Our Gold Shines Bright: 2018 Gold Award Girl Scouts!

Western Ohio glittered at our 2018 Gold Award Ceremony. We recognized 44 girls who have earned the highest award a Girl Scout can earn, the Girl Scout Gold Award, at a council-wide ceremony on Sunday, March 4, 2018. These girls’ projects are shining examples of what our youth can accomplish with passionate mentors, community support, and a desire to make a lasting impact on the world!

You are our best and brightest, Gold Award Girl Scouts! 

The ceremony featured keynote speaker Dr. Cynthia Jackson-Hammond, President of Central State University. In attendance were the recipients’ families, friends, Gold Award alumnae, and dignitaries from across our council. The ceremony was held at The Ponitz Center at Sinclair Community College in Dayton.

For her project, each girl took the lead by identifying an issue in her community and putting a plan in motion to address that need in a sustainable way. While all of our girls’ projects are awesome and we’d love to share every one, you’d probably stop scrolling eventually, so we’ll limit ourselves to highlighting 5 diverse projects from across our council!

Want all 44? Explore all of their awesome projects here!

Kiran Desai, Courageous Conversations


Kiran identified a need to develop greater cultural competency and increase diversity awareness at Ursuline Academy after an incident at her school that made students of color feel alienated. Kiran decided to step up to promote social justice within her school community by developing a Diversity Training Workshop for Ursuline Academy faculty members. She interviewed and recruited a professional diversity trainer, Dr. Monique C. Johnson, to partner with and help organize her project. Kiran’s workshop gave faculty members the tools to create a more open environment for their minority students, and facilitate thoughtful discussions about controversial topics within their classrooms. Her Faculty Diversity Training Workshop will be carried on by a new student initiative at Ursuline called STUDS, or Students Towards a United and Diverse School.

Kera Micheals, Math with Bowling

Kera used her skills from bowling combined with her love of math to create and implement workshop sessions at Beaver Vu Bowling. Her 4 sessions were for elementary school kids to improve their math skills. In order to do this, she had the bowling alley shut off the electronic scoreboards, so participants had to practice their math skills in scoring the games. She impacted about 20 children and they earned a patch for their effort. Kera also created a bowling game using dice and held training sessions for 4th grade teachers to use this game in their classrooms, which they have already incorporated. She created 4 booklets for sustainability: an Activity book for the bowling alley, a Math book, a Science book and a Physical Fitness book for Main Elementary teachers.

Annie Patterson, Camping 101

Understanding the benefits children experience when they connect with nature and wanting to inspire more children to get outside, Annie partnered with the Hancock Parks Department to organize a camp for young children. At the camp the children experienced the outdoors in a safe and positive environment while also learning new skills like outdoor cooking, fishing, and team building activities. The park staff have her outlines to use to host future Camping 101 sessions.

Ruvi Ranatunga, Project “Read a Lot”

Ruvi’s experience with family in the Country of Sri Lanka highlighted the issue of illiteracy in their rural areas. She worked with Kattuwatthewela Primary School to contribute toward building their library by obtaining books, shelving, and computers. In the States, Ruvi solicited for books by handing out her donation brochure and giving presentations on literacy rates in developing countries. She collected 300 books and traveled to the school with them. In addition, Ruvi bought 75 books in Sri Lanka, of which 35 were in Sinhalese. One challenging aspect of her project was obtaining 2 computers in Sri Lanka for the library.  She organized the books and developed a check-out system using the computers. While in Sri Lanka for a month, Ruvi volunteered at the school by reading to students.

Justine Stenger, Financial Responsibility for Teens: Presenting the Reality Store

Justine recognized that there was a gap in education regarding financial literacy and responsibility among Juniors & Seniors at her high school. In hopes of preparing older students for post-secondary expenses, Justine proposed hosting a mandatory financial simulation event during the school day. After receiving school approval, Justine recruited volunteers to run her event called ‘The Reality Store,’ which she coordinated and organized for all upperclassmen at her school. ‘The Reality Store’ is a program that replicates real-life situations to teach money-management and decision-making skills to students. This event will become an annual occurrence at Justine’s high school.

Congratulations to all of our 2018 Gold Award Girl Scouts! Thank you for making western Ohio a better place!