Friday, September 14, 2018

Weekly Girl Scout Gold Award Spotlight

Check out this week’s sampling of go-getting, innovating, risk-taking Gold Award Girl Scouts—young women who know what it means to lead with true G.I.R.L. spirit!

Josephine, Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania

Josephine’s Girl Scout Gold Award project was inspired by a trip to Costa Rica, where she contracted a waterborne illness. Thankfully after a few months of battling the parasitic illness, she recovered—though the experience made her think of all the people who aren’t as lucky. So Josephine took action, joining with Hands Up for Haiti, a medical humanitarian organization that helps people in northern Haiti, to put together and distribute hygiene/maternity care packages. The donation drive she held was a hit! In two days she collected all of the items she needed, such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, and soap for the hygiene packages, and baby wash, washcloths, onesies, and blankets and diapers that she and her team sewed using cloth from a local Goodwill for the maternity packages. (They made over 120 cloth diapers and 30 blankets for newborns!) Josephine is encouraging other girls to take up similar projects in hopes of keeping the effort going.

Learn more about Josephine’s project.

Aliza, Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts

Inclusivity matters, and using your voice to speak up and raise awareness about important issues is what Gold Award Girl Scouts do to create change in their communities. Aliza’s Girl Scout Gold Award project, A Muslim American, reflects this—she sought to educate community members about the Islamic faith, debunking misconceptions and the stigma that surrounds it. She created and distributed Ramadan and Eid baskets filled with fruits, candies, and informational pamphlets about each occasion to churches and police stations in her community; she also delivered presentations on Islam and how the community could band together and be more inclusive with regard to ethnicity and religion. Additionally, she participated in an event called Open Door Day, where she distributed information to over 500 attendees about two organizations she’s working with: one that helps orphan children in Gaza and another that circulates accurate information about Islam. And to make this information available to teens, she created a youth group blog about Islam, with posts written by girls in the community.

Learn more about Aliza’s project.

Lauryn, Girl Scouts of Western Ohio

This summer, Lauryn’s Girl Scout Gold Award project, Dog Park South Paw, came to fruition. She was aware of the challenges of working with her city’s parks department—but the city council wound up approving Lauryn’s project in just 15 minutes’ time! To raise funds for her project, she created a website where she sold personalized memorial bricks for people whose pets had died; the $50 bricks were used to build a walking path to honor the pets. Lauryn’s troop also organized a doggy relay fundraiser called Neon Glow Doggy Dash. Talk about spreading pawsitivity through your G.I.R.L. Agenda!

Learn more about Lauryn’s project.

Mattie, Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania 

Gold Award Girl Scout Mattie built a 400-square-foot patio at the offices of Life Teen to provide a safe place for local teens to do their homework and access laptops and the internet. Through her Gold Award project, she sought to narrow the digital divide seen in low-income areas while reducing crime in her community. Mattie got the idea for her project when she was working at Life Teen, where she realized the need for teens to have an after-school hangout. On conducting some research, she learned that many teens are at risk for committing crimes between the hours of three and seven o’clock in the afternoon, partly due to lack of after-school activities and lack of internet access to help them complete homework assignments. Constructing her patio took more than two weeks, 200-plus hours of labor, 8.5 cubic yards of cement, 8 tons of gravel, and 54 feet of railing. She collected donations to build and furnish the patio and received a donation of ten laptops—and to spread her Gold Award message, Mattie used social media and in-person appearances.

Learn more about Mattie’s project.

Gold Award Girl Scouts are recipients of one of the most prestigious awards in the world for girls. By the time they put the final touches on their seven-step projects, they’ll have addressed a significant problem in their community—not only in the short term, but with a plan to sustain the work for years into the future. They’re also eligible for college scholarships and to enter the military one rank higher than non–Gold Award Girl Scouts.

Got a Girl Scout Gold Award story to share? Send the details and relevant photos to socialmedia@girlscouts.org for a chance to have it featured