Trigger warning: This story contains references to an act of extreme violence against girls.
Female gendercide is a grave human rights violation that denies a girl her fundamental right to life. Gendercide is the deliberate killing of a female child either before birth through sex-selective abortion or after birth by abandonment and other forms of violence. It has claimed the lives of 160 million girls globally, more victims than World Wars I and II combined. It leads to declining female populations, an increase in crime and sex trafficking, the perpetuation of illiteracy and poverty, and economic labor market distortions.
For my Gold Award, I founded Save the Girl Child. I worked toward eradicating the practice of gendercide by providing targeted education and healthcare within communities where it continues to happen. I brought this support to girls in the refugee communities of Clarkston, Georgia; and Bhalswa Jahangir Pur, a district in Delhi, India.
Starting with one gendercide seminar, I grew a team of 75 people in two countries and became a brand ambassador for the Invisible Girl Project. My team led a social media campaign that acquired 7,000 followers. We educated 150 immigrant girls in science and reading camps in Clarkston and distributed 5,000 educational supply kits. We fundraised to set up five village schools in India with the Ekai Foundation that will provide free education for 225 girls. And we donated 1,900 vaccinations for infant girls through three medical camps hosted by Paras Hospital in Delhi.
By securing supply sponsorships from corporations (Target, Office Depot, Hobby Lobby, Walmart), leveraging connections with nonprofit organizations (SEND International, Friends of Refugees) and Indian NGOs (Care India, Society for Promotion of Woman and Child Welfare SPOWAC), my work in the target communities of Clarkston and Bhalswa Jahangir Pur is ongoing.
Achieving all of this in three years across two countries, I faced numerous obstacles. Gendercide is a multifactorial, charged issue that involves sex-selective abortion. Working to eradicate it is not easy, and I was met with skepticism. But every problem, no matter how large, I tackled bit by bit.
Through my commitment to earning my Gold Award, I went from being a quiet girl to a confident leader—one unafraid to take risks. While handling the roles of public speaker, graphic designer, blogger, community fundraiser, and social activist, I gained skills in problem-solving, critical thinking, and team leadership. I learned how to break down a large-scale project into manageable tasks, think it through from inception to endpoint, understand root causes, and implement workable solutions.
I learned that leadership is never a solo effort—it is a directed vision that inspires people to work for a cause collectively. My interactions with girls from different socioeconomic backgrounds gave me empathy, greater cultural and global awareness, an understanding of what poverty truly means, and how illiteracy hinders social progress for families and nations. My project also opened doors to other opportunities: women’s health research at the Morehouse School of Medicine, leadership in the Metro Atlanta Youth Commission working on city reform, and life lessons from women leaders through Camp CEO.
I feel grateful for what I have, and I learned I must strive to always help those less fortunate than I am. Girl Scouts and my Gold Award have given me unequivocal knowledge of my skillset. It has shaped my character and given me full confidence that I can successfully create impactful change in the world.
Grace founded Step By Step Tutoring Inc. to boost education equity and earn the Girl Scout Gold Award.
Alice wrote and directed a play focused on the mental health issues young people face and earned the Girl Scout Gold Award.