Our Gold Shines Bright at the 2019 Gold Award Ceremony!
Girls from all across western Ohio glittered at our 2019 Gold Award Ceremony on Sunday, March 3. This year we recognized 42 girls who, in taking the lead and making a sustainable impact on an issue in their community, earned the highest award a Girl Scout can earn, the Girl Scout Gold Award. They join a legacy over 100 years strong, our best and brightest Gold Award Girl Scouts!
The ceremony was held at The Ponitz Center at Sinclair Community College in Dayton and featured keynote speaker Dr. Bleuzette Marshall, the Vice President for Equity, Inclusion & Community Impact at the University of Cincinnati. In attendance were the recipients’ families, friends, Gold Award alumnae, and dignitaries from across our council.
Each girl took the lead by identifying an issue in her community and putting a project plan into action to address that need in a sustainable way. Each project required a minimum of 80 hours of individual effort from each girl (not counting volunteers and other members of her team). From our 2019 Gold Award Girl Scouts, that’s more than 3,360 hours our girls spent making their corner of the world a better place!
While all of our girls’ projects are awesome and we’d love to share each and every one, you’d probably stop scrolling eventually. So we’ll limit ourselves to highlighting 5 diverse projects from across our council. Want all 42? Explore all of their awesome projects here!
Rebecca Dominguez | Saint Marys
Honoring Hometown Heroes
To bring her community together and celebrate local veterans, Rebecca partnered with the VFW and the city to solicit information and photos of local veterans that they used to create and hang 70 banners featuring veterans around the downtown. Rebecca created a Facebook page where she shared the banners that reached over 5,000 people and also organized a celebration on Veterans Day. The city and the VFW agreed to continue her project and have plans to add another 63 banners to honor more local heroes.
Mary Hamilton | Springboro
United Nations: Learn and Serve
Mary is an active participant in her church, Miami Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. Wanting the church to become more involved with UU-UNO (UU – United Nations Office), Mary developed and implemented the UU-UNO Envoy program at the church. Every spring, there is a seminar held at the United Nations in NYC that youth and adults from UU-UNO Envoy programs can attend. The seminar focuses on human rights issues that have global impact. Mary also created a subcommittee of the UU-UNO Social Action Committee so youth and adult envoys can be appointed annually to attend the seminar. This will assure her church will always have participation. She also spoke at 2 UUF churches in Cincinnati to get them to establish the Envoy Program. Mary was the first youth to be recognized as an Unsung Hero at her church!
Elizabeth Nitz | Monclova
Toledo Grows Children’s Garden
The children’s garden at Toledo Grows serves 600 children a year, but was small and had only a few beds. The area was not interesting or interactive to help attract and inspire children in this urban setting. Elizabeth started work building 8 structures within the space, along with a rain gutter garden. Her mission is to inspire people to grow their own food, utilize organic sustainable gardening, and develop ways for those who live in urban settings to be able to garden as well. Her class that she developed, along with the garden, are continuing to be used by Toledo Grows in its programming with schools and groups.
Maria Richards | Fairfield
Short Video to Combat Mental Health Stigma
Maria self-directed a short film, called “Darkness Versus The Mind,” that would tell her story of fighting mental illness, and help others relate to those who have suffered mental illness. She felt that a short film with a powerful message that would stick with people would be the best way to combat mental health stigma. Maria taught herself how to edit and animate a film, recruited friends to act in the film, and when it was all finished she posted it to YouTube for the world to see. Throughout the process of creating her film and sharing it, Maria wrote a blog to share her progress, and what she learned along the way. “Darkness Versus The Mind” is now shared with students at Lakota Junior High Schools.
Dhira Venkatramani | Xenia
Safeguarding Personal Information Online
Dhira was horrified to learn how easy it is to access anyone’s personal information online. She set out to bring awareness of identity theft and steps on how to prevent it. Dhira held several workshops on how to prevent identity theft and how to opt out of data brokers, thereby removing personal information on websites. She held these workshops for Girl Scouts, senior citizens, teens, and at libraries. Dhira also developed a website, a podcast, and an online petition. The petition allows you to send a letter to legislators asking them to require data brokers by law to follow the same regulations as credit reporting agencies. Currently Dhira has Senator Hackett working on getting the bill passed. Check out her website for more information: SafeguardingPersonalinformation.wordpress.com