The Gold Award is the highest award a girl can earn
in Girl Scouting. It’s a national standard that acknowledges a girl’s accomplishments, leadership, commitment, creativity, and personal effort to make the world a better place. Each Gold Award is a significant achievement in a girl’s life and an extension and compilation of all she has learned through her Girl Scout experience.
Our next Gold Award project features Sarah Beaman’s project “Central Coast Astronomy Program and Patches,” Sarah made a program for all the space science Badges for the San Luis Obispo office.
Sarah says, “It was hard at first but such a great program turn out at the end.”
Sarah plans to attend college to become a special education teacher.
Our next Gold Award project feature is Shreya Balasani’s project “Speak Up!” Shreya’s idea for her project was formed after joining her school district’s Buddy Program, a mentoring program designed to provide children with social interaction through quarantine, she began to notice the detrimental effects of the social isolation measures restricting the social skills and public speaking skills of young children. In order to combat this she created a program called Speak Up! Partnered with her local library, the Thousand Oaks Library she hosted a 3-part public speaking workshop series for middle schoolers. Shreya organized a volunteer team and created presentations designed to build confidence and give tips on public speaking for young adults. On the final day of the workshop series, the participating children successfully gave a final speech on a topic of their choice in order to measure their progression.
Shreya says, “I learned how to improvise and manage a team of volunteers. I was constantly relaying information from the Volunteer Coordinator at the Thousand Oaks library to my team of volunteers, setting up meetings when necessary. I had to improvise, creating games and breakout rooms in order to keep the kids engaged while in the workshops.”
Shreya is currently a senior in high school and applying to colleges. She hopes to enter the medical field in the future.
Our next featured Gold Award recipient, features Simran Nadig with her project “Fresh Food Pantry of Simi Valley.” Simran recogized that one-in-six people in her community lived below the poverty line. Job losses brought on by the pandemic made the situation worse. She concentrated on the plan to create a project that would impact her community positively. Simran first realized that the root cause of food shortage was that food lacked avenues to be distributed through, so by opening a food pantry, she opened another avenue to allow food to be distributed. Simran networked developing several partnerships with grocery stores, food banks, and other organizations to get this endeavor started. Simran organized a plan to have a store dedicated to providing families with resources from groceries to household essentials for free. Her successful project the “Fresh Food Store of Simi Valley” continues to serve her community. The project continues to serve around 250 families per week and has distributed over half a million pounds of food.
Simran states, “Most of this occurred during the pandemic. In a time when we were isolated from each other, I realized that the people I’ve served and I have a mutualistic relationship. We help each other survive.”
Simran plans to expand this endeavor and help other community suffering from food insecurity. She also wants to become a Computational Neuroscientist that find cures to neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s. She is intrigued in the science of mapping the brain and simulating the brain through mathematical models.