2020 Gold Award Spotlight: Part 7!

Gold Award Girl Scouts are game-changers, trailblazers, and risk-takers. Over the past weeks, we have met the Gold Award Class of 2020 from Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, young women who are inspiring, dedicated, and full of potential to change the world. We celebrate each and every one of these special young people who, through their acts of service to their local or global communities, exemplify the strength of the Girl Scout.

Meet the last (but certainly not least) group of this year’s Gold Award Class of 2020!

Missed out on the blog series? Catch up!

Little Treasures

“I know that making a child happy is unlike any other joy there is in the world,” Girl Scout Alexis explained. She had a simple goal: to brighten the lives of children with serious illnesses and the hospital staff that serve them. To accomplish this, Alexis made a treasure chest for the Pediatric Oncology Treasure Chest Foundation. The chest is filled with new toys every month for children undergoing chemotherapy, radiation, or a surgery.

Cozy Chemo Room

“Receiving chemotherapy treatment can be a long, uncomfortable, and at times scary experience, so I wanted to help comfort patients in any way possible.” Girl Scout Emma partnered with the Lutheran General Outpatient Center to repaint and refurnish their chemotherapy center. She created a game center and library, redecorated their reception area, and made the center a more welcoming place overall, additionally creating “swag bags” for 50 patients.

Stop the Bleed

Girl Scout Antoinette wants everyone, even young kids, to be prepared in emergency situations. Working alongside the program Stop the Bleed, Antoinette earned her Gold Award for leading a series of workshops for children in her community, teaching them essential lifesaving techniques, emergency preparedness skills, and what to do to help someone who is bleeding.

Healthy Mentalities

My project focused on the difficult topic of mental health. It created two presentations, one of which covered Anxiety, Depression, and Eating Disorders in depth. The other focusing on healthy coping skills that can be used in times of great stress. The three hundred fifty plus students at Gurrie Middle School will be taught about mental health through my two presentations in their advisories during the school year.

Self Esteem Awareness

Girl Scout Nadia, to uplift the self esteem of younger people in her community and neighborhood, created a survey, website, Facebook page, and YouTube video on the subject of positive self-outlook. “I hope my project will help youth stand firm and believe in themselves. I now have more belief in myself, and worry less about what other people think of me, after working on the project.”

Changing Your Outcome

“Even though there is a lot of information and research regarding breast cancer,” Girl Scout Ashley shared, “there is a lack of information on how to protect yourself from it.” In partnership with the Amita Health Cancer Institute, and the Eola Community Library, Ashley hosted a community public forum on breast cancer awareness, discussing how to perform a self-exam, actions to prevent breast cancer and issues of differential diagnosis.

Healthy Mentality

Girl Scout Josephine took on the difficult subject of mental health, creating two presentations one covering different mental illnesses in depth, and another focusing on healthy coping skills that can be used in times of stress. Josephine presented her work to over 300 students at Gurrie Middle School, and her curriculum will be taught throughout the school year during their advisory periods.

Be Brave

In effort to provide comfort and care for parents of children in emergency hospital settings, Girl Scout Emma took action, and to earn her Gold Award, crafted care packages for the parents to receive while they are in the waiting room. “I hope I was able to make parents comfortable during their difficult time,” Emma said, “and remind them to take care of themselves as they care for their child.”

The Balance Needed for All

Girl Scout Neha sought to address the social stigma held toward mental health issues like depression and anxiety. “While people may be afraid to confront their illnesses under a ‘medical’ definition, it is necessary to seek the right help.” Speaking at the Rohingya Cultural Center in Chicago, and the Glenview Ismaili Center, Neha held information sessions for children on the subject of mental health.

Manor Lake Path Restoration

To encourage her community members to use the path around Manor Lake, and exercise more by biking, walking, and jogging, Girl Scout Ruth took it upon herself to improve and repave the pathway. After surveying people in her neighborhood, Ruth was sure that she would improve both the quality of the natural area and the possibility for others to enjoy and use the path.

Raising Awareness of Autism

“Many people are unaware of what Autism is, and how to treat people who have it. If we all take the time to learn that people who have Autism are just like us, and special in their own way, we can all make the world a better place.” This is what fueled Girl Scout Dominique to earn her Gold Award and create a YouTube video defining and spreading awareness of Autism.

Chemo Care Friends

Girl Scout Shannon, in honor of her aunt who passed away from cancer two years ago, partnered with Rush University Hospital to create chemotherapy kits for families. “While my aunt was in the hospital, my family was constantly running to the store to buy things she needed. I hoped that by donating items and putting these kits together, people would be able to spend more time with their loves ones.”

Reach Out and Help

In honor of the life of her friend Rylee, Girl Scout Madelyn held workshops for her peers on the subject of depression, mental health, and suicide prevention. “I want teens all over to know how to use ACT: Acknowledge, Care, and Tell,” Madelyn explained, to prevent and help mental health crises. Madelyn teamed up with Elyssa’s Mission to bring their program to high schools across the nation.

Healthy Lifestyle

To promote healthy lifestyles among her community members, Girl Scout Grace created a website as a tool to be used by everyone to change their habits. From providing workout routines to healthy nutrition packed recipes, to mental health tips and resources, Grace has given her community many tools to improve their overall wellness and nutrition.

The Stress Test

Girl Scout Sara took on the mission of reducing anxiety rates and stress levels of teens in her local area to earn her Gold Award. After meeting with and gaining the support of the principal of her high school in reducing homework levels, Sarah ran a booth at a Health and Wellness fair, distributed fliers to local business, and discussed plans with her local library to introduce therapy dogs to campus.

Influenza Awareness

Girl Scout Savannah wanted to reinforce in the importance of receiving a yearly influenza shot, and to do this, created a YouTube video and a website to promote awareness of the issue. “They will learn how to keep their families safe from the flu” through preventative steps Savannah outlines in her video.

Club Zen Den

“I find that while mental health is being talked about more and more,” Girl Scout Natalie explained, organizations and schools often fail to help students find something they can do to relieve stress.” To solve this issue in her community, Natalie started Club Zen Den, a club dedicated to destressing through discussions, activities, and social support. She also created a manual for students to start the club at other schools.

Healing Hands Medical Mission

“I wanted to show the people in my community the power they have to make a difference in other’s lives.” To accomplish this, and in partnership with the Healing Hands Medical Mission project, Girl Scout Madelynn asked her community to come through and provide flip flops and toothbrushes for children in Guatemala. While in Guatemala, Madelynn provided fluoride treatments and tooth-brushing lessons for children who lacked access to hygiene education and clean water.

Brain Hacking: Looking through the Screen

“I have always been interested in the way our brains translate our thoughts into behaviors,” Girl Scout Karishma explained, “especially how those behaviors differ or change in group settings. My curiosity led me to explore the effects that technology and screen time have on our brains.” To earn her Gold Award, Karishma researched and presented on the subject of excessive use of technology and its psychological consequences.

Meet Our National Gold Award Girl Scout!

We had the special opportunity to sit down with Therese, GCNWI alum and one of ten winners of the National Gold Award, for an in-depth conversation about her Gold Award initiative, Project Dandelion, and the power of the Girl Scout in the mission toward equality and anti-violence. Please join us in congratulating and “getting to know” Therese!

Every year, Girl Scouts of the USA selects ten exceptionally inspiring Gold Award Girl Scouts, nominated by local councils, as National Gold Award Girl Scouts. Therese is just one of these amazing young women– meet all of this year’s National Gold Award Girl Scouts!

Girls Change The World

Join us in congratulating the National Gold Award Girl Scouts at an International Day of the Girl celebration on Saturday, Oct. 10, where she and the other impressive young women will share their stories and motivations for making waves throughout the nation.

Register today to join the celebration!

The Mark of the Truly Remarkable

Bronze. Silver. Gold. Three opportunities to make change, use your voice, and advocate for issues you care about. Three opportunities to impact the world through community service, civic engagement, and creative invention.

Are you ready to change the world? Learn more about earning a Highest Award at GCNWI.

Interested in meeting the other members of the GCNWI Gold Award Class of 2020? Read up on our blog series!

Meet Therese: National Gold Award Girl Scout!

Therese, National Gold Award Girl Scout

Imagine this: A girl identifies a need in her community, whether it’s local, state, national, or global. She creatively identifies a way to fulfill that need. She rounds up a team of experts, community members, and helpful volunteers to turn her vision into a reality. When she leaves, her efforts do not. Her work is sustainable and does more than good; it makes the world a better, safer, happier place to live in. She is a Gold Award Girl Scout.

Therese, a Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana alum, was recently named a National Gold Award Girl Scout. She is a young woman who understands how to serve her community with her passion, know-how, and innovative spirit. She understands the power of a team and knows the value of hard work and resilience. It is her dedication to community engagement, and the continued act of service she spearheaded to earn her Girl Scout Gold Award, and led Therese to be nationally recognized by Girl Scouts of USA for her impressive work.

We had the special opportunity to sit down with Therese for an in-depth conversation about her Gold Award initiative, Project Dandelion, and the power of the Girl Scout in the mission toward equality and anti-violence. Please join us in congratulating and “getting to know” one of this year’s ten National Gold Award Girl Scouts!

Therese, 2020 National Gold Award Girl Scout

Therese is a bright young woman, hopeful aerospace engineer, and current first-year student at Purdue University, but she has been a part of the Girl Scout sisterhood since she started as a Daisy. Her Gold Award journey began early. Her troop was invited to a local Gold Award celebration as they earned their Silver Award.

“Looking at all the girls’ projects, I thought it was an amazing opportunity for girls to make a difference in their communities,” Therese explained. “I realized the Gold Award isn’t just about getting an award, but an opportunity to make the world a better place, and yourself a person who can go into the world and continue to make positive change.

Therese’s drive to change society is global, but the root of her Gold Award initiative, Project Dandelion, is personal to her. The trauma of knowing a survivor of sexual violence at a young age made a lasting impression on Therese, and set her up to become passionate about justice for other survivors. After watching the documentary, The Hunting Ground, which details the nationwide sexual violence crisis at colleges and universities, something didn’t sit right with Therese.

“At the time, my friends and I were getting ready to pick our future colleges. We were passionate to find a school that was safe, and after researching the subject, found most of the information to be buried in hundred-page documents.” She saw a need: for order, for ease, for access to information, for herself and her peers to feel secure choosing their prospective schools.

Her vision culminated in the first resource of its kind, a database organizing information, resources, and statistics concerning sexual violence at colleges and universities in Illinois. Currently, the project encompasses every college in Illinois and is being continued in the future by the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

“If I was a high school student, I would absolutely want this resource. Because I knew I wanted it, and because other people wanted and needed it, I realized there were many people that could benefit. I didn’t want to keep the idea to myself. I felt like I had the capacity to make a lot of change.”

She did not keep the idea to herself, and with the help of a team of 25 high school students and several other professionals in the field of sexual violence prevention, researched, organized, and published mass amounts of data, now available for the public to easily look through and comprehend.

“I’m glad I got to earn my Gold Award doing something I care so much about,” Therese shared. “Hearing the stories of people with personal relationships to the issue of sexual violence, and hearing their enthusiasm for change, kept me going.”

For Therese, the importance of community engagement and social activism cannot be stressed enough. “Everyone has the capacity to make change,” she said, and to make the world a more accepting and positive place to live, all members of a society should strive to make their communities successful by expressing their beliefs. “Everyone should be an advocate for what they believe in, for the good of themselves and the rest of the world.”

Social equity and justice are especially important to Therese, and these beliefs are a core part of her drive to serve her community and set her on the path to earn her Gold Award. Now, as a National Gold Award Girl Scout, Therese sees a major opportunity to encourage young girls to follow the path of advocacy. “In the past, women and girls were told their voices don’t matter or aren’t as valuable, but every woman, and girl, has a unique perspective on the world.”

In order to create a safer, more accepting future for girls, Therese said, “it’s important for them to speak out and make a change,” and Girl Scouts can be an integral part of that. “Girl Scouts continuously provides programs for girls to experience leadership positions in their own communities and raises girls to believe they can make a difference. The skills you gain from Girl Scouts make you a better leader, a better doer, a better everything.”

Therese’s true secret to success lied in her ability to find empowerment in making mistakes. “In order for anything to succeed in a way that is meaningfully lasting, it has to fail first. Every time I heard the word no was a chance to grow.”

To Girl Scouts currently seeking a highest award, Therese’s advice is simple: do not be daunted by a task too big, or insecure about a task supposedly too small. “Any change is change, and that will make the whole world different.” Make a plan, stay focused on each step as it comes, and “follow yourself. You can do it because you can. There is literally nothing stopping you, and you will move mountains.

Want to learn more about Therese and her project? Read the article in the Chicago Tribune.

Girls Change The World

Every year, Girl Scouts of the USA selects ten exceptionally inspiring Gold Award Girl Scouts, nominated by local councils, as National Gold Award Girl Scouts. Therese is just one of these amazing young women– meet all of this year’s National Gold Award Girl Scouts!

Join us in congratulating Therese and the other National Gold Award Girl Scouts at an International Day of the Girl celebration on Saturday, Oct. 10, where she and the other impressive young women will share their stories and motivations for making waves throughout the nation.

Register today to join the celebration!

The Mark of the Truly Remarkable

Bronze. Silver. Gold. Three opportunities to make change, use your voice, and advocate for issues you care about. Three opportunities to impact the world through community service, civic engagement, and creative invention.

Are you ready to change the world? Learn more about earning a Highest Award at GCNWI.

Interested in meeting the other members of the GCNWI Gold Award Class of 2020? Read up on our blog series!

2020 Gold Award Spotlight: Part 6!

The Gold Award is an achievement awarded to girls who face, head-on, challenges in their communities and the world at large, and provide creative, sustainable solutions. Each of these girls, who we’ve been featuring weekly on our blog, are incredible examples of enterprising, compassionate younger leaders.

Read on to meet more of these amazing girls from our council, who focused their efforts on the subjects of environmental activism, science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math (STEAM).

Cleaning our Beaches

brown sand beside sea

Girl Scout Larissa loves going to the beach, and after researching and realizing how polluted our beaches really are, decided to take action to ensure these beaches remain healthy for future generations. Gold Award honoree Larissa organized four beach cleanups with her community in hopes of inspiring others to also advocate for the health of our environment.

Picnic Tables for the Library

“Our community library had outdoor areas that were rarely used because they didn’t have seating,” Gold Award Girl Scout Alexandria explained. “By providing seating for community members to use, they will be more likely to connect with nature.” To accomplish her goal, Alexandria gathered a team to build her community library an outdoor seating area, perfect for taking in the scenery and a good book.

Tech Addiction Terrors

Girl Scout India took note of the growing concern adults have over the time teenagers spend on their phones. Her hope, in creating her Gold Award initiative, was to impact teenagers and adults to be cognizant of their technology behaviors. To do so, India hosted community meetings where she presented information on the subject of tech addiction and introduced features on smartphones that set limits on daily use.

Let it Rain

To earn her Gold Award, Girl Scout Emily designed and implemented a rain garden at the Vernon Hills Arbor Theater, with the aims of addressing the issue of excess stormwater and declining populations of pollinators in her community. With the help of her volunteers, over 200 native plants were planted, and Emily additionally educated Girl Scouts in her area on the importance of rain gardens and runoff drainage.

Flower Power 2.0

Girl Scout Anna wanted to address the issue of environmental disregard and neglect in her community, and to accomplish this, Anna beautified and reestablished a community garden in need of attention, as well as installing a community compost bin. With her volunteer team of community members, Anna cleared weeds and overgrown plants to reveal plant beds for new flowers and vegetables to grow.

Sustainable Composting at Elawa

Girl Scout Emma earned her Gold Award for her sustainable composting initiative at Elawa Farm. Emma installed additional compost bins near the kitchen for increased composting, dibble boards for easier planting, and a washing board (shown above!) so produce can be washed faster, in hopes of improving the environmental efficiency of their overall operation.

Environmental Geocaching

Geocaching, a worldwide outdoor scavenger hunt game, is intended to create a fun outdoor experience for all the players. Girl Scout Taylor created her own geocaching series based on the six levels of Girl Scouting, and within each geocache is information about the specific environment in which it is placed. Since her geocaches have been activated, there have been more than 70 logs from different people who have found them!

Meatless Monday

“Our dietary choices affect our health and the sustainability of the environment,” Girl Scout Kaitlin said of the inspiration behind her Gold Award initiative. With the help of her school community, students, staff members, and administration, Kaitlin instituted Meatless Mondays into her school’s lunch menu. She also ran a booth at her school’s Health and Wellness fair to educate her peers on the benefits of meatless diets.

Bee-ing Sustainable

To address the issue of inequitable pollution in Chicago, Girl Scout Sophie used Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) to analyze the heavy metal concentrations of 26 honey samples in the Chicago area. With this information, Sophie demonstrated the correlation between industrial corridors in Chicago, the proximity of apiaries (beehive sanctuaries), and high concentrations of dangerous heavy metals.

Women in Food Engineering

Girl Scout Lara, in hopes of educating young girls in her community on the importance of pursuing careers in STEAM, hosted a food engineering workshop. “Snacks wouldn’t be possible without significant contributions from food engineers, from air humidity for transporting food to vacuum-sealed jars,” Lara explained, and each participant walked away with a packet of local STEAM opportunities to get involved in.

Girl Scouts Change the World

On Oct. 10, join us as we party with and learn from, the 2020 National Gold Award Girl Scouts, who don’t just change the world for the better, but for good. We can’t wait to meet this year’s honorees and celebrate their amazing accomplishments— don’t miss out!

Register here!

Stay tuned for more exciting announcements coming soon!

Making Waves Every Day

We extend our sincerest congratulations to these girls and all Gold Award Girl Scouts this year!

Want to share pictures of your project with us? Post on social media and use the #GCNWIGoldAward! You can also download these images to share your Girl Scout Gold Award pride.

Look out for next week’s 2020 Gold Award Spotlight!

2020 Gold Award Spotlight: Part 5!

This week, as part of our ongoing series featuring this year’s Gold Award Class of 2020 from Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, we’d like to introduce you to another group of girls changing the world. These girls, through their self-guided initiatives, committed to changing their communities through advocacy and education, and the results are truly amazing.

Read on to meet the next set of Gold Award Girl Scouts from GCNWI!

Ready, Set, Read!

shallow focus photography of books

“Part of my town is too far from the public library,” Girl Scout Jenna shared, “and it is very dangerous for children to travel by themselves to the other side of town. I wanted to encourage people of all ages to read when they do not have quick access to a public library.” To accomplish her goal, Gold Award Girl Scout Jenna placed two mini libraries around her neighborhood through the My Little Library organization.

Bringing Mental Health to Benet

Gold Award Girl Scout Adrian sought to address the issue of mental health awareness in her school, Benet Academy. “I remember talking briefly about mental illness for one day in my P.E. class… I knew that this did not nearly cover the importance of mental health.” To assist, she revamped the club Student Support Alliance, a student organization bringing a safe space and mental health awareness to the community.

College Preparedness

To earn her Gold Award, Girl Scout Courtney wanted to ensure anyone in her community who wants a college education has the tools to get them, because no one should be limited in their dreams regardless of their circumstances. Courtney presented skills workshops to incoming seniors and juniors in her school on the subjects of scholarships, financial aid, college selection, and more.

College Career Fair

woman wearing academic cap and dress selective focus photography

Gold Award Girl Scout Kiayla, to provide students in her community the opportunity to learn about different potential career paths, hosted a Career Fair in her school. After recruiting a diverse group of professionals from her church, Kiayla’s Career Fair addressed the importance of career planning and maintaining long-term goals for success.

The Water Safety First Project

“Many children in my community don’t know how to swim or aren’t aware of water safety,” Gold Award Girl Scout Sarah explained, “because of this, elementary-age children are frequently saved at Rainbow Falls Pool.” In hopes of reducing the amount of saves and to increase attendance in swimming lessons, Sarah taught students at elementary schools in her community basic swimming skills and an opportunity to improve upon these skills at lessons.

Fusion Mini Library

For Fusion Academy, a school once without a library, Gold Award Girl Scout Avery is the person that lead the charge to solve the problem. In collaboration with students and staff at the academy, Avery developed and designed a miniature library with a “Take a Book, Leave a Book” system. All the books for the library were donated by the community, and Avery raised over $500 to build and paint the space.

Healthy C.H.E.F.

Gold Award Girl Scout DaKoTa Storm’s main goals were “to teach kids how to make healthy choices, how to create healthy habits, choose the right foods, and practice healthy fitness.” To address the issue of health and fitness in young children, DaKoTa Storm created a website, wrote a workbook available for purchase, organized workshops, and also created kits for Girl Scout Gathering Places and a few for Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Megan’s Book Swap

Girl Scout Megan set out to address the importance of literacy at a young age, and it’s impact on a child’s future success. As part of her book swap, Gold Award recipient Megan donated over 3,000 books to students at St. Genevieve’s Catholic School. Every child received about 30 books, and implemented a book swap for the students to share their knowledge, develop their love for reading, and discover new authors, genres, and topics.

My Place In Space

photo of outer space

“I’ve always had a great passion in astronomy,” Girl Scout Marie explained, but she wasn’t taught it in school until middle school. To earn the Gold Award, Marie created and held an astronomy workshop for girls in grades 1-3 and taught them about the solar system, types of stars, the moon, galaxies, and constellations. “Hopefully I inspired at least some of them to fall in love with astronomy and have a greater appreciation for the incredible universe in which we live!”

D.I.S.T.E.A.M. Learning

Gold Award recipient and Girl Scout Gianna brought a program her high school had never seen before: S.T.E.A.M. (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) challenges. Gianna lead a team of other high school girls and competed in regional, statewide, and even global competitions. She was able to help other girls love S.T.E.A.M. as much as she does, and her initiative continues on after her graduation.

Let’s Change the Future of Diabetes

“I tried to unite and inform my community in two ways: by providing new ways to become educated about diabetes, and by creating opportunities to contribute to research and prevention.” Gold Award Girl Scout Amanda accomplished these goals by first conducting in-depth research at one of the top universities in the country, developed a website, online blog, brochure, and children’s book, each explaining diabetes in unique ways and encouraging readers to take measures in their own lives to stay healthy.

Mobile Makerspace

To benefit the children of low-income families in North Chicago, Gold Award Girl Scout Claire created a mobile makerspace available to kindergarten through third graders attending the After School Enrichment Program at Forrestal Elementary School. This is a place for students to become inspired, make, created, build, explore, and try new things. “Through collaborating with local leaders,” Claire related, “I was able to see how a community can inspire success.”

Girl Scouts Change the World

It’s almost International Day of the Girl, and nobody celebrates the world-changing power of girls quite like Girl Scouts! Don’t miss the chance to party with, and learn from, the 2020 National Gold Award Girl Scouts, who don’t just change the world for the better—they change it for good!

Join Girl Scouts as we celebrate the world-changing power of girls on Saturday, October 10, at 4:00 PM EST, for an International Day of the Girl party. Register here!

Change-Makers and Goal-Setters

We extend our sincerest congratulations to these girls and all Gold Award Girl Scouts this year!

Want to share pictures of your project with us? Post on social media and use the #GCNWIGoldAward! You can also download these images to share your Girl Scout Gold Award pride.

Look out for next week’s 2020 Gold Award Spotlight!

2020 Gold Award Spotlight: Part 4!

Every week on our blog, we’ve featured young women that are big dreamers, dedicated workers, and true change-makers in their communities, the nation, and the world. Continue meeting our Girl Scout Gold Award Class of 2020 from Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana this week to learn about their incredible acts of leadership, courage, and kindness.

Missed out on the other blog posts? Read the rest of the series!

ADHD Awareness

Jordyn, to earn her Gold Award, focused on a subject close to her heart. As someone diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), Gold Award Girl Scout Jordyn wanted to spread awareness by debunking myths surrounding the disorder, offering tips and tricks for coping, and educating her community on the subject matter. Check out her YouTube channel to learn more and watch her videos!

Fellowship Outreach Program

Gold Award Girl Scout Colleen, to earn her Gold Award, worked to connect her community and parish by creating “parish packets” as a fellowship outreach program. This is Colleen’s particular passion because she went to school there, was an altar server, and belonged to the youth ministry. These “parish packets” included items not only from the church but items from around the community, in order to market the parish and draw new parishioners.

“Senior” Prom

To bring the young and the elderly in her community together for fun and connection, Gold Award Girl Scout Quinn held a “Senior” Prom dance at a senior citizen home. With the younger girls, she lead a paper flower and Valentine’s Day card-making workshop, and with the seniors, she presented about pop culture. She helped 36 residents and 32 Girl Scouts connect with one another for her event!

Flower Power

green plants on black metal train rail during daytime

With plenty of research and brainstorming, Girl Scout Kendall earned her Gold Award for her community garden Flower Power, located in a skilled nursing home facility. Two raised flower beds later, residents now have a new fun task added to their days, where they can get outside and moving and feel helpful picking weeds and harvesting vegetables. She incorporated plants that would get the residents involved and attract butterflies and birds.

Spring Social

Girl Scout Lucy earned her Gold Award for hosting a Spring Social dance event for teenagers with disabilities. The event included spring themed activities, like plant potting, picture coloring, carnival games, and plenty of food. Lucy planned, prepared, and supervised the event with help from the faculty and volunteers from her school, and a great night was had by all!

Blessing Bags

To earn her Gold Award, Girl Scout Jilliann collected, sorted, and personally delivered travel size toiletries and basic necessities to homeless individuals in her community. In order to do this, Jilliann worked with a local shelter for homeless individuals in her community, and was able to distribute 200 bags of toiletries.

Stepping Up to Success

macro photography of school bus

“Individuals with disabilities are always aiming to achieve independence,” Girl Scout Therese describes. “One of the last steps toward independence is the ability to travel alone.” It is especially the increased step size of most buses that can provide a challenge for these individuals. In order to help bridge this gap, Therese created a set of stairs that mimic bus stairs for individuals with disabilities to practice on, and her efforts have already seen great results.

The Summer Shindig

In effort of raising awareness for the Hope and Friendship Foundation‘s summer youth programs, Gold Award Girl Scout Victoria hosted a charity benefit event in her community, The Summer Shindig. The event included dancing, food, raffles, balloon animals, and much more fun, and with the help of local business, friends, and community members, Victoria was able to raise almost $400 for the foundation to put toward summer programs for families in need.

Savvy Seniors

“I was grateful to have a close relationship with my grandfather,” Mia shared, and this was her inspiration to address the issue of neglect toward the senior community, provide a safe and interactive environment to stimulate and accommodate them with resources, Girl Scout Mia created a program, “Savvy Seniors,” to teach technology to senior citizens in retirement homes. In addition to weekly classes where she taught residents how to type, compose emails, and more, she also created a website for individuals unable to attend.

DuneLand Micro-Pantries

“Working at a grocery store,” Girl Scout Angelique says, “I see many people on food stamps having to put many of their necessities, like shampoo, toothbrushes, and other things back on the selves because they can’t afford it.” To provide individuals in her community with these necessities, Angelique built Micro-Pantries in her area, which were stocked with basic necessities free to all, so no one has to compromise “hygiene for food, or food for hygiene.”

Bridging the Generational Gap

Girl Scout Tiarra, in order to bridge the gap between generations in her community, volunteered at several nursing homes to learn more about the residents, their experiences, and the history that impacted them. At the end of her research, Tiarra hosted an “Inter-generational Extravaganza,” bringing over 150 people together for an evening of fun.

Busy Hands

Kiley, for her Gold Award initiative, created a volunteer system to create fidget quilts for people suffering from dementia. These blankets, which are covered in “fidgets,” or different tools for them to stimulate their hands with like ribbons, buttons, zippers, and more, are a great help with easing nerves and providing constant comfort. Kiley collected over 35 blankets and they continue being made.

Our Girls are Shining Bright!

We extend our sincerest congratulations to these girls and all Gold Award Girl Scouts this year!

Want to share pictures of your project with us? Post on social media and use the #GCNWIGoldAward! You can also download these images to share your Girl Scout Gold Award pride.

Look out for next week’s 2020 Gold Award Spotlight!

2020 Gold Award Spotlight: Part 3!

When a Girl Scout imagines a better world, it doesn’t stop there. Gold Award Girl Scouts take their visions to the next level, enacting community service and civic engagement that creates lasting, effective change.

To earn the Gold Award, the highest award a Senior or Ambassador Girl Scout can earn, is an incredible accomplishment. We’re giving the Gold Award Class of 2020 from Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana a spotlight: read on to learn about the next group of leaders and changemakers!

Providing Sustainable Menstruation Products

Days for Girls - Heart of Longmont

Gold Award Girl Scout Amelia envisioned a world where all girls and women have equal access to eco-friendly menstruation products—so she took action to make that a reality. To earn the Gold Award, and become a part of the fight for gender equality, Amelia partnered with the organization Days for Girls to create and distribute reusable menstruation materials to girls without proper access to them in her community.

Community Shower of Love

person holding baby feet

Girl Scout Kara received her Gold Award for her project, “Community Shower of Love,” addressing the needs of new mothers and families in her community. In partnership with the Martha and Mary’s Maternity House and local families in need of supplies, Kara impacted the lives of many families and adolescents with newborns by providing basic necessities including formula and sanitary supplies.

3K Run for Children in Need

As part of Girl Scout Muskan’s Gold Award mission, she organized and hosted a 3K run in support of children undergoing abuse or neglect. All proceeds raised at that race were then used to purchase new park supplies for a park in her area for children to de-stress and communicate with each other. She also hosted speaking engagement to address the issue of child abuse and neglect with her community.

Blessings in a Backpack

Gold Award Girl Scout Kaitlyn, in partnership with organization Blessings in a Backpack, sought to supply underserved families in her community with healthy, reliable food over the weekend. Kaitlyn, to earn the Gold Award, brought the national program to her school and provided food for students at Wheaton Elementary School! She was featured on WGN Radio– listen to learn more about her project!

Bags for Foster Care

Girl Scout Morgan’s Gold Award endeavor focused on providing children in foster care with belongings of their own. For her Gold Award, and in order to bring more awareness to foster care and adoption processes, Morgan compiled and delivered 60 bags for children in foster care including toiletries and comfort items for them to keep and cherish. The project continues to be carried on by her Service Unit!

Board Book Drive

pile of story books

To earn her Gold Award, Girl Scout Mia coordinated a board book drive between the Advocate Children’s Hospital Resource Center, the Glenview Public Library, and the bookstore the Book Market, to provide children’s books for the Resource Center. She regularly collected books from the library and bookstore and helped set up a “book nook,” a mobile bookshelf wheeled into children’s rooms at the hospital. Due to her efforts, they received over 200 books in total!

Supplies for Foster Care

Gold Award Girl Scout Lauren, also in an effort of providing resources to children in the foster care system, earned her Gold Award by collecting needed donations for the kids, including toiletries, clothing, blankets, hats, gloves, and flashlights. In her community, Lake County, she was able to reach many kids and provide them with new supplies collected just for them.

A Home Away from Home

Gold Award Girl Scout Elizabeth, in collaboration with Ronald McDonald House Charities, sought to bring comfort to families staying near Comer Children’s Hospital in Chicago, IL. With the help of her community, Elizabeth was able to donate family games, craft kits, and comfort items for families to enjoy. She also hosted a McDonald’s night to educate her community on Ronald McDonald House Charities.

Comfort for Family Court

brown bear plush toy on white surface

Before Girl Scout Alyssa got to the scene, there was no steady supply of comfort items available for children in family court in Chicago, an experience that can be frightening without an object to hold for a sense of security. To solve this issue, Alyssa created a supply chain for comfort items, like stuffed animals, to be distributed to children undergoing family legal processes in the city, of which more than 1,000 kids are seen a year.

Diabetes Awareness

Girl Scout Sydney’s mission was to raise awareness on the medical condition Diabetes. To earn her Gold Award, Sydney created informational pamphlets to hand out to community members, as well as presented information on the condition, how to live with it, and how to prevent it. Her presentation reached over 75 people in her community!

Adeline’s JR. High Survival Guide

Gold Award Girl Scout Adeline took her efforts to YouTube, creating her very own channel and series “Junior High School Survival Guide.” Topics range from body confidence (shown above), social media, friendships, and much more, and Adeline worked with a counselor and CEO of a local youth organization to ensure the channel can be a safe, trusted resource for middle schoolers. Make sure to check out her YouTube channel to learn more about her project!

Strength in Girls

Nikhila, to earn her Gold Award, focused on the empowerment and education of young girls on the subject of mental health. Partnering with the In Her Shoes Foundation, Nikhila presented at several galas and other workshops in order to raise awareness about the stigma around mental health, particularly for women and girls. She has been able to help over 200 girls through her presentations!

The Mark of the Truly Remarkable

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We extend our sincerest congratulations to these girls and all Gold Award Girl Scouts this year!

Want to share pictures of your project with us? Post on social media and use the #GCNWIGoldAward! You can also download these images to share your Girl Scout Gold Award pride.

Look out for next week’s 2020 Gold Award Spotlight! Catch up on the series on our blog.

2020 Gold Award Spotlight: Part 2!

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Gold Award Girl Scouts don’t just change the world for the better, they change it for good. The mark of the truly remarkable, the Gold Award is earned by Girl Scout Seniors and Ambassadors who demonstrate extraordinary leadership in their neighborhoods, nations, and the world.

We continue honoring the Gold Award Class of 2020 from Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GSGCNWI), and this week, we’ll be learning all about the girls whose Gold Awards centered on the arts and interpersonal relationships. Read on to meet these impressive young women!

Mural for Our Lady of the Sioux Prayer Circle

In partnership with the Parish of Our Lady of the Sioux, located in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, Gold Award Girl Scout Clara designed and created a mural for their parish grounds. Working with the parishioners, Clara incorporated Native American imagery and live flowers in her work, all in the aims of creating a beautiful symbol of worship for the people of the parish.

The CURE

Gold Award Girl Scout Elizabeth’s initiative started as a pro-kindness presentation to students at her school and continues as an established school club. For her project, which was awarded a Power of the Children award by the Indianapolis Children’s Museum in 2017, Elizabeth spoke to her classmates, developed a website, and installed a sign in her school. Her project is sure to have an impact on countless students for years to come!

A Lesson in Japanese American History

Gold Award Girl Scout Elyse earned her award by developing a history lesson plan designed to educate high school students about the process, development, and effects of mass hysteria in the United States before, during, and after the Second World War. Elyse’s curriculum focused on the Japanese American experience, and how a single group of people was discriminated against based on fear.

Adding Dazzle to the Special Stars

Gold Award Girl Scout Rebecca saw the need to add some dazzle to the special needs program at the local dance studio Special Stars—so she acted. Rebecca’s efforts to expand their curriculum culminated in brand-new lesson plans for differently-abled dancers, and she was able to teach 8 students in her class on a regular basis.

Standby Project Playhouse

Rebekah, inspired by her own experience as an actor, earned her Gold Award by developing an enriching curriculum for students at Children’s Playhouse. She knew that show directors always have their hands full and that older kids had trouble staying engaged in the program. To solve this challenge, Rebekah created a new curriculum for older students, which is now being used in a new class!

Our War Against Mental Illness

decorative pebbles

Gold Award Girl Scout Monica believes “it only takes a few kind words to have an everlasting impact on someone’s self-esteem.” To spread this message to her community, she engaged them in activities, encouraging others to spread kindness and positivity. Together, Monica and her community painted kindness rocks and positive phrases in her high school’s bathroom.

Puppet Show for Church

For Girl Scout Hailey, getting involved with her local parish in the form of theater was the focus of her Gold Award. Hailey built a puppet theater, wrote scripts coordinated to the day’s Sunday school lessons, and she drew quite a crowd for the final puppet show! Hailey said the best part was interacting with the kids in her parish.

Art for Kids

green white and yellow car print textile

“As someone who has benefited greatly from a strong arts education,” Gold Award Girl Scout Audrey says, “[I] sought to address the issue of fine arts education funding by providing supplies for local Chicago Public Schools.” In partnership with the Schools Count Corporation and other community organizations, Audrey founded Art for Kids, a multi-district wide annual art supply drive, collecting an estimated $5,000 worth of supplies to benefit 14 different schools in Chicago.

Music Therapy Awareness

Gold Award Girl Scout Bailey saw the need to raise awareness about the benefits of music therapy as a form of treatment for people with disabilities, so in response, she created over 200 pamphlets and a YouTube video to do just that. In preparation, she was guided by a professional music therapist and sat in during several of his classes. Every pamphlet of hers was picked up by the schools, libraries, and offices in which she left them.

Middle School Band Promotional Video

Girl Scout Bria’s Gold Award had two major components: the making of a promotional video to encourage elementary students in her area to join the Brooks Middle School band, and leading students and scouts in the refurbishing of the band’s display case. The video continues to be shown in elementary schools to inform students on what brand has to offer, and her efforts have overall improved the marketing of the band to the community!

Project Dandelion

Gold Award Girl Scout Therese knows how difficult it can be to find information about sexual violence on college campuses, and she feels that “everyone needs to feel safe at the school they choose to spend years attending.” Her vision culminated in the first resource of it’s kind, a database organizing information, resources, and statistics concerning sexual violence at colleges and universities in Illinois. Currently, the project encompasses every college in Illinois and is being continued in the future by the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

The Mark of the Truly Remarkable

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The Gold Award is the standout achievement of girls who develop meaningful, sustainable solutions to challenges in their communities and the world. These girls each have completed anything but a one-time service project, but have changed the world in tangible and lasting ways.

We extend our sincerest congratulations to these girls and all Gold Award Girl Scouts this year!

Want to share pictures of your project with us? Post on social media and use the #GCNWIGoldAward! You can also download these images to share your Girl Scout Gold Award pride.

Look out for next week’s 2020 Gold Award Spotlight!

2020 Gold Award Spotlight: Part 1!

The Gold Award, the highest award a Senior or Ambassador Girl Scout can earn, is no easy feat. As any Gold Award Girl Scout knows, the project requires hours upon hours of time, plenty of resources and community outreach, and a lot of heart.

Now, after months of thinking up big ideas, planning them out, and following through, it is time to celebrate the amazing achievements of our Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GCNWI) Gold Award Class of 2020!

This week, we are featuring girls whose projects focused on animal rights, public safety, and sports. Read on to learn all about these impressive girls and their projects.

Power to the Bees

Mason Bees, like the other 4,000 bee species native to North America, are small but mighty creatures that are critically endangered. Girl Scout Shannon from Barlett, IL, for her Gold Award, decided to bring more awareness to the movement toward saving bees from extinction by bringing “Power to the Bees.”

She created a home for bees at the Willowbrook Wildlife Center, and has plans to build another with a display board inside their main building with more information on Mason Bees.

Cage Free Cat Room

In partnership with the People’s Animal Welfare Society of Tinley Park, Gold Award Girl Scout Alicia from Wheaton, IL, created a cage-free cat room. “A cage-free cat room creates a comfortable environment for the cats,” Alicia explained, “and leads to a greater chance of being adopted.”

She built and installed five shelves and cubbies for the kitties to climb on and sleep in, and her project helped those cats and many more find forever homes!

Pantry for Pets

Girl Scout Eileen saw the need for pet supplies in her community of Park Ridge, IL, and in response, crafted her Gold Award plan to fill that gap.

For “Pantry for Pets,” Eileen collected over 500 donations from different collection sites and donated them to a food pantry, eventually serving over 100 people! Eileen then donated the rest of the supplies to a few different animal shelters.

Picture Perfect Adoption

Combining her passion for photography and her love for animals, Girl Scout Marley teamed up with the Naperville Area Humane Society. Marley photographed over 130 pets over a seven-month span, edited the photos, created profile sheets, and shared those photos on social media to help the pups and cats get adopted in loving homes!

She STILL goes every week and takes pictures of the pets, and all 5 “veteran” dogs that had been at the shelter for a year or more were adopted!

Redecorating the Meeting Room!

Girl Scout Sophia from Lockport, IL, in hopes of getting more dogs adopted from the All Herding Breed Dog Rescue, decided to dedicate her Gold Award to refurbishing their meeting room.

She got to work, repainting the walls with a mural of a dog park and adding vinyl flooring, making the room cleaner and more welcoming, a great way to support the shelter and spread awareness for rescue and herding dogs.

Ga-ga Ball Pit

For her Gold Award, Girl Scout Katrina decided to design AND build a Ga-ga ball pit for a park in the Village of Antioch, IL.

Gaga Ball is a fast-paced high energy game played in an octagonal pit, similar to dodgeball, but you need a little more skill. She built the pits in hopes of benefitting the village’s preschool and summer camps. She also hopes it will increase the park’s future usage!

Woof@Wicker

Dog park

Girl Scout Amanda’s Gold Award “Woof@Wicker” consisted of a one-two punch: a campaign to raise funds for new equipment at the Wicker Memorial Dog Park in Highland, IN, and an educational component to teach youth about responsible pet ownership!

Amanda, after welcoming her community to a ribbon-cutting ceremony to introduce the new park equipment, presented her knowledge on pet care to a large group of youth in the area.

The Equestrian Connection

Volunteer — Equestrian Connection

Girl Scout Emma, from Lake Bluff, IL, after seeing the need for the therapy barn at Equestrian Connection to have outdoor activities, combined her passion for horse riding and helping people with special needs.

After researching and planning hands-on sensory activities for therapy riders on horseback, she installed four multi-sensory outdoor games. Equestrian Connection serves riders from more than 70 cities throughout Illinois, Wisconsin, and several surrounding states, so her games are sure to add fun and learning for riders for years to come!

Flight from Threatened Livelihood

Girl Scout Nicole, from Palatine, IL, transformed her Gold Award vision into a reality by building a Monarch Waystation to support one of the world’s greatest natural wonders: the annual migration of Monarch butterflies.

The garden she constructed provides the nourishment necessary to help sustain the migration, with 14 different host and nectar plants that also bring benefits to the surrounding preserve. Her project also included an informational booth on the site of the Barrington Area Conservation Trust.

Bike Helmet Safety for Adults & Kids

Girl Scout Jessica, from Oak Park, IL, has always worn a helmet, but when she learned that not everyone in her community has the same habit, she decided to dedicate her Gold Award to spreading awareness about bike safety.

After surveying 169 adults and students in her area, she partnered with a bike shop and two police organizations and attended two local community events, presenting a pledge for everyone to sign.

Going, Going, Gold!

Girl Scout Seniors and Ambassadors who set out to earn the Gold Award take community service to the next level—tackling issues that are dear to them and driving meaningful and lasting change in their communitiesand beyond.

We extend our sincerest congratulations to these girls and all Gold Award Girl Scouts this year! Want to share pictures of your project with us? Post on social media and use the #GCNWIGoldAward! You can also download these images to share your Girl Scout Gold Award pride.

Stay tuned for next week’s 2020 Gold Award Spotlight!

Gold Award Spotlight: Meet the 2019 Recipients, Part 2!

The Gold Award Equation

80 Girl Scouts + 6,400+ service hours = amazing projects that create impact in our community.

The Gold Award is the highest award a Girl Scout can earn. The Gold Award projects from our 2019 class impacted many different aspects of communities both in Chicago-land and abroad. Girl Scouts created projects that focused on health education, environmental protection, exposure to STEM, child literacy, and so much more. Providing an everlasting effect on communities was something each girl worked hard to achieve and they all succeeded.

Assist us on congratulating this hard working group of Gold Award Girl Scouts! View the photo album and program booklet from this year’s recognition ceremony.

Don’t miss out on meeting the previously featured Gold Award Girls Scouts!
Part One: Meet the first 10 girls (last names A-B) »

Part Two: Meet 10 Gold Award Girl Scouts

Continue to follow along to meet more Gold Award girls throughout this blog series!

DeVonna B.

DeVonna’s project was a series of videos on a YouTube channel she created called S.C.A.L.E. which stands for Sickle Cell Awareness and Lifestyle Empowerment. The videos were created to educate the general public about Sickle Cell Disease, and to give those who suffer from the disease tips and tricks to ease symptoms and improve treatment.

LaTosha Desiree B.

LaTosha created educational videos about living with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. For example, how to check their blood sugar and what to do when your blood sugar is high or low. She hosted two events where girls watched the video and were challenged to make smoothies under 30 carbohydrates. The girls were given hands-on experience administering shots of Insulin and Lantus into grapes. View LaTosha’s videos.

Kaitlyn Elizabeth B.

Kaitlyn created science videos aimed to help fifth graders gain a better understanding of multiple STEM topics in a fun and engaging way. Along with her videos, she created instructions for household science experiments so children can practice STEM using items from around their home! With the help of her family and adviser, she created these videos for several middle schools.

Gillian B.

Gillian built a three-bin composter, hand-washing station, and website with a seed donation platform for an urban community garden in Maywood, Illinois. She worked closely with Maywood community activists—Proviso East High School student volunteers, Proviso Partners for Health, and Chicago Botanic Gardens—to empower citizens and offer support and introduce healthy lifestyle practices in a historically marginalized, food desert community.

Lindsey M. B.

Lindsey’s Gold Award, For the Love of Adler, raised community awareness for the David Adler Cultural Center. In 2019 the center is celebrating the 100-year mark of the estate. For this project she used her love of the arts and talent for research to make professional and educational brochures. She worked with the staff and historians to create a brochure with a timeline, organizational history, biography of Mr. Adler, historical pictures, and the center’s current mission.

Alita C.

Alita’s Gold Award project provided gardening experience that enriched and benefited the health and lives of clients at St. Agnes Adult Day Service Center. She enriched their lives through gardening in a raised bed.

Tiffany Diane C.

Tiffany Diane’s project helped families from homeless shelters receive basic toiletries needed for everyday living. She held a donation drive dinner where more than 250 people were in attendance. This project had such a huge impact on the community that other organizations will be presenting their own donation drives in years to come.

Kourtney C.

Less than half of people practicing in the STEM field are females. Kourtney’s project addressed this issue by spreading the word to girls about how fun and rewarding STEM can be. She did this through planning and executing a STEM workshop for 4th and 5th grade girls, maintaining a Facebook and Instagram page, and delivering information about STEM to Housing Opportunities.

Sofia C.

Sofia created 80 literacy reading kits for children in Pre-K through grade 8 that utilize the Libertyville Township food pantry. She worked with literacy experts, librarians, and her project adviser to create these kits (that contained a book, resources sheet, parent guide, stuffed animal (for the younger kids), journal and dictionary (for the older kids), and fun things like stickers and bookmarks. She will continue her project by creating a three year cycle which the Libertyville Township will take over and fund.

Lauren L. D.

For her Gold Award, Lauren trained her dog to become a therapy dog, and worked with him to receive his certification. She took her dog to many places once he was certified, including nursing homes to help the residents with loneliness, schools to help reduce stress, and a day camp to educate kids about therapy dogs and other types of working animals.

Girl Scouts Highest Awards

Bronze. Silver. Gold. These represent the highest honors a Girl Scout can earn.

All three awards give you the chance to do big things while supporting an issue you care about. You might plant a community garden at your school or inspire others to eat healthy foods for your Bronze, advocate for animal rights for your Silver, or build a career network that encourages girls to become scientists and engineers for your Gold. Whatever you choose, you’ll inspire others (and yourself). 

As you earn one of Girl Scouts’ highest awards, you’ll change your corner of the world—and beyond. The possibilities are endless.

Learn more about earning the Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards.

Gold Award Spotlight: Meet the 2019 Recipients

Join Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana in congratulating the 2019 class of Gold Award Girl Scouts! In this eight-part blog series, we will highlight the projects from all of our Gold Award recipients!

The Ceremony: A Recap

On Saturday, May 18, 2019 friends, family and supporters gathered to honor and celebrate the accomplishments of 80 young women as they officially became Gold Award Girl Scouts. At the annual ceremony, girls received their Gold Award Pin, patch and certificate and were honored by our CEO, Nancy Wright, and Board President, Kathy Scherer. Attendees were also treated to an empowering “Words of Inspiration” speech by Girl Scout Alum and U.S. Coast Guard Commander Zeita Merchant.

This year, each of the girls worked through projects focusing on a variety of topics such as child-literacy, women in STEM, environmental conservation, homelessness/poverty, civic issues, animal rights and more. As a group, these young women spent more than 6,400 hours taking action in their communities all to make a lasting, sustainable difference on issues they saw with their own eyes.

Please join us in congratulating this outstanding group of Gold Award Girl Scouts. View photos from this year’s Gold Award Ceremony in our photo album on Facebook.

To learn more about Gold Award projects, check out the informational program booklet on our website.

Meet 10 Gold Award Girl Scouts

Continue to follow along to meet more Gold Award girls throughout this blog series!

Samantha A.

Samantha started the campaign “#sayno2straws.” Along with the hashtag, she created a website, Instagram hashtag, and promotional video and educated girls at the Bolingbrook Jamboree on the importance of using sustainable products. Later, she made a speech and showed her video to the whole camp to raise awareness for her project and spread the word of sustainability.

Melanie Elizabeth A.

For her Gold Award, Melanie Elizabeth hosted a culinary class for girls in grades 4 through 8. During the class she taught them basic and necessary cooking skills. Putting what they learned in action, she had them practice on fruits and vegetables. She also taught them how to make a pizza from scratch, and finished the class by making smoothies and veggie plates.

Maeve A.

Maeve’s Gold Award project focused on improving mental health education. She worked with Erika’s Lighthouse and Our Lady of Humility Primary School in Beach Park to create a program that could be delivered to 7th and 8th graders preparing for high school. The main focus of the program was to teach girls how to be aware of their own feelings and how to cope with stress.

Kendra A.

Kendra’s project was geared toward helping children undergoing chemotherapy. She created bags centered around making their first chemo visit a better experience for them and their families. The bags provided personal care items, books, toys and positive notes of support, and reached patients in Illinois, North and South Carolina, and Texas. Each bag had HOPE imprinted on them, the acronym standing for ‘Have Only Positive Expectations’.

Zoe B.

Zoe’s Gold Award project focused on community service. She worked with multiple organizations such as Disney, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. and local churches in order to obtain food and grooming supplies for homeless people in Chicago. These items were collected in bags and then distributed to the homeless men, women and children in or near Chicago.

Olivia B.

Olivia’s project was all about self love and appreciation. To combat negative self image and social comparison in young girls, Olivia sought to spread love not only in her school, but in her Glenview community using the campaign slogan “You Are Worthy.” She used brightly painted rocks to attract local pedestrians and put signs in various windows with the inspirational message “You Are Worthy.”

Sarah B.

For her Gold Award, Sarah gave back to her church by creating a place for the congregation to enjoy and feel more in touch with God. She worked with a group of volunteers to transform the old courtyard into a spectacular garden and place for prayer or meditation, in hopes of attracting butterflies and the eyes of the congregation.

Amanda Lynn B.

When Amanda started her Gold Award, she decided to focus on homelessness, specifically on the lack of access to education for homeless children. For her project, she started a tutoring program at a shelter in Joliet with a group of volunteers that she recruited. They helped the children with homework as well as played games with the younger kids.

Sarah B.

For Sarah’s Gold Award, she created a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, ART, and Math) event to inspire youth to see the bridge between STEM and the arts. Attendees participated in activities for each letter of STEAM and learned about different opportunities to put the right and left sides of their brain to work.

Mary Theresa B.

Mary’s Gold Award project was a reading mentorship program between local high school and elementary school students. At a local elementary school’s Learning Resource Center, high school students helped younger students with reading curriculum and developing positive, encouraging relationships. Her project was designed to improve literacy and foster a love of and confidence with reading.

Highest Awards

Bronze. Silver. Gold. These represent the highest honors a Girl Scout can earn.

All three awards give you the chance to do big things while supporting an issue you care about. You might plant a community garden at your school, or inspire others to eat healthy foods for your Bronze. You might advocate for animal rights for your Silver, or build a career network that encourages girls to become scientists and engineers for your Gold. Whatever you choose, you’ll inspire others (and yourself). 

As you earn one of Girl Scouts’ highest awards, you’ll change your corner of the world—and beyond. The possibilities are endless.