Gold Award Girl Scouts are world changers. They put their hearts, minds, and go-getting spirit into addressing pressing issues and creating lasting solutions that make their communities—and the world—a better place. We’re sharing three more stories as part of our ongoing series of how Gold Award Girl Scouts made an impact in their communities.
As part of the younger generation, one of Noemi Lopez’s primary concern was the future of our planet. With this, she decided to base her Gold Award project on climate change – specifically deforestation. In April, she began collaborating with teachers from each grade at Lang Ranch Elementary to assemble a grade-appropriate unit for their students regarding deforestation. They then decided to include examples of activities and materials, an A-Z book, friendly competitions, informative videos, poems, and digital comics. By the last week of school, the teachers taught their students this curriculum, and everyone came out with a better understanding of what deforestation is, what its causes are, why it is happening, and what we can do to help. In addition, Noemi uploaded the curriculum material onto Teachers Pay Teachers so that teachers nationwide can access informative and fun lessons for free and use them to teach their students while informing them of a serious issue.
When asked about the lessons learned throughout her project, Noemi said “Having a team rely on you is very motivational, especially when you understand the importance of the task at hand.”
Currently, Noemi is interested in pursuing a career in veterinary medicine- specifically with marine mammals. Another possible career path she is interested in would be in environmental science. Regardless of which field she chooses; Noemi wants to proactively work towards bettering the environment and reducing our negative impact on Earth.
Our next Gold Award recipient, Alexandra Melton, worked with the local nonprofit Forever Found to bring Christmas gifts to children in foster care in Ventura County. She raised over $700 to buy 12 gifts that were personalized to each child’s requests. On top of that, she created permanent gifts to remain in both foster care houses. She made bathroom sets that included a shower curtain and other decorations to update the spaces. Alexandra then designed a website for Forever Found to help solicit donations from local sponsors every year around Christmas. The website has directions on donating a Christmas gift for a child in foster care to continue her program and more information on the foster care system to educate people about the dangers of human trafficking and children in foster care.
Alexandra states “I learned that even a small gesture can have a big impact. While bringing Christmas gifts to disadvantaged youths is not the most significant act on the surface, I received very positive feedback from leaders who work with the children on the impact this had. The children felt loved and valued by their community and a had a sense of ‘normalcy’. My hope is that kids will be less inclined to make dangerous decisions when they feel supported. The smallest act of kindness can sometimes have a profound impact and I’m thankful to play a small part.”
Alexandra hopes to study business. Her long-term goal is to work in fundraising and development for a nonprofit whose cause she believes in.
Lastly, Kayla Horton created a nationally registered Monarch Waystation in the Life Lab at Tierra Linda Elementary School. This project was a collaborative effort involving teachers, the principal, and volunteers. The Waystation is now thriving and will produce many generations of Monarchs for future classes to enjoy and interactively learn. With the guidance of Ms. Adrian and online research, she created lesson plans for teachers to follow. The lesson plan includes information about Monarchs, their life cycle, and the two migration patterns of the monarchs. It also provides information on how our environment has negatively impacted the Monarchs population by removing Milkweed, illegal deforestation of resting grounds, climate change, the maintenance of Monarch Waystations, and how they now make a difference in the Monarch’s ability to recover. These YouTube links highlight portions of the project: youtu.be/A83L9BdhgI0 and youtu.be/QDob6HzPgpY.
When asked what lesson she learned while earning her Gold Award, Kayla said “I found that if I am truly interested in a subject, I am able to push through and make my expectations come to reality, despite the difficulties that come with the task.”
Kayla’s goal is to earn a college degree in the medical field, as it will allow her to pursue something that she’s interested in, and it will give her the opportunity and ability to help others.
For more information about the Gold Award and how Girl Scouts are creating positive change within their communities, visit here.