recent gold award recipients

recent gold award recipients





The Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest and most prestigious award that Girl Scout Seniors and Ambassadors can earn.  A project must involve a minimum of 80 hours for the following steps: identifying an issue, investigating it thoroughly, getting help and building a team, creating a plan, presenting your plan, gathering feedback, taking action, and educating and inspiring others. It is more than just a good service project – it encompasses organizational, leadership, and networking skills.  The following are the projects of the girls who most recently have earned the Girl Scout Gold Award.


Clara C.
Clara has lived in Arcadia her whole life and has fond memories of time spent as a Girl Scout and recognizes the importance of productive, meaningful and fun troop meetings.  Wishing to have a positive impact on the Girl Scout Leadership Experience for both current and future girls, she focused on the significance of learning proper flag ceremonies and other traditions.  She connected with other girls currently using the Arcadia Girl Scout House, noted their wish lists and organized a makeover to meet their needs into the future.  Clara more formally enhanced the flag pole area allowing for a vastly improved and usable flag circle for girls to learn and practice a proper flag ceremony.  She also replaced lighting to better serve girls using the facility.  The aim of this project was to benefit girls using the facility while improving the image of Girl Scouting in the community.

“I felt empowered when I first realized I could actually make a big change in my community. After I completed my project, I couldn't picture it any other way.”


Katie D.
Katie designed a two-part project to help middle-school youth develop healthy relationships and self-esteem. She organized, wrote and led a weekly six-month program called “Hangout,” focusing on character development, friends, and family.  This involved the development of lesson plans and the organization and editing of presentation and teaching materials.   She also created "Girl Power,” a two-day retreat just for girls. The event reached over 20 middle school-aged girls, including several Girl Scout troops and students from her church.  It emphasized the importance of recognizing personal beauty and inner strength through several interactive mini-sessions. Both programs reinforced values that will last into the future.

“The challenges of completing this project has reinforced that I will be able to do even bigger things throughout my life.”



Katherine G.
Katherine considers herself a small-town Girl Scout who wants to make a difference in her community.  Upon completion of the Gold Award workshop, Katherine was determined to make her project benefit other Girls Scouts into the future.  She focused on the need to provide improved meeting areas both outdoors and indoors at the Arcadia Girl Scout House.  She went to work and addressed both of these issues.  She created a more formal outdoor meeting place to introduce the Girl Scout Leadership Experience to girls complete with picnic tables.  The inside meeting area was freshened up with a new coat of paint.

“I hope to inspire other Girl Scouts to realize they can make a difference in their community and the world, and encourage them to complete their Gold Award.”





Kathryn H.
Kathryn has been a Girl Scout for 12 years, since first grade. She is one of the Teen Volunteer Coordinators for our council, and manages their weekly volunteer efforts.  She currently attends Pine View School, and will attend the University of Alabama next year. She plans to major in environmental engineering.  With an understanding of the importance of literacy, the aim of her project, the “Children's Exchange Library,” was to increase access to reading materials in the Old Miakka Community. The members of this community have to drive almost thirty minutes to get to the nearest public library. To combat this, she established a Children's Exchange Library at Old Miakka United Methodist Church. Kathryn collected children's books, built the bookshelf, and stocked the shelves with books, and the library was open for business. Now children from around the area come to the church on Wednesday nights to exchange their old books for new ones.


“I have felt empowered to make a difference through my efforts in the community and hope I inspired others, who share or want to share a similar passion, to take on their own projects or take steps to improve literacy rates in children.”


Jessica M.
From the age of three, Jessica wanted to be a pediatrician. Upon entering high school, she took a CNA class and while working with seniors during her clinical hours, she discovered the need for her project “Warming Hearts and Laps.”  Jessica, focused on this need, reached out to Hardee Manor, a local nursing home, and made lap quilts for every resident.  Through her Gold Award experience, Jessica demonstrated her ability to identify community issues and became a resourceful problem solver and advocate for others.  These traits are important as she continues her education at Florida Atlantic University as a pre-med student, majoring in Biology with plans to transfer to the University of South Florida to complete a double major in Pre-med and American Sign Language. Upon graduation, Jessica aspires to have her own pediatric practice to accommodate both the deaf and hearing.


“While working on this project I met many new people who have made a great impact on my life and gained leadership skills and sewing skills that I will remember for the rest of my life. I hope other girls working on their Gold Award have the same life changing experience I have experienced.”


Casey O.
While researching meaningful projects for her Gold Award, Casey learned of families in Appalachia, Kentucky who live with hardships and 3rd world living conditions daily and knew she wanted to make a difference.  Through her project “Children of the Mountains” she coordinated a clothing drive striving to lend assistance to the families of Appalachia, while promoting unity and a sense of community in our own country.  She used grass root efforts, social media and word of mouth to organize her efforts and encourage donations.  When confronted with unanticipated transportation and delivery costs, she worked through a solution and didn’t waver.

“I have become aware of the world around me and I have learned how to motivate and encourage others to lend a helping hand.”




Gillian P.
Gillian always knew, even as a little girl, that she would one day achieve her Gold Award.  Through her project “TLC for OLQM” she not only met her goal of a Gold Award, but also improved the overall appearance of classrooms at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Church.  As a student attending classes in the rooms since she was four, she recognized the current conditions were a constant distraction to those utilizing the areas.  She managed a makeover project complete with volunteer recruitment and organization of materials necessary to accomplish the task.  The finished result of Gillian’s project was not merely improved facilities, but also improved morale and inspiration for other youth in the church to take action.


“My gold award made me take on challenges I would not have otherwise taken on.  This type of real world experience taught me countless skills.”


Claudia P.
Claudia is a senior at Mariner High School where she served as the captain of the varsity cheerleading team.  She currently serves as a Girl Representative on the Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida Board of Directors and in 2011 served as a National Delegate at the Girl Scout National Convention in Houston, Texas.   Through her project “One Drop, One Life” Claudia addressed the issue of blood and plasma shortages in Lee County.  She met with other Girl Scout Senior troops, civic clubs and community organizations raising awareness of the issue and encouraging them to donate.  She organized multiple blood drives and donation sights benefiting those in need.  Claudia’s involvement resulted in a long-term impact in her community, and Gavin’s Ace Hardware commitment to host future monthly blood drives.


“In my growth as a leader I have learned to get out in the world and spread the word about what I believe in.  As a result, all of my blood drives were successful and I couldn't be happier.”


Meghan W.
Meghan currently attends Ida S. Baker High School and is dual enrolled at Edison State College taking classes at night.  Her Gold Award “Project at Pine Manor” was inspired by her involvement in the school’s Medical and Educational Academies, and her future career path in Nursing.  She addressed the importance of proper nutrition and availability of fresh vegetables by planning, developing and growing a garden to help support the nutritional and financial needs of the Pine Manor Community.  Meghan recruited and instructed teens to assist with three above-ground gardens and seven tire gardens for planting.  Crops from the gardens, located at the Pine Manor Community Center, will be used for families participating in food preparation classes at the center, and for selling.  Teens trained through this process will continue to share their knowledge with adults and youth striving to improve healthy habits.


“It is great to know that through my project I have made a positive impact in a community and assisted families with better nutritional options that can continue through their involvement with this project.”