young Women of Distinction, visit www.girlscouts.org/join and www.girlscouts.org/NYWOD.