National Young Women of Distinction

National Young Women of Distinction

Who are the National Young Women of Distinction (NYWOD)?
Every year, ten exceptionally inspiring Girl Scout Gold Award recipients are chosen as National Young Women of Distinction (NYWOD).

This honor is given to Girl Scout Seniors and Ambassadors whose Gold Award projects demonstrated extraordinary leadership, had a measurable and sustainable impact, and addressed a local challenge related to a national and/or global issue. These young women are taking matters into their own hands and being the change the world needs!

The NYWOD program perfectly reflects our mission of building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. The program provides these young stars with the opportunity to be an inspiration to girls around the world and throughout the Girl Scout Movement.

Did you know?

  • Most of the 2014 NYOWD represented GSUSA as speakers at a number of local and national events, including the Mothers of Invention Summit, International Day of the Girl, and at the National Historic Registry, just to name a few.
  • All selected NYWOD gain professional public speaking training.
  • NYWOD also have the opportunity to reach a larger national audience while highlighting the importance and impact of their project.
  • NYWOD are awarded college scholarships and other opportunities to help sustain their Gold Award projects.

How are the National Young Women of Distinction chosen?
Councils are asked to select their top three Gold Award recipients using Go Gold Online. Girl Scouts who would like their councils to consider nominating them as a National Young Woman of Distinction are required to use Go Gold Online. GSUSA then ensures a rigorous review process, during which each application is reviewed at least three to five times, first by GSUSA staff, then by an external panel of trusted partners, and finally through an intense, in-house staff review of the top candidates. We then work together to narrow down the list, and finally, GSUSA's internal NYWOD team selects the top ten.

When are the National Young Women of Distinction selected?
Each year the 10 new National Young Women of Distinction are announced during the first week of July. Councils will be asked to nominate candidates from April 15 through May 15 to be considered for this national distinction.

For more in-depth information on the nomination process, council staff can join GSUSA's National Young Women of Distinction Pearl community.

To find out more about the National Young Women of Distinction or to support the program, please contact us.

Watch more videos about previously Selected Young Women of Distinction and Hear Their Moving Stories!


Visit the Girl Scout Shop

Get great gifts for Highest Award recipients.



Join Now
Volunteer Now