2024 Gold Award Girl Scouts
Ainsley E.

Ainsley Ellis, an 18-year-old student at Lakewood Ranch High School, undertook the "Water Safety" project for her Girl Scout Gold Award, aiming to combat the lack of education surrounding water safety, which contributes to drowning incidents. She addressed this by creating a comprehensive website featuring crucial information on drowning prevention, rip currents, and diving risks, collaborating with various organizations and experts. To ensure sustainability, she researched reliable web hosting and actively promoted the website in the community. Ainsley measured the project's impact by tracking website traffic and engagement over time. Throughout the project, she learned valuable lessons in resilience, problem-solving, and the power of technology to bridge gaps and connect communities, ultimately empowering individuals with life-saving water safety knowledge.

“This experience has taught me the invaluable lesson that setbacks should not discourage me. Instead, they should serve as an incentive for resilience.”




Michaela F.

Michaela Fischer, a senior at The Canterbury School and a member of Girl Scout Troop 292, undertook the "In Their Honor" project for her Gold Award. Recognizing the need to raise awareness and honor Gold Star Families in Southwest Florida, Michaela created a public Gold Star Family Garden at Veterans Park and Recreation in Lehigh Acres. By collaborating with Lee County Parks and Recreation, Michaela designed and implemented a garden featuring a five-point star made of eastern gray granite, each point adorned with cast bronze insignias representing the five branches of the military. A plaque at the base of the star provides information about Gold Star Families and directs visitors to a website Michaela built, offering further education and tribute opportunities. Funding her project through personal savings, family contributions, and proceeds from the Girl Scout cookie program, Michaela measured her impact through website traffic, social media engagement, and feedback from Gold Star Families and community members. With hundreds of unique website visitors and heartfelt responses from visitors, Michaela successfully achieved her goal of raising public understanding and gratitude for local military heroes and Gold Star Families. Through her project, Michaela honored the sacrifice of fallen service members and fostered a deeper appreciation for their legacy within the community, leaving a lasting impact for years to come.

“Through this project, I learned about both my strengths and my weaknesses. I learned I am a powerful communicator. It was essential to continue open communication with my team even when we weren't actively working on the project.”




Sarah G.

Sarah Glass undertook the "Mindfulness Rooms" project for her Girl Scout Gold Award during her senior year at Bonita Springs High School. Recognizing the insufficient safe spaces for mental wellness education in alternative high school environments, Sarah addressed this issue by creating comfortable and welcoming mindfulness rooms in three ALS schools, equipped with materials like bean bag chairs, pillows, worksheets, posters, and brochures. She made the project sustainable by involving ALS schools to continue utilizing the spaces beyond her involvement. Sarah measured the impact through pre and post surveys on comfortability, coping skills, and mental health knowledge. Through this project, Sarah learned valuable lessons in time management, self-management, and discipline.

“I learned to be kind to myself and not put too much pressure on myself to complete the project as fast as possible. I focused on one small part at a time rather than the big picture.”



Kaitlyn J.

Kaitlyn Jadevaia, a senior from Riverview High School and Girl Scout Troop 459 in Sarasota, Florida, embarked on her Girl Scout Gold Award project titled "Taking Flight.” To address the lack of established milestones for families in grief therapy programs. Kaitlyn worked with the Blue Butterfly Family Grief Center to create a graduation step to make room for new families seeking support. Kaitlyn managed a team to develop various elements such as invitations, certificates, and an interactive art piece symbolizing progress. She measured impact through tangible outcomes like space creation for new families and attendance at the graduation ceremony. Blue Butterfly has agreed to continue implementing the graduation step permanently. Reflecting on her leadership journey, Kaitlyn learned the importance of empathy, time management, and adaptation to overcome obstacles. The project not only empowered families in their grief journey but also served as a testament to Kaitlyn's commitment to community service and personal growth.

“It's been an incredible process utilizing my creativity and leadership to make a positive impact on my community. And being able to give back to Blue Butterfly, an organization that provided support to my Mom and I during our darkest times, feels like the most meaningful way to express my gratitude for everything they have done for my family.”



Bryanna S.

Bryanna Sparks, a senior at Manatee High School, took on the challenge of addressing the lack of awareness and education surrounding maternal mental health with her Girl Scout Gold Award project titled "Maternal Mental Health Matters." Recognizing the root cause of this issue as the insufficient knowledge about perinatal mood disorders, Bryanna embarked on a mission to provide support and resources for new mothers in her community. By providing care packages filled with hygiene products and informational brochures to new mothers at Manatee Memorial Hospital, Bryanna sought to equip women with the knowledge and tools to recognize and manage maternal mental health challenges. Additionally, informational posters were strategically placed in local pediatric and OBGYN offices, the Manatee County Health Department, and stores frequented by new mothers to broaden awareness. Bryanna developed a dedicated website to ensure ongoing access to resources, thereby promoting long-term sustainability and support for maternal mental health initiatives. To ensure sustainability and measure her impact, Bryanna created a website including project details, additional resources, and a feedback form. Through her diligent efforts, Bryanna raised awareness and provided tangible support for maternal mental health, leaving a lasting impact on her community.

“I learned to improve my time management skills, and I also developed better communication and collaboration skills by leading a team and working with my project advisor.”



Gabriella S.

During her senior year at Sarasota High school, Gabriella Stafford created the "Equal Opportunity to Succeed" project for her Girl Scout Gold Award, aiming to address racial inequality within the education system, particularly in gifted programs. She identified the root cause as socioeconomic disparities, which result in the disproportionate placement of Black and Latino students in lower-level classes, leading to unequal access to quality education. Gabriella addressed this issue by creating a documentary and a website, featuring research, personal essays, and potential solutions for school administrators and parents. Gabriella measured the success of her project through consumer surveys and plans to continue promoting it through social media and local school networks. She learned valuable leadership skills, including project management, collaboration, and problem-solving, and gained confidence in pursuing her career goals in film production.

“I learned I have it in me to fully pursue my career. This experience gave me the confidence and affirmed my love and capability for film right before leaving for film school.”