Going for Gold – Is Girl Scout’s Highest Award Worth It?

The Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest award a girl can earn, and it takes months of hard work and dedication. Many girls who start the process don’t end up completing, but don’t let that intimidate you! If you pick a project that you are passionate about, the process is 100% worth the effort, but don’t take it from us. Let’s hear from two of this years Gold Award Girl Scouts about their projects and experience going for gold!

Rose Kores, Troop 30215, My Story

What I learned from earning my Gold Award and how it has changed my life and community…

The Girl Scout Gold Award is achieved by only 8% of Girl Scouts worldwide. What many of these girls don’t know when considering whether to tackle this award or not is that the benefits of earning this accolade are worth far more than they expect, and that it is in fact worth the effort.

My name is Rose Kores and I have been a member of the Girl Scouts of Southeast Florida for the past thirteen years and a proud member of the Gold Award Class of 2021. The idea of earning my Girl Scout Gold Award has always resonated with me, and as I have gotten older, I have realized that earning this prestigious award is worth more than simply earning a pin. The Gold Award illuminated the concept that working to solve a problem or better a community has the potential to not only develop a group or organization, but also to enable girls to develop life skills, passions, connections, and purpose.

When beginning my project, I decided to focus on connecting patients within the pediatric cancer community. Thus, I created the Storyteller Station- a technological way for kids to share their stories and connect with others like them, creating a united, sustainable bond among the pediatric cancer community.

Through earning my Gold Award, I learned that although resilient, this community is always in need of a helping hand and an advocate. I learned that there is always something to be done to make an impact, and that “communities” extend beyond the borders of any hometown or state, but expand across the nation and globe. I learned that there is a national and global community that is in need of help, beyond the local community that I see and serve on a daily basis. Despite my project being a success, there will always be work that needs to be done to help pediatric cancer and other communities, as future problems arise.

Further, through this award I learned that it is possible to gain and develop a myriad of life skills. Such skills I obtained through my project, span from becoming proficient in technology, writing, organizing, designing, leading, and persevering. These skills will carry Gold Award recipients throughout the rest of their lives and will enable them to succeed and flourish in their paths of life.

The most significant thing I learned about myself is that I am truly passionate about serving others and advocating different issues. This realization which stemmed from my project, influenced me to pursue a degree in legal studies. It further inspired me to work towards eventually becoming an international affairs attorney, so I can one day impact the lives of others on a global spectrum.

I would say that earning the Girl Scout Gold Award is worth more than you think. It should be taken seriously and should most definitely target something you are passionate about. It opens more doors than you could ever imagine, and will help shape you not only as a leader, problem solver, and individual, but also as a woman. It aided me in my pursuit to apply to colleges, scholarships, and award programs, as well as solidified my passions and impending future plans.

Overall, I learned through earning my Girl Scout Gold Award that not only does achieving this award enable unimaginable opportunities, it also helps develop or better a community as well as yourself. I have become a strong, independent leader in light of my award, who is now prepared to take on college and beyond.

Julia Yu, Troop 10952, Keeping the Faith During COVID-19

How I found my voice while earning the Girl Scout Gold Award…

In working to earn my Gold Award – by fighting back against the devastating effects of social isolation caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic – I learned that my voice was far more powerful than I knew. By teaming up with the staff and parishioners at my church, St. Lucy of Highland Beach, I was able to use the power of faith and love to reconnect our elderly and at-risk members following lock down. Through my project, “Bags of St. Lucy Love,” my team and I distributed more than 300 gifts of cheer to our church’s senior members over the Christmas holidays, and delivered them to those who were home bound and not able to join us at mass. Seeing the joy my project brought and the new relationships it fostered was amazing and empowering. It was an overwhelmingly beautiful experience that I will always carry with me.

Julia distributing her Bags of St. Lucy Love to members of her community.

When COVID-19 first began, my church, like so many others in Florida and around the world, was forced to shut down – and to halt its many social, youth-serving and outreach programs. Even after the church reopened, many of our senior and at-risk parishioners could not safely return to mass. When I learned of the negative physical and mental health effects of social isolation, I knew I had to take action.

Growing up, my family moved every three years due to my father’s job, from Beijing, China, to northern Virginia, to Paris, France, and then to Florida. I was always “the new girl.” I became adept at adapting, and making new friends, figuring out the “rules” of each place and finding where I fit in. With this project, I made the rules – and used my public speaking skills to advocate for a cause I believed in. I put my faith to the test, and it did not fall short. Not only did people rally to support my project, and make it a success, but my passion and advocacy led students in a social action club at an area Catholic high school to piggyback on my project and help veterans and elderly residents in their community. My church is now giving Bags of St. Lucy Love to all new parishioners.

My goal was to reconnect my church community, which was scattered by the COVID-19 pandemic, through faith and love. I was thrilled to learn of the sense of connection my gift bags brought. In Girl Scouts, especially as high school Ambassadors, we talk about the butterfly effect. By finding my voice and using it for good, I learned that I can create real and lasting change. I value the empowerment that Girl Scouts has fostered in me through these past 12 years of my life. Now I can’t wait to find other ways to use my voice – and my skills, my determination, and my enthusiasm – to make a difference in the world.

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