Teens earn highest Girl Scout achievement

Teens earn highest Girl Scout achievement
Debora McCarty (parent of Daniela McCarty), Lisa Still (parent of Amelia Still), Josephine Wondracek, Rachael Conomea, Sara Kissane, Jillian Thigpen, Seven-Time Olympic Medalist Shannon Miller, Kaitlyn Sagul, Mary Anne Jacobs CEO Girl Scouts of Gateway Council, Traci Jenks Past President of Rotary Club of Jacksonville, and Molly Paris. (Photo Courtesy of Girl Scouts of Gateway Council)

An elite group of 16 inspiring young ladies representing the Girl Scouts of Gateway Council (GSGC) were recently honored with the Gold Award, the most prestigious award in Girl Scouts and one that is received by few.

Receiving the Gold Award were Katherine Ballard, Navarre; Lauren Collins, Tallahassee; Rachael Conomea, Orange Park; Abigail Floyd, Orange Park; Courtney Gill, Fernandina Beach; Isabelle Jacobi, Ponte Vedra; Creed King, Tallahassee; Sara Kissane, Fleming Island; Daniela McCarty, Saint Johns; Molly Paris, Jacksonville; Kaitlyn Sagul, Gainesville; April Sanchez, Jacksonville, Fla. Amelia Still, Jacksonville; Jillian Thigpen, St. Johns; Olivia Wingert, Jacksonville; and Josephine Wondracek, Jacksonville.

The Gold Award is earned by high school aged Girl Scouts who demonstrate extraordinary leadership in developing sustainable solutions to local, national, and global challenges.

Girls going after the Gold Award must spend a minimum of 80 hours on a project in which they identify an issue, investigate it thoroughly, get help and build a team, create a plan, present their plan and gather feedback, take action, and finally, tell their stories and inspire others, according the Girl Scouts website.

For their Gold Award projects, the Girl Scouts tackled a variety of community issues including childhood obesity, mental health awareness, local and international poverty, childhood literacy, STEM career opportunities for girls, skin cancer prevention, nature conservation, wildlife conservation, water safety, and more. “Congratulations to our amazing Gold Award Girl Scouts on their outstanding efforts,” said Gateway Council CEO Mary Anne Jacobs. ““The Gold Award is the standout achievement of girls who develop meaningful, sustainable solutions to challenges in their communities and the world. In the girl-only, girl-led environment of Girl Scouts, a young woman pursuing her Gold Award gains the experience and life skills—strategic thinking, communication, collaboration, problem solving, time management, and more—that set her apart on the way to making her world a better place.”

Girl Scouts of Gateway Council serves more than 12,500 girls in grades K-12 and 6,000 adults in North Florida. Their service area includes 35 counties.