Wednesday, January 2, 2019

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! 

Megan, Girl Scout Council of Colonial Coast

When Megan heard her pastor preach about the lack of fresh and canned food options available to homeless people in her community, she put her (Girl Scout) green thumb to the test! (Megan, who has psoriasis, understands firsthand the importance of healthy food options, because she requires a balanced diet to prevent her condition from flaring up.) To build the garden she’d planned for her Girl Scout Gold Award project, she gathered 40 volunteers, who donated funds and dedicated their time to help the garden grow. The garden consists of cabbage, collard greens, carrots, and beets. Because of Megan’s Gold Award project, low-income and homeless families now have greater access to healthy, fresh food choices.

Learn more about Megan’s project.

Ashley, Girl Scouts of Nassau County

Responding to a need in one’s community can take real perseverance! In 2016, Gold Award Girl Scout Ashley presented her town board with the idea to renovate a rundown park in her neighborhood. With a growing sinkhole and too-hot-to-handle metal playground, the park was unfit for community members to use. Fast-forward two years, when a newly remodeled park was unveiled to community residents. Ashley’s Gold Award park renovations include a new playground, hopscotch court, picnic benches, plantings, and four-square court, along with a revamped basketball court. She raised $800 toward her Gold Award project, and the town funded the remaining balance. And even though she’s already earned her Gold Award, Ashley is working to add another playground set, improve surrounding sidewalks, and make the park wheelchair accessible—now that’s the power of G.I.R.L.!

Learn more about Ashley’s project.

Mina, Girl Scouts of Northern California 

As Sonia Sotomayor once said, “Until we get equality in education, we won’t have an equal society.” Indeed, education is a solution to many societal challenges, including homelessness and poverty. That's why Gold Award Girl Scout Mina is helping educate homeless people in her community, with quality curricula she designed herself. She researched many different outreach programs, including a nonprofit that helps recruit and train volunteers to tutor homeless and highly mobile children. Mina created binders—her “tool boxes”—with educational materials. The tool boxes are available for children in pre-K through third grade and include resources organized according to Common Core structure. Thanks to Amina’s Gold Award, East Bay kids now have another source of academic support!

Learn more about Amina’s project.

Megan, Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council

Communication is a big part of everyday life—whether we talk, write, signal, or simply make eye contact. In addition to allowing us to express ourselves, it can also save lives. Gold Award Girl Scout Megan had this in mind when, for her Gold Award project, she organized a team of young people to help fire departments in her community learn American Sign Language—because in times of emergency, knowing how to sign can be crucial. The team led a two-day workshop and provided members of the Richmond Fire Department with study materials and videos that will educate local firefighters for years to come about the importance of being familiar with ASL.

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.