Girl Scouts of North East Ohio recognized 58 Girl Scouts on June 15 in Akron for achieving the Gold Award, which is the highest, most prestigious recognition a girl may earn in Girl Scouts.
The Gold Award is earned individually by girls in grades 9 through 12. All projects must be approved by a volunteer Gold Award Review Committee, and the award is a national one.
Since 1916, the Gold Award has stood for excellence and leadership for girls everywhere. The Gold Award project challenges girls to identify an unmet need or core issue in their community, research and investigate it, recruit volunteers and build a team to create a plan to address the issue or need.
The plan, called a Gold Award proposal, is submitted to council for approval by a committee of volunteers. Only about 5 percent of eligible girls take the rigorous path toward earning the award, according to Jane Christyon, CEO for Girl Scouts of North East Ohio.
“Their projects have a lasting impact locally, nationally, and globally in environmental awareness, special needs populations, healthy living, community improvements and more,” Christyon said.
An increasing number of colleges and universities have recognized the achievements and leadership abilities of Girl Scout Gold Award recipients by establishing scholarship programs for them. Girls who have earned the Girl Scout Gold Award often enter the four branches of the United States Armed Services at an advanced level and salary, having been recognized for their level of leadership shown in earning the Girl Scout Gold Award.
Seven local girls received the Gold Award at the June 15 ceremony, including:
- Cassie Allen of Boardman, a graduate of Boardman High School, has been a Girl Scout for 12 years. For her Gold Award project, she chose to act upon the issue of dog abuse by donating 50 bags that included a leash, collar, ball, Frisbee, homemade dog treats and a flier that warned about the lasting effects of dog abuse and also a few tips on how to begin caring for a new pet. The bags were then donated to the Trumbull County Humane Society, and each person who adopts a dog from the Humane Society will be given the choice to take a specific bag based on size and gender of their new friend free of charge. She plans to major in computer science at Youngstown State University in the fall
- Daisy Corso of Boardman, a graduate of Boardman High School, has been a Girl Scout for six years. For her Gold Award project, Corso built a 24 x 17 square-foot butterfly garden at Williamson Elementary School in Youngstown. The butterfly garden takes its role as an outdoor classroom setting for the young children to broaden their education about the environment. Corso also created an environmentally friendly, informative brochure to assist teachers while educating students about the importance of keeping the environment safe and clean for years to come. Corso will be attending Youngstown State University in the fall, majoring in interdisciplinary studio art.
- Kaitlyn Emery of Boardman, a graduate of Boardman High School, has been a Girl Scout for 12 years. For her Gold Award project, Emery made 73 pillows to donate to Akron Children’s Hospital in Boardman. To help raise awareness and funding for her project, Emery held a carnival at a local church for other Girl Scout troops and children in her community. She plans to attend Kent State University in the fall, where she will major in nursing with a minor in Spanish. After receiving her degree in nursing, she hopes to become a nurse anesthetist.
- Trisha Mullen of Warren joined Girl Scout Troop 80669 as a Brownie in the 3rd grade and has been involved for more than 10 years. Mullen’s Gold Award project, “Boys Dating, and Handbags” was an all-day program aimed at teaching young girls in grades 6 through 12 about boys, dating and being responsible. “A lot of girls today really don’t know what dating is about, and I have seen too many girls from my school and even in my own troop lower their own standards just for one guy who was treating them badly. I even went through this myself growing up and I really wanted to show these girls that dating is more than just having a boyfriend or being with the cutest guy, and that it’s ok to be single,” Mullen explained of her project. She plans to attend Youngstown State University to major in early childcare education.
- Miranda Parke of Cortland is a 2013 graduate of Maplewood High School. She was salutatorian of her class and graduated with honors. She has been a Girl Scout since the 3rd grade. For her Gold Award project, Miranda chose to tackle the community problem of education and created a free, bi-weekly tutoring program for her school.
- Erin Pavick of Cortland, a graduate of Maplewood High School, has been a Girl Scout for 11 years. Cancer patients undergoing treatment at the Cleveland Clinic and their families benefited from her Gold Award project. Pavick planned and held a 5-K race and 1-mile fun run to raise awareness and funds to buy needed items for the Cleveland Hope Lodge. The Hope Lodge allows patients and their families a free place to stay while they go through treatment. She was able to donate more than $2,000 worth of items to the Hope Lodge from their “Wish List.” She plans to attend Cleveland State University to study exercise science.
- Jessica Shobel of Boardman is a senior attending Mahoning County Career and Technical Center. She is in the automotive technology program and has been the president of her class for the past two years. She is also completing an internship at Christmas Automotive.Shobel has been a Girl Scout for 12 years. She selected the park to be the recipient of her Gold Award project. The toddler section didn’t have eating areas for children, so she met with park staff to learn the needs and requirements necessary to build tables for the area. After graduation, she plans to attend Walsh University to further her education by earning a Bachelor’s degree in museum studies with a double major in history.