Gold Award Girl Scout Reagan Dalton, from Monterey, California, sought to bring awareness of the increased risk of sex trafficking in California. According to the National Center for Missing Children, online sex trafficking had doubled in 2020 compared to the previous year due to increased time online and social isolation during the pandemic.
Dalton says that “A prime root cause of sex trafficking is the lack of awareness of predators grooming tactics and online exploitive schemes targeting teenagers.” After learning this, Dalton knew that informing her community of the heightened risk “is more important now than ever.” She addressed this root cause by providing online education to groups of teenagers on sex trafficking awareness and prevention. Dalton partnered with community members and led online presentations to local high schools and community groups to educate teenagers and parents on the prevalence of human trafficking globally and within her community. She also explained how to recognize the different tactics traffickers use to lure teenagers, where to report, and how they can make a difference to end sex trafficking. Along with sex trafficking prevention, her goal was to inspire teens to get involved in this issue and help end human trafficking by continuing to spread awareness.
Dalton advises other Girl Scouts pursuing their Gold Award to be “persistent and flexible” saying, “Through my project I had to be persistent in my efforts to make a difference in my community. If obstacles came in my path, I had to create a new plan.”
Gold Award Girl Scout, Emily Ho, from Newbury Park, California, also had her mind on social justice issues. Ho created a series of presentations and online resources to inspire other Chinese Americans to take action against racial injustice. Her presentations focused on the Chinese American history, covering topics such as the impact of civic activism, the model minority myth, and the birth of Asian American activist movements.
Ho’s Gold Award Project was a success with all attendees expressing that they learned something new about themselves and Chinese American history. Ho states that she benefitted from the project as well since she “learned a lot about my identity as a Chinese American, as well as my love for connecting with people.”
For more information about the Gold Award and how Girl Scouts are creating positive change within their communities, visit here.