Girl Scout Gold Award: Making a difference in the Greater Washington Region

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 Girl Scouts make a difference in their community. They are combating bullying in the schools, helping younger students excel in STEM; reaching out to the homeless; engaging veterans and teaching children healthy behaviors. These are Gold Award projects and this year, 182 Girl Scouts from the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia will be presented with the Gold Award. The Gold Award is the highest honor earned by a select group of Girl Scouts who have demonstrated superior leadership, organization and a higher commitment to community service

 “We are proud of the powerful legacy these Gold Award Girl Scouts are leaving in their community,” said Lidia Soto-Harmon, Chief Executive Officer Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital.“I am confident that these girls will be powerful agents for progress and change.”

 The Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital will announce the Gold Award Girl Scout class of 2013, at In Your Honor ceremony on May 12, 2013, at Trinity Washington University. Sandra Evers-Manly, Northrop Grumman Vice President of Corporate Responsibility, will deliver the keynote address. Ms. Evers-Manly is charged with building, sustaining and leveraging the diversity at Northrop Grumman, and ensuring an inclusive workplace where everyone is valued. According to Evers-Manly, “As a company committed to fostering an environment of diversity and inclusion, I am delighted to speak to the Girl Scouts’ brightest and best, the Gold Awardees. Women make up a substantial portion of the workforce, and it is absolutely vital that we utilize the capacity and capabilities of this generation of girls to build a pipeline of leaders, so key to the future of the U.S. economy.”

 The Gold Award is highly regarded by colleges and universities, the U.S. Armed Services and employers. Selected examples of projects from this year’s Gold Award Class include:

 Diossa F, Washington, DC: Free STI and HIV/AIDS Confidential Testing and Why It’s Important to Know Your Status

Diossa created a campaign to educate youth in order to increase awareness and knowledge about HIV and AIDS.  Using her slogan, “End the Dread, Stop the Spread;” she worked with MetroTeen Aids and Sasha Bruce Youthwork, produced a YouTube video on awareness and coordinated a testing day with an educational workshop.

 Brianna O, Bowie, MD: Grow Your Wild Oats

Briana taught children at Cove Shelter about healthy eating and helped them plant their own vegetable garden. The children learned to appreciate healthy food—by planting a seed and watching it grow. With a PNC Neighborhood Wishlist grant, Briana had enough supplies to plant collard greens, kale, and spinach.  Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=OT-mB0h8dcI

 Nina H,Chantilly, VA: Kids Like Me

Nina produced a documentary and led workshops to teach elementary school kids about being compassionate and understanding towards people with learning differences. Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dC-qiwLLP0.

 Abrar O, Fairfax, VA: Bring It On

Abrar worked with fellow students to implement policies to address bullying in Fairfax County Public Schools. She worked with a FCPS official to create and offer community resources to help combat the issue within the FCPS system. Because of Abrar’s project, the school system has implemented specific guidelines to combat bullying; FCPS updated their Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook to reflect their new policy on bulling.

 Denise L, Front Royal, VA: Invisible

Denise filmed a music video to educate the community about teen depression. Realizing that many adults do not acknowledge or recognize the problem of teen depression until it is too late; Denise used her Gold Award project as an opportunity to bring awareness to a group of people (the Warren Coalition) who are in a position to help. She gave a copy of the video to her high school to use to educate students on teen depression.

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