Gold Award Ceremony
Lisa’s project addressed the issue of a lack of home economic life skills being instilled in children and young adults. Lisa grew up in a household that prioritized teaching her life skills, and as she got older, she realized that many people around her were not taught those same skills. Lisa tackled that issue by creating a series of videos demonstrating skills such as baking, cleaning, cooking, sewing, pioneering and camping. There was a total of 14 videos created that were uploaded to Lisa’s YouTube channel. Lisa promoted her project by creating flyers and posting on various social media platforms. Her project will be sustained by Mrs. Jennifer Griffith, who will continue sharing her flyer and directing children and young adults to Lisa’s YouTube videos. Lisa graduated from Nature Coast Technical High School in 2022.
Skylar created an ADA-accessible deck for the elderly and disabled community at Tampa Sailing Squadron in Apollo Beach. Skylar wanted everyone in her community to have the same opportunities to access this beautiful location, without barriers. She engaged the help of friends, family and her Girl Scout troop to build a large wooden deck with two ADA accessible ramps. The deck was built along the water, which provided the elderly and disabled community access to a peaceful spot to enjoy a sunset. During the building process, Skylar spread the word about her project by creating flyers and posting information on social media. Her project will be sustained by a younger Girl Scout troop that will complete beautification workshops as needed. Skylar graduated from Dr. Earl J. Lennard High School in 2022.
Animal shelters across the country are packed with dogs looking for their forever home, and for Yasmine’s project, she wanted to help those animals in some way. Yasmine created an Instagram account to educate people on why they should adopt from an animal shelter and not a breeder, as well as ways to help the cause. Yasmine made 30 care packages for newly adopted dogs that were donated to Paw Print Hearts animal shelter. The care packages included items such as treats, toys, a travel water bowl and a no-sew blanket. Yasmine uploaded a YouTube video demonstrating how to make no-sew blankets so others could make and donate them to animal shelters as well. Yasmine’s project will be sustained by a family friend who will continue advocating for the cause and posting on her Instagram page. Yasmine graduated from Alonso High School in 2022.
Shaw understood the importance of giving back to the elderly community who were in hospice care. Many people in hospice care do not receive visits or have loved ones present in their lives. Shaw wanted to show some compassion for these elderly people. She hosted six workshops with seven Girl Scout troops to create birthday cards for hospice patients so that they felt loved on their special day. During the workshops, Shaw taught girls the importance of hospice care services. Once her project concluded, Shaw delivered more than 150 birthday cards to Chapter Health Hospice. Shaw created a website documenting her project, which will be sustained by her sister, Mattie. Mattie will continue hosting workshops to make cards for hospice patients for years to come. Shaw graduated from Newsome High School in 2023.
Abigail advocated for people with disabilities by building an ADA accessible ramp at the horse ranch center of Camp Osprey. The ramp allowed children and adults with limited mobility the opportunity to ride a horse. This created a safe and inclusive environment for disabled people, where they can experience the same independence and excitement that non-disabled visitors at the ranch did. Abigail created a Facebook page and brochure regarding her project and the benefits of an ADA accessible horse ramp platform. The brochure was distributed in public places such as the local library and chamber of commerce. Abigail’s project will be sustained by staff at Camp Osprey, as well as the ranch owner, Gary Bembery, who will use the ramp indefinitely. Abigail graduated from Sumner High School in 2023.
Georgia’s Gold Award addressed the issue of the decline of the Migratory Monarch Butterfly and their addition to the Endangered Species List. With the help of the Tamp Bay Butterfly Foundation, Georgia created a pamphlet to educate her local community on the Migratory Monarch Butterfly, as well as ways to help their population recover. The pamphlet was distributed digitally through a QR code that was accessible at two local parks and a local garden store. Through small actions in local communities, Georgia knew a global impact could be made to ensure Monarch Butterflies were around for generations to come. Georgia’s project will be sustained by her mentor, Anita Camacho, who will ensure the digital file remains active and up-to-date. Chris Thompson with City of Tampa, agreed to store the QR code on the city’s parks and recreation website. Georgia graduated from Henry B. Plant High School in 2023.

Elaine created a sustainable literacy awareness website for adults and children. For adults, it provided information about literacy, examples of how they could help children with reading, and other resources. For children, it provided resources for many read-aloud videos and fun learning sites. To promote her website, Elaine created social media accounts, designed bookmarks for children, made a business card for adults, and collected books and created a stamp so she could stamp the books before donating them. Elaine collected more than 4,400 books, all stamped with her website address and the phrase “Read. Share. Repeat.” to encourage others to share the book when finished. She also distributed packets to 34 elementary schools to highlight the importance of literacy. Her project will be sustained by the National Honor Society at Freedom High School, 34 Hillsborough County elementary schools and by Hillsborough County School Board Members. Elaine graduated from Freedom High School in 2023.

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Isabela’s Gold Award Project focused on children in the foster care system. Often, children entering foster care are limited to the number of belongings they are allowed to take with them. Isabela wanted to bring comfort to these children during such an overwhelming transition, so she created 50 care packages filled with hygiene and personal items, as well as small gifts. She delivered these care packages to Joshua House foster home. Isabela also created a website and a pamphlet filled with information about the foster care system in the United States, which was shared with schools and libraries in Hillsborough County. Isabela’s project will be sustained by the Kappa Delta Sorority at the University of South Florida. The sorority will continue making care packages and delivering them to foster facilities like Joshua Home. Isabela graduated from Newsome High School in 2022.
Madison advocated for pediatric cancer patients in Tampa Bay. Each year, an estimated 15,780 children are diagnosed with cancer in the United States. Madison wanted to bring comfort to these children and their families, so she made 24 care bags that were distributed to various hospitals in Tampa Bay. The bags contained items such as stuffed animals, puzzles, journals, card games, water bottles and mints, which aimed to bring kids joy during their treatment or hospitalization. Madison also created an Instagram page to increase awareness of childhood cancer. Madison’s project will be sustained by two of her classmates. They will continue posting on the Instagram page and plan to make more comfort bags next year. Madison graduated from Newsome High School in 2023.
Nitya advocated for the elderly community at Bayshore Pointe Nursing and Rehab Center. During the COVID-19 pandemic, residents of senior living facilities were isolated from the outside world due to health risks. Visits from loved ones became restricted or halted completely. This increased levels of confusion, loneliness, depression and anxiety among residents. Even as COVID restrictions were lifted, visitors remained limited. With the help of the activities coordinator at Bayshore Pointe, Nitya created activities for residents to increase their socialization with others. Some of these activities included bingo nights, coffee socials, reading with volunteers and other group activities. The service club KIWI at Nitya’s high school will sustain her project. They will continue working with the activities coordinator to plan events and set up time slots for visitors. Nitya graduated from Henry B. Plant High School in 2023. 
Emma shared her passion for the arts by working with elementary students at Beach Park Montessori School to design and paint a mural. Emma’s Gold Award Project aimed to encourage youth to follow their passions, express themselves creatively and gain an appreciation for art. Emma hosted a workshop to teach students technical painting skills. With the help of Coloring the Community and other Girl Scouts, the students put their new skills to the test and painted a mural in the school's courtyard. The mural celebrated the students’ artistic abilities and will hopefully empower them to pursue art in the future. The mural will be enjoyed by students, teachers and families for years to come. Emma graduated from Tampa Preparatory School in 2023.
Presley advocated for pediatric cancer patients who were ready to return to school. Often when children are diagnosed with cancer, they must spend a lengthy period away from school and their peers. This causes difficulty readjusting when they are able to return to the classroom. Presley wanted to make this adjustment easier, so she donated 54 backpacks filled with school supplies and comfort items such as stuffed animals, hammocks, card games and an encouraging letter. These backpacks were distributed to children at the Children’s Cancer Center in Tampa. Presley also posted on social media and created a pamphlet to raise awareness about pediatric cancer and the programs and services that the Children’s Cancer Center provides. Presley’s project will be sustained by a group of her peers, who will continue to serve the Childrens Cancer Center. Presley graduated from H. B. Plant High School in 2023.
Mariam’s project focused on improving mental health in teens through art therapy. Teens are often stressed about their newfound responsibilities, school and their future, and don't know how to cope in a healthy way. Mariam wanted to offer teens an outlet to relieve their stress and improve their mental wellbeing. With the support of the Temple Terrace Art Council, Mariam hosted four art workshops at Temple Terrace Public Library, as well as created an art therapy workbook to provide teens a way to express their emotions using art techniques such as painting, sculpting clay, crochet and zentangle drawing. Her workbook reached 40 troops and more than 200 Girl Scouts. Digital and print versions of her workbook will continue to be shared amongst the community. Mariam graduated from Hillsborough Virtual school in 2022.
Silvana advocated for children and teens in foster care. Silvana addressed misconceptions about foster care by creating a website, Instagram page and a campus connection group at her school to educate teens about foster care and the issues surrounding the system. The group made homemade art and wrote positive affirmations that were gifted to children at Joshua House foster home. Silvana also hosted a donation drive at her school to collect items to gift to foster children for Christmas. After the donation drive, Silvana hosted a workshop where students assembled 100 Christmas gift bags. The gift bags were distributed to local foster facilities in Tampa Bay. Silvana’s project also aimed to prevent foster parent burnout. She gave foster parents boxes of Girl Scout cookies and handwritten notes of encouragement. Silvana’s Gold Award Project reached more than 200 foster children, families and workers. Silvana’s project will be sustained by the Care for Foster Care campus connection group at her school. The group will continue hosting weekly meetings and completing service projects. Silvana graduated from Cambridge Christian School in 2023.
Isha advocated for youth human trafficking victims by building a play therapy center for Frolics of Hope Africa in Kenya. Frolics of Hope Africa is an organization that rescues, rehabilitates and reintegrates children who have been victims of human trafficking. The play therapy center she built helped them heal from their trauma. While in Kenya, Isha spoke at a conference in front of government officials to discuss ways to combat human trafficking in the country. Isha spoke as a panelist to provide knowledge about the different types of human trafficking, why the crime goes undetected and why victims of human trafficking need support after they are rescued. Isha’s Gold Award Project will be sustained by Troop 33132, who will continue spreading awareness about human trafficking, and by Frolics of Hope Africa, who will use the therapy center for years to come. Isha will graduate from Berkeley Preparatory School in 2024.
Saylors project was inspired by the Southeastern Guide Dog’s (SEGD) life-changing partnership between dogs and their owners. Saylor knew that many people who are visually impaired or disabled struggle to get through their daily routines. For some, a trained service dog proved to drastically improve their quality of life. Saylor participated in the “SEGD puppy starter program,” which included raising a puppy through the first three months of its life, before it moved on to guide dog training. Saylor documented her journey and raised awareness about the use of guide dogs by creating a YouTube video, flyer, and Facebook and Instagram pages. After the program ended, Saylor’s puppy Stella was able to move on to the next step in training to become a guide dog. Saylor’s project will be sustained by Troop 1310, who will continue sharing her video, flyer and social media pages to get others involved with SEGD. Saylor graduated from Henry B. Plant High School in 2023.

Kathleen’s Gold Award Project aimed to show local veterans an appreciation for their service and the sacrifices they made for their country. With the help of a local civic group and members of her community, Kathleen raised more than $4,500 and built four benches to commemorate different branches of the military at the American Legion Post 138. American Legion Post 138 overlooks beautiful Tampa Bay, yet there was no place to sit to enjoy the view and reflect. Kathleen built the benches so that veterans and military families would have a place to relax and enjoy nature. On Veterans Day, Kathleen hosted a dedication ceremony that had more than 20 attendees and was broadcasted on FOX13. This news coverage raised awareness of her Gold Award Project and American Legion Post 138. The benches that Kathleen built will be used by the community indefinitely. Kathleen graduated from Henry B. Plant High School in 2023.

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Taylor advocated for the elderly community at Tampa Bay Health and Rehabilitation Center. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there were increased levels of depression and anxiety among residents of senior living facilities. Taylor wanted to create an environment in which the elderly could feel connected with the outdoors to improve their quality of life in a safe manner. With the help of the Steinbrenner JROTC, Taylor created a beautiful rock and wood garden outside of the facility. Because of Taylor’s Garden, residents were motivated to go outdoors and enjoy the fresh air on the property. Even during tough times, the garden brought joy to many residents. Taylor raised awareness of her Gold Award Project by creating a website, making a video and hosting painting workshops. Taylor’s project will be sustained by the Steinbrenner JROTC, whose members will continue working with the Tampa Bay Health and Rehabilitation Center to maintain the garden. Taylor graduated from Steinbrenner High School in 2022.
Audrey’s Gold Award Project addressed the issue of trash pollution in our waterways. Audrey worked with the Tampa Bay Estuary program to create a demonstrational video on the Escaped Trash Assessment Protocol (ETAP) process. ETAP is a standard method for collecting and assessing litter data to help communities characterize and quantify trash pollution to identify trends. Audrey’s training video was used to teach workers and volunteers how to properly collect and catalogue trash in a way that produced reliable data. Audrey also created a pamphlet that taught the importance of picking up litter and participating in trash cleanups, as well as included information about ETAP and how to access her video. Audrey’s pamphlet was distributed to USF, FGCU, a Girl Scout Troop and a few local stores. Audrey’s project will be sustained by the Tampa Bay Estuary Program, who will continue using her video to educate people on the ETAP process. Audrey graduated from Strawberry Crest High School in 2022.
Samantha’s project aimed to inspire children to learn, observe and explore their environment. Research shows that the average American child spends about 4 to 7 minutes a day playing outside and more than 7 hours a day in front of a screen. Samantha wanted to combat this issue in her community by planting a rain garden at a local charter school. The rain garden created a space for children to observe and explore their environment, which aimed to spark their interest in creating their own rain garden. Samantha created a pamphlet, website and Instagram page to promote her project and to serve as an educational tool for those who wanted to build their own garden. Samantha's project will be sustained by the charter school’s National Junior Honor Society. The group will maintain the garden, as well as share her pamphlet and website with other students. Samantha graduated from Tampa Catholic High School in 2023.
Maggie taught teens around the Tampa Bay area how to live a balanced lifestyle. According to research, nearly 3% of teens in the U.S. who are between 13 and 18 years old have an eating disorder. Maggie wanted to combat this issue in her local community by creating a club dedicated to teaching teens ways to prevent or recover from an eating disorder. Maggie hosted eight meetings focused on intuitive eating, nutrition science, cooking, goal setting and mindfulness. Her goal was to teach teens how to have a healthy relationship with food and their body. Maggie also created an Instagram page on which she posted information about the meetings and a summary of what was discussed so those who could not attend the meeting still had access to valuable information. Maggie continued to lead the club after the completion of her project. She plans to create a board application to find trusted teens to continue the club once she graduates. Maggie will graduate from Plant High School in 2024.
Abigail’s project focused on sharing the importance of theater. Abigail believed that there was often a lack of support for theater programs in both schools and the community. Abigail addressed this issue by creating a website dedicated to informing people about the importance of theater, the benefits of participating in theater, the history of theater and the mistreatment of these programs in schools. She aimed to inspire people to support local theater communities in the Tampa Bay area. Abigail promoted her project by posting flyers around her school and sharing her website link with peers. Abigail’s project will be sustained by a group of people in her theatre troupe. They will continue sharing Abigails website and advocating for preforming arts. Abigail graduated from Plant High School in 2023.
Emma’s Gold Award project focused on the importance of teens’ mental well-being. Many teens do not know healthy coping skills and ways to alleviate stress. Emma addressed this issue by hosting a “Wellness Matters” event at the conclusion of Mental Health Awareness Sprit Week at her school. More than 100 students participated. Students learned strategies to relieve stress, general information on mental well-being, counselor resources and the importance of communication. Two local non-profit organizations—the school's guidance counselor and the Yoga & Wellness Club—helped Emma and her classmates host the event. Emma promoted her project by creating a flyer that was shared on social media. It is estimated to have reached more than 200 students, staff members and families. Emma will graduate from Bell Creek Academy in 2024.
Amanda taught young children from Seaborn Day School how to care for a vegetable garden. Gardening is known to help children develop skills such as patience, independence, gentleness and cognition. Amanda wanted young kids to reap the benefits of watching something grow from a seed to something greater, so she built a raised garden bed and created a curriculum to teach kids how to grow vegetables. Throughout the duration of her project, her students planted seeds, nurtured the plants, watched them grow and harvested the vegetables once they were grown. Her students were able to eat the vegetables that they grew and learned about their nutritional value. Her project will be sustained by staff members at Seaborn Day School, who will continue tending to her garden. Amanda graduated from Robinson Senior High School in 2023.
Ayla’s Gold Award Project focused on properly and respectfully retiring American flags. Ayla believed that there was an overabundance of tattered and worn American flags in storage, awaiting proper dignified disposal. Ayla addresses this issue by creating a networking system for community members—organizations such as the American Legion, JROTC chapters and Girl Scouts—and cremation services to work together to distribute and retire American flags more efficiently. Ayla worked with funeral homes to implement a “One Star” program. This program consisted of cremating a retired flag with a deceased veteran. Prior to the cremation, one star is cut from the flag and presented to the veteran's family as a keepsake. Ayla also hosted workshops with younger Girl Scouts to teach them how to properly fold and retire American flags. As a result, Girl Scouts retired more flags during camping trips. Ayla also created a website that contained a flag folding tutorial and contact information for flag drop-off locations. Ayla’s project will be sustained by Affinity Cremation and Cremation Center of Tampa Bay, whose personnel will manage the One Star program. Ayla graduated from Durant High School in 2023.
Alexis addressed the issue of the loss of pine forests in Florida by preserving a half-acre of the natural longleaf pine forest on the Camp Wildwood property. Longleaf pine is the most fire, insect and disease resistant southern pine species, yet roughly 97% of longleaf pine forests have been lost due to invasive species overtaking the land. Alexis used the Timber Stand Improvement method of filling drilled holes in the trunks of invasive trees with the pesticide Glyphosate to reduce the number of competing trees. She spread awareness about longleaf pine trees by creating an information board at Camp Wildwood, a brochure that was distributed to community members and the Florida Forestry Department, and a website that explained Timber Stand Improvement, the importance of longleaf pines and why they are endangered. Alexis’ project will be sustained by younger Girl Scouts who agreed to take over the website and distribution of her brochures. Alexis graduated from Forest High School in 2022.
Edy worked to encourage teens to show appreciation for adults in their communities. Edy believed that many workers—including teachers, bus drivers, nurses and first responders—often felt underappreciated for their hard work. Edy addressed this issue by working with a group of teens to create a club that completed monthly appreciation projects for different groups of workers. Some of these projects included making thank-you posters for bus drivers, donating snacks to healthcare workers and writing thank you cards to teachers. Edy created an Instagram account to spread awareness about her Gold Award Project and to document the appreciation projects her club completed. Edy’s project will be sustained by the club she created at Sunlake High School. The club has elected officers who will continue to complete appreciation projects for years to come. Edy graduated from Sunlake High School in 2023.

Emily’s project allowed the community to come together to learn how to garden, enjoy nature’s beauty and improve their mental health. Emily created two gardens—a butterfly garden and a sustainable vegetable garden at Trinity Education Academy of Christian Homeschoolers—since many homes do not have the space for a personal garden, the funds to start one or the knowledge to grow one.  Emily provided students with a class on sustainable gardening as well as created a curriculum outlining gardening tips, types of plants, the butterfly cycle and how mental health can be improved through gardening. The curriculum she created was distributed to Keep Pinellas Beautiful and two Trinity schoolteachers. Emily reached more than 500 students, 200 school families and 100 church members. Her curriculum will continue to be shared and her gardens will be used for years to come. Emily graduated from Pinellas County Homeschool in 2023. 

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Courtney’s Gold Award project addressed the issue of stereotypes and exclusion. Courtney’s goal was to break down stereotypes at her school and show students that everyone deserves to be included and treated equally, no matter their interests and values. Courtney created a survey for high school students about stereotypes, which received 60 responses. She analyzed the survey results and created an Instagram page to highlight three main stereotype groups: athletes, fine art students and academic students. She posted information on the stereotypes and how to break them, interviews with students, and interactive story highlights. Courtney also wrote a play about stereotypes in school, which was performed and presented at the District IV Thespian Festival and the Florida State Thespian Festival. Courtney’s project will be sustained by a group of Girl Scouts who will continue to post on the Project Inclusion Instagram page. Courtney graduated from Osceola Fundamental High School in 2023.
Lauren’s Gold Award Project spread awareness about Deaf culture and bridged the gap between the hearing and Deaf community through a combination of music, dance and American Sign Language (ASL). Lauren found that there were very few resources that educate people about Deaf culture. American Sign Language is not widely taught, which results in deaf people feeling isolated from the hearing world. Lauren advocated for this issue by creating a music video for hearing people who are not familiar with the Deaf community. The music video showed the beauty of ASL and encouraged hearing people to learn the language and to study Deaf culture. Laura also created and distributed flyers about ASL and Deaf culture to Palm Harbor Library, Palm Harbor Parks & Recreation Center and Help Us Gather (HUG). Lauren’s project will be sustained by Troop 60809, whose members will refill the flyers at Palm Harbor Library and share Lauren’s YouTube video. Laura graduated from Palm Harbor University High School in 2022.
Emma’s Gold Award project aimed to spread awareness about juvenile type 1 diabetes and raise money for children with diabetes to attend a diabetes summer camp. Emma has type 1 diabetes, and when she was younger, she attended a diabetes camp. The camp taught her how to cope with her illness and helped her connect with other kids who were living with diabetes. Emma wanted to give diabetic kids whose families could not afford the camp the opportunity to attend. Emma organized a high school softball game fundraiser that raised $2,500 for camp scholarships. Emma spread the message about her project by posting on social media and handing out flyers. She also created a YouTube video that explained her journey with diabetes and ways to donate to the cause. Emma’s project will be sustained by her softball team, whose members will host a softball fundraising game yearly to continue spreading awareness and raising funds to help children with diabetes go to camp. Emma graduated from East Lake High School in 2022.
Riley’s project addressed the issue of water mismanagement. Many people do not know how to properly manage water. Riley aimed to eliminate this issue in her community by creating a curriculum to teach kids about water management and sustainability. Her curriculum consisted of a lesson plan that explored water conservation, water pollution and how to grow food sustainably. She also built a raised garden bed for hands-on learning. Kids used the water they collected sustainably to grow their own crops. Her project will be sustained by Mrs. Matousek, who will continue teaching Riley’s lesson plan at Discovery Academy of Lake Alfred each year. A gardening club was also created to continue caring for her garden. Riley graduated from Winter Haven Senior High School in 2023.