This Gold Award Girl Scout Doesn’t Have to Prove Herself to Anyone

This Gold Award Girl Scout Doesn’t Have to Prove Herself to Anyone

When people hear I’m a Gold Award Girl Scout, they often say things like, “Oh, that’s so cute that you were a Girl Scout!” But for me, Girl Scouting is way more than a collection of cute badges, and it definitely isn’t a thing of the past. It’s a big part of who I am today.

A lot of people can say they have what it takes to identify problems, come up with innovative solutions, and create real, lasting change—but as a Gold Award Girl Scout, I have proof that I have all those qualities and know how to put them to good use. That distinction might not seem major, but when it’s come to opening doors for my education and career, it’s made a really big difference.

In terms of it-literally-paid-off type benefits, being a Gold Award Girl Scout has gotten me around $18,000 in college scholarships to help pay for my education at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. Beyond that, I landed a competitive internship in a traditionally male-dominated field—environmental engineering—without even needing to interview with the supervisors because I had this distinction on my resume.

The funny thing is that the work I completed to earn my Gold Award was focused around bringing robotics to physically disabled kids—it seriously had nothing to do with environmental engineering or mining! But that didn’t and doesn’t matter, because when college admissions officers and employers learn you’re a Gold Award Girl Scout, they know you have passion, professionalism, and follow-through, no matter what project you decide to take on.

In terms of less tangible but possibly even more valuable benefits, becoming a Gold Award Girl Scout gave me the confidence to know I can overcome hurdles and to not let some of the sexism I’ve dealt with in my field get to me. When guys from antiquated backgrounds try to say I don’t belong or I’m not good enough, they’re trying to break me down and make me doubt my own abilities. But with my background and the accomplishments I racked up on the road to achieving my Gold Award, I know better. I’ve not only proven to the world that I’m capable and strong—I’ve proven it to myself.