Girl Scouts Honor Girl Scout Gold Award Young Women of Distinction

March 2, 2004

Each year, Girl Scouts of the USA honors 10 young women from across the nation for their leadership and dedication to community service. Recognized as Girl Scout Gold Award Young Women of Distinction, these teens head up projects that have had far-reaching effects on their communities.

Marking the fifth annual Girl Scout Gold Award Young Women of Distinction, honorees will formally be recognized on March for their accomplishments as part of a week-long trip in Washington, D.C. During this trip, sponsored by Delta Air Lines and GSUSA, girls will network with prominent women, speak with members of Congress about issues important to them, and be recognized by hundreds of Girl Scout executives.

For more information, reporters can call Ursula Castrillon at (212) 852-8132 or Torri Eubanks at (212) 852-5074.

Here is more information about the 2004 Girl Scout Gold Award Young Women of Distinction and their projects:

Photo of Sarrah.Sarrah, 17
Girl Scouts of Milwaukee Area, Inc.

This 17-year-old sought to embrace her identity as a Muslim teen in America. Not only did she find success for herself, but she created a forum for 150 Muslim teens to do the same. Sarrah's panel discussions gave Muslim teens an opportunity to talk about religious and social issues, and find ways to answer questions about their culture in a non-confrontational way.


Photo of Jessica.Jessica, 19
Girl Scouts of Shagbark Council

Saving the world is a huge feat for most, but this college freshman is taking it on one tree at a time. By planting over 100 trees and saving her local lake bank from erosion, Jessica's commitment to the environment will provide benefits for generations to come. Today, the previously barren area is an animal-friendly habitat.


Photo of Analucia.Analucia, 18
Girl Scout Council of Orange County

Getting into college is hard enough. Just combing through the numerous brochures, pamphlets, and financial aid documents can be difficult for anyone, especially if English isn't your first language. As a college-bound senior, Analucia translated these resources from English into Spanish to help make higher education accessible to all.


Photo of Leanna.Leanna, 19
Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council

Some people take their local library for granted, but not this college freshman. Leanna established her town's first local library and even cataloged more than 6,300 books to ensure its success. Today, the town of Bremond has a three-year provisional membership into the Texas Library system and a full-time librarian.


Photo of Ashleigh.Ashleigh, 19
Pines of Carolina Girl Scout Council
North Carolina

Self-esteem can be a major factor behind risky behaviors such as substance abuse and school drop-out. In response to the growing issue of low self-esteem, Ashleigh designed a workshop for girls ages 11-18 from six school districts and created a booklet with positive messages. Currently, the booklets are used at several schools, churches, and the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority in Georgia.


Photo of Lauren.Lauren, 19
Girl Scout Council of Coastal Carolina
North Carolina

After finding little information on her friend's Human Papillomavirus (HPV) diagnosis, Lauren decided to spearhead an educational campaign on the disease, which directly affects many young women her age. Lauren's campaign included discussion groups, health fair booths, and educational materials for young women ages 13-20. Today, she continues to work with the HPV Awareness Foundation to spread awareness on the causes of HPV and its connection to cervical cancer.


Photo of Jillian.Jillian, 18
Girl Scout Council of the Nation's Council

Her mother's diagnosis of breast cancer inspired Jillian to educate teens on the importance of early detection. Jillian taught teens about breast self-examinations and published a book of letters chronicling her mother's struggle with breast cancer. The booklet, which addresses breast cancer from a teenage daughter's perspective and shows how cancer affects the entire family, has significantly raised the public's awareness about breast cancer and ways to detect it.


Photo of Lauren.Lauren, 18
Girl Scout Council of
Buffalo & Erie County, Inc.
New York

As a martial arts black belt and instructor, Lauren recognizes the positive effect it can have on self-esteem. She developed a series of self-defense classes with homeless women living in a safe-haven shelter for victims of physical abuse. Lauren consulted with the Buffalo Police Department to determine the most common assaults against women before developing the course. The sessions have been so well received that the shelter continues offering the program.


Photo of Emily.Emily, 17
Sahuaro Girl Scout Council

Emily used her passion for film to address the escalating rise of eating disorders affecting today's teen girls. Finding that eating disorders are rarely openly discussed, Emily wrote and produced a 30-minute documentary video on the disease and created a forum to promote dialogue. The video, which shows interviews with survivors of anorexia and bulimia, has been circulated to teens in her community, as well as around the country.


Photo of Kelly.Kelly, 18
Girl Scouts of Buckeye Trails Council

After hearing inspirational words from her teacher and track coach, Kelly created a physical education curriculum for students with multidisabilities at her school. Kelly, who has Cerebral Palsy, created such a stellar program that it received full approval from the school system program. Her curriculum will become a permanent part of future classes.