Our Gold Shines Bright at the 2020 Gold Award Ceremony
Girls from all across western Ohio glittered at our 2020 Gold Award Ceremony on Sunday, March 1. This year we recognized 51 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 more than 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 Laura Mitchell, the superintendent of Cincinnati Public Schools. In attendance were the recipients’ families, friends, Gold Award alums, 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 2020 Gold Award Girl Scouts, that’s more than 4,080 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 4 diverse projects from across our council! Want all 51? Don’t worry, you can explore all of their awesome projects on our website!
Ella Cope – The Changemakers of Oxford
Ella noticed that her community lacked public art and had an absence of community pride. She felt that a public mural showcasing a piece of Oxford’s history would help change this. She worked with a local artist to bring her idea to life, approached the city for approval, and received 2 grants to fund the mural.
The mural highlights Oxford’s history as a part of the Underground Railroad, and as the training ground for the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Summer project. The central design is the blue station wagon belonging three civil rights activists who were tragically killed in a hate crime in Mississippi.
Ella dedicated the mural at Oxford’s Second Friday Art Walk with more than 200 attendees and created guides for the Arts Center to continue educating the community about this important piece of Oxford history.
Taylor Paul – Bountiful Blessings
After learning that some families in her community were struggling to afford staple food items and fresh produce, Taylor worked with local gardeners and carpenters in New Bremen to build a community orchard with six raised garden beds and eight dwarf fruit trees and to construct a food pantry accessible to citizens in nearby communities. To ensure that the pantry is restocked, she recruited local businesses and organizations and created a schedule for them to collect canned goods to refill the pantry for different months of the year.
Neeti Prasad – STEM: Stimulating and Training Engineering Minds
Neeti has participated in First LEGO League (FLL) robotics for 7 years. This inspired her to create and develop an FLL team comprised of 6th to 8th graders who attend an after-school program called Kids in New Directions (KIND) in downtown Dayton. These students are refugees from various African countries.
Neeti held twice-weekly camp sessions for approximately 25 children for several months. She taught the children how to build robots out of LEGOs and basic block programming. Initially, she did team-building puzzles as basic tasks. Neeti also conducted team-work challenges to help them improve their communication and collaboration skills.
This project allowed the students to experience STEM fields and motivate them to consider a STEM career in the future.
Victoria Swiler – Pollinator Garden
It was during a summer outreach program with the youth volunteering group Zoo Teens that Victoria connected with the organization Toledo GROWs. As part of her volunteer outreach, she began to work with Toledo GROWs and understand the importance of pollinators to our community. In partnership with the organization, Victoria worked hard to research local pollinator species and their food sources; with this information, she was able to create a raised garden that provided coverage for all main pollinators through the spring, summer and fall. Victoria held an event filled with educational activities. All of her research has been given to Toledo GROWs to further educate the community about the importance of pollinators.
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