Girl Scouts of the USA Unveils 2011 National Young Women of Distinction
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 7, 2011
Girl Scouts of the USA
New York, N.Y. — Girl Scouts of the USA, the premier leadership organization dedicated to building girls of courage, confidence and character, has unveiled its 2011 National Young Women of Distinction during an awards ceremony at the organization's national convention on Friday, November 11 in Houston, Texas. These 10 young ladies have earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award in Girl Scouting. Requirements for the award culminate, by completing a "take action" project that has made a measurable and sustainable difference in their communities.
Gold Award recipients have already changed the world – as high school students. The Gold Award honors leadership in the Girl Scout tradition: two-thirds of America's most accomplished women in public service are former Girl Scouts. The 2011 Girl Scout Gold Award recipients implemented diverse projects, ranging from raising teen awareness of Alzheimer's and the general public's awareness of child abuse, an after school teenage refugee program, a Holocaust documentary, and, a stethoscope sanitizer, to name a few.
The 2011 National Young Women of Distinction are as follows.
Girl Scouts Heart of Central California: Sacramento, California
Vrinda's after school tutoring program provides a safe haven for teenage refugees from Bhutan, Nepal, and India where they can make new friends, assimilate into a new culture and take weekend classes to keep up with their coursework. Vrinda's successful book drive resulted in a collection of thousands of books, enabling the establishment of 'mini-libraries' in participants' homes.
Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania: Miquon, Pennsylvania
Darragh oversaw all aspects of video production – interviews, editing, post-production – to produce an educational film spotlighting the testimonies of four elderly Holocaust survivors. Her documentary, which preserves stories about the mass genocide for future generation, has been shown at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute theater and in schools, retirement homes and synagogues.
Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio Council: Redlands, California
Antonia launched a successful Alzheimer's awareness program for teens, based on her first-hand experience with her grandmother. Speaking at public events, she shared her personal story regarding the disease and encouraged youth to volunteer at memory care facilities. Thanks to Antonia's efforts, the Five Star Club Senior Center has its first junior volunteer program.
Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey: Riverdale, New Jersey
After reading the fiction book, "Push," a story about a woman overcoming physical, mental and emotional abuse, Brianna was inspired to raise awareness about child abuse. She organized "Walk for Hope," a two-hour event that featured experts in government and non-profits educating individuals on child abuse and its warning signs, followed by a 1K walk. The mayor of Teaneck was so impressed with Brianna's campaign that he issued a proclamation making "Walk for Hope" an annual event.
Girl Scouts of Western Washington: Seattle, Washington
Megan instilled a sense of pride in male prisoners by encouraging them to knit hats, socks and blankets for homeless individuals and patients at Shriners Hospital. Since she was underage, Megan collaborated with prison staff providing an instructional video for the inmates to follow. Now that she's of legal age, Megan has met the men who participated in the program.
Girl Scouts of Arizona Cactus-Pine: Phoenix, Arizona
In spending time with the Honduras Girl Guides as part of a GSUSA and WAGGGS twinning project, Alexis learned about human trafficking. On returning home, she initiated a website – www.teensontrafficking.org – to educate youth on human trafficking, provide safety and prevention tips, and raise awareness about products that are a result of slave labor. Alexis' efforts have led to approximately 12,700 visits to her site.
Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama: Mobile, Alabama
Following a tragic loss in her community when a LifeFighter helicopter was unable to land in time to transport an accident victim, Erin made it her mission to raise awareness and funds to build a new helipad. She wrote articles for local newspapers, spoke with local businesses, presented her plan to the city council and raised the necessary funds, as well as provided instructions for maintaining the helipad. Erin's community will reap the benefits of this new structure for years to come.
Girl Scouts of Western Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Ariel designed a new and simple technique for sanitizing stethoscopes to minimize the risk of patient infections. She presented her methodology to 24 nursing units and promoted her method via posters, e-mail reminders and screen savers. Ariel also created a 'Golden Stethoscope' trophy for the nursing unit with the best cultures at the end of the study. She published her work in Family Practice magazine, and presented it at the International Screened and Engineering Fair.
Girl Scouts of Dakota Horizon: Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Noticing an increase in her community's homeless population, Annika designed pallets – bedrolls constructed from plastic grocery bags – to provide warmth to those in needed. She also put together an instructional video for creating these pallets. To date, more than 100 volunteers who made 38 pallets using 15,200 grocery bags.
Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois: Glen Carbon, Illinois
Dara collaborated with her school's guidance department to organize a career fair that included 60 diverse professionals and community partners. The event attracted 315 students interested in learning about different career paths and the educational requirements for securing related jobs. Dara also created a 'virtual career fair' connected to her school's website. To date, approximately 700 students have visited the site. Thanks to her efforts, the career fair will be offered annually with support from the guidance department.
"We celebrate these 10 inspiring young ladies for implementing community action projects that will serve those in need for years to come. These young ladies truly exemplify the Girl Scout motto of building girls of courage, confidence and character who make this world a better place," said Anna Maria Chávez, chief executive officer, Girl Scouts of the USA.
The 2011 National Young Women of Distinction program is made possible through support from Coca-Cola, Ford Motor Company and the Kappa Delta sorority.
About Girl Scouts
Founded in 1912, Girl Scouts of the USA is the preeminent leadership development organization for girls with 3.4 million girl and adult members worldwide. Girl Scouts is the leading authority on girls' healthy development, and builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. The organization serves girls from every corner of the United States and its territories. Girl Scouts of the USA also serves American girls and their classmates attending American or international schools overseas in 90 countries. For more information on how to join, volunteer, reconnect, or donate to Girl Scouts, call (800) GSUSA-4-U (800-478-7248) or visit www.girlscouts.org.