By: Sabrina Y.

On March 10, 2013, over one hundred Girl Scout Seniors and Ambassadors gathered at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta to celebrate achieving the highest Girl Scout award that they could receive; The Girl Scout Gold Award.

Family and friends of Girl Scouts receiving their award attended the event.  The proud girls entered the room while the song “This Girl is on Fire” played.  Colorful lights flashed and family and friends cheered as the girls took their seats. Every girl got to enjoy their own moment as they walked up the stage. A brief description of their project was given while a quote was projected on a screen stating how they felt about their accomplishment. Then girls/troops that did an exceptional project for either their Girl Scout Gold, Silver, or Bronze award were given the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Young Women of Distinction Award.  After the ceremony, people who were interested in learning more about a girl’s project were able to view tri- folds of each girl’s project in more detail.  In addition, everyone got to celebrate their accomplishments with cupcakes!  Also, an extravagant cake was displayed in the center of the room that showed a Girl Scout’s journey from Daisies to Ambassadors.

During the event, the guest speaker, Zoe Gadegbeku, made a speech about what it means to be a Girl Scout and what she did for her Girl Scout Gold Award. For her Girl Scout Gold Award Zoe Gadegbeku created the W.I.S.H.  careers network for high school girls. She created a website because of her interest in health and science based careers, and she found out that less girls than boys prepare for these job careers in high school. Zoe is such a remarkable person and an outstanding example of a Girl Scout. She has truly grown throughout her Girl Scout years, and exemplifies the Girl Scout motto of courage, confidence, and character. She was a 2013 Girl Scouts of the USA Young Women of Distinction.

Many girls have worked hard to accomplish their project and deserve their Gold Award pins. I interviewed some of the girls who received their Gold Award, but here’s a list of some of the projects other girls did for their gold award: care packages to soldiers or children, workshops on how to eat healthy and self esteem, clubs at school for gardening or prejudice, safety lessons, compost stations, etc.

Freedom W.
Freedom collected new and gently used backpacks for foster care children. She collected up to 300 backpacks. She had a personal connection with foster care, so she thought it would be a perfect project for her to complete. She raised $3,000 in grants to fund this project. Her favorite part of this project was informing the community about her Girl Scout Gold Award. Raising awareness was a key factor to her project, and she had fun doing it.

Jessica V.
Jessica worked with the Create Your Dreams organization to help provide opportunities to low income students.  She wrote and led a workshop on health and self-esteem to seventh grade girls. Within these topics, she taught the seventh grade girls about nutrition, exercise, peer pressure, self-consciousness, healthy relationships, drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. As part of her exercise lesson, she taught a beginning dance class that included ballet and jazz. To make this a sustainable project, Jessica made sure that her workshop would be reused every year by different volunteers, and she shared the workshop with other organizations, as well. Jessica had no trouble raising money for her project because she only needed money for food and books. The tools for everything else were already provided to her. She wanted to do this project because she wanted to help and work with kids who didn’t have as much as her. She thought there was a huge problem with health, and kids that are in seventh grade, or about that age, tend to lose self-confidence in themselves.  Her favorite part of the project was working with the girls, and teaching them important information.

Mariyum K.
Mariyum put together a fair and 5K walk. At her fair there were booths, poster boards, vendors, and activities. The fair was in honor of veterans. She did a 5K walk instead of a 5K run because it encouraged elderly and veterans with disabilities to participate in the event. To advertise and explain the importance of her project, Mariyum made flyers and a slide show. This is a huge project that took a lot of fundraising. Mariyum put out donation boxes anywhere people would allow her. Mariyum had a powerful reason to do her project. Not only was her Girl Scout leader a veteran but people thought the project was a bad idea for her to do because she was Muslim. A common stereotype is that all Muslims are terrorists, and that they don’t care about the American military. Mariyum thought that she had to break a barrier and prove to people that she does care about the United States Armed Forces, and that she appreciates what they do for our country.  Mariyum is one of the select few that received the 2013 Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta Young Women of Distinction Award.

Chassidy M.
Chassidy’s Gold Award was collecting clothes to give out to young children and women who couldn’t get or afford clothes. She also created a workshop about her project, and shipped the extra clothes to Sierra Leone in Africa. She didn’t have trouble raising money for her project because generous people donated new or gently used outfits.  Chassidy wanted to do her project because she was cleaning out her closet one day and realized how lucky she was to own so many clothes.  She thought it necessary to help the people who weren’t as fortunate as her. Her favorite experience was giving a presentation and talking to other girls about her project.

All of these girls have worked arduously to complete their projects. This event was special because these exceptional Girl Scouts got a chance to show everyone where hard work gets you. I hope every Girl Scout strives to accomplish their Gold Award because it can be a life changing experience. Go out there and make a change and help your community. What will you do for your Girl Scout Gold Award project?

To learn more about the Girl Scout Gold Award, click here.

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