Gold Award Ceremony
Thanks for attending the 2021-22 Gold Award Ceremony!
They fixed problems in our community, made lasting changes, and nothing beats knowing it was our Girl Scouts who made it happen. They're rock stars, role models, and real-life heroes.
Congratulations to this year's
Gold Award Girl Scouts!
Chemotherapy is a strenuous and exhausting treatment, and if you're wearing a chemo port, it even makes seatbelts uncomfortable! Grace wanted to help make these patients' lives easier, so she decided to educate the public about…sewing!
Over the course of her #GoldAward project, she made 100 port pillows, a cushion that attaches to a seatbelt to reduce irritation on a chemo port. She also taught others how to make them. In total, she donated over 300 port pillows to Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute during her #GoldAward project. Way to work that sewing machine, Grace!
Meditation connects your mind to the present moment, and is proven to help reduce feelings of anxiety. Madison felt that this could make a huge difference in the lives of veterans, first responders, and law enforcement. She worked with My Warrior's Place and built them a meditation garden for her #GoldAward project. She cleared and paved a wheelchair-accessible path, then put in benches and plants. This tranquil spot will be a place for visitors and their families to relax and heal for years to come. Peace and love to you, Madison!
What's your favorite Florida animal? Olivia wanted a way for young girls to learn all about Florida's native wildlife. For her #GoldAward project, she built an observation deck at Girl Scouts Camp Dorothy Thomas, strategically placed next to a line of trees and the edge of the pond to see as many animals as possible. She put up QR codes with information about the local animals, what they eat and how girls can protect their ecosystem. Great job, Olivia!
Are your girls heading to Camp Wai Lani this summer? They'll definitely see the new Friendship Bridge built by #GoldAward Girl Scout Ann. Ann has fond memories of playing on a similar bridge at the camp as a Daisy. Since that one was torn down, she wanted younger Girl Scouts to have a chance to make those same memories today! She raised the money and hired the contractor and builder herself, and even helped with the construction too. Of course, the bridge will also be used for bridging ceremonies. Fantastic job, Ann!
Katherine created a curriculum and taught young girls from Kindergarten to 3rd grade about the importance of gardening and sustainability. In the curriculum, there are activities and a lesson plan that explored many of the aspects of growing your own food as it correlates to being healthy. The plants that Katherine showed the girls came from the garden boxes that were donated to Nancy Lemon with the organization, Girls with Confidence.
Sadie created Type 1, Type What? in order to address common misconceptions about Type 1 vs. Type 2 Diabetes. She created an in-depth video of how Type 1 affects the body to be part of an annual presentation and Q&A for a seventh-grade class. She also created a social media account to post facts and information and started a support group called “Type One Tuesday (For Teens!)” where they can meet to discuss various topics that affect a Type 1 diabetic's everyday life.
Heidi wanted to help lower the number of kids that go missing each year. Having a state-issued identification card can help finding a missing child significantly easier. For her #GoldAward project, Heidi created an informational video with guest speakers to educate caretakers about the importance of having a current ID for children in their household. She shared the video and flyers with local elementary schools and teachers, who will continue to pass the info onto parents. Good thinking, Heidi!
Sometimes kids forget to brush their teeth, and sometimes they were never even taught how to do it. For young children in foster care, dental hygiene is often neglected. For her #GoldAward project, Mirina decided to step in and put together special bags to encourage children to build good dental habits! They got toothbrushes, toothpaste and a card about why it's important to brush twice a day. Amazing, Mirina!
Publishing can be a difficult world to break into when your voice is undervalued. Emily wanted to amplify voices often ignored: young women and non-binary people. For her #GoldAward project, Emily created Astraea Zine, a platform for women and non-binary people ages 10 to 21 to submit their art and writing. The results were more than she could've imagined! She's already published two issues and plans to run the zine for years to come. Amazing work, Emily!
Did you know that 37% of the items put in Tampa recycling bins can't be recycled? This is called "recycling contamination" and often means the entire load ends up in a landfill instead of being recycled! For her #GoldAward project, Lindsey decided to educate Tampa residents about how to properly recycle. She gave presentations at local schools, was interviewed at WFLA News Channel 8, mentored other Girl Scout troops and produced informational videos! The environment thanks you, Lindsey!
During the pandemic, Olivia wanted to find a safe way to help people with Alzheimer's reminisce when their loved ones couldn't visit. For her #GoldAward project, she created a series of Life Skill Boxes. These boxes contained items to help trigger memories, for example the Travel Box included a fake passport and stamps, while the Texture Box had tile and carpet samples. One of the residents at Memory Care Community at Discovery Village really connected with the Education Box, as she was teacher. Outstanding, Olivia!
Farah wants to save the planet. For her #GoldAward project, she decided that teaching people better ways to reuse things and reducing waste going into landfills was a good start. After starting her own compost bin, she set up a website to teach others about how to compost their own kitchen scraps instead of throwing them away. She felt that increasing awareness about climate change and waste is a big step in the right direction. Way to go, Farah!
Carolina decided that the only thing that could make Camp Dorothy Thomas better was eradicating the mosquito population. Or at least…reducing it. Enter, the purple martin. For her #GoldAward project, Carolina built a birdhouse to attract purple martins, a bird which eats flying insects, near the camp's lake. She also put a QR code on the birdhouse so campers can learn about birds! Very cool, Carolina!
"My motto is when you can read, you can learn anything!" Elaine's motivation for her #GoldAward was simple: she wanted to help improve child reading levels! But how to inspire a love of reading? First, she donated 4,400 books to several local schools and organizations. Then, she set up a website with resources for how to get free books and the benefits of reading. And THEN she created a "Book Buddy" program to encourage kids to read together and sent the plan to 34 Hillsborough County schools. Well done, Elaine!
Lindsey installed communication boards in Corr Elementary and Belmont Elementary schools. These boards have pictures and words that are familiar to kids with communication impairments. Lindsey demonstrated to the teachers how these boards can be used and implemented in the classroom to help kids who are nonverbal. She created an Instagram with information on how to create the communication boards, tips on how to interact with people who are non-verbal, and a comment section for any questions that arise as the general public uses the boards. She also placed flyers in local libraries, schools, and doctor’s offices on frequently asked questions about the communication boards and interaction with people who are non-verbal.
Ashlyn wanted to pass on her love of the outdoors to the next generation. She built an observation deck at Camp Dorothy Thomas for girls to meet and enjoy all the outdoors has to offer, like the Perseid meteor shower party she hosted! She also built habitats for the endangered Burrowing Owl and educated girls on their preservation. The Tampa Audubon Society will continue to host presentations for girls about the owls to keep the project going! The owls thank you, Ashlyn!
"Having a passion in something is what can make or break your goals." Sarah's high school is relatively new, and doesn't have much money for the theater department. For her #GoldAward project, she created two lesson plans and built two Hollywood flats that can be used to teach future students about set design—not to mention woodworking skills! The lesson plans and flats will be used for years to come. Great job, Sarah!
One in four children in the U.S. grow up without learning how to read, often due to lack of access to books or funding in schools. Casey's #GoldAward project wanted to address this disparity, so she collected hundreds of books from local businesses and her high school. She held a Free Book Fair at Westshore Elementary and over 400 students received a free book!
She also donated 250 books YA books to Little Libraries all over South Tampa, and then recorded several audiobooks and posted them for free online for students to enjoy. Incredible job, Casey!
"Sometimes, when visiting another country, you can't get turn-by-turn directions on your phone. Knowing the directions helps you know which direction you came from and which way to return." Very wise! Kaitlyn meant this literally for her #GoldAward project, which taught girls cardinal directions and how to use a compass by way of a scavenger hunt at Camp Dorothy Thomas. Sounds educational and fun, Kaitlyn!
It was hard to see loved ones during the pandemic, especially if they lived in a care facility. In an effort to bring veterans joy when their families couldn't visit them, Emily launched #GoldAward project: Operation Serenity. 🇺🇸 She collected items from her community that would brighten up their rooms and donated over 800 items to the VA hospital, including quilts, craft kits, stuffed animals and thank you cards! Well done, Emily!
The more you read, the more you know. That was Samantha's motto for her #GoldAward project. She built two bookshelves from scratch and placed them at Pinellas Hope and Metropolitan Ministries homeless shelters. She wanted to make sure that children had access to a variety of books while living in a shelter. Samantha personally provided the books, but Beautiful Waters SU will make sure the shelves are stocked every few months! Amazing initiative, Samantha.
Simple strategy games can help slow memory loss in people with Alzheimer's and dementia. For her #GoldAward project, Kenzie met with Discovery Village in Westchase to discuss how she could help their residents. They decided Tic-Tac-Toe was the best choice, and Kenzie built the large wooden board herself to hang in their memory care unit. According to staff, residents are loving it! Good game, Kenzie!
For her #GoldAward project, Juliana wanted to spread positivity. She created a website with articles about mental health, overcoming insecurities, how to talk to new people. She put up sticky notes at her school with uplifting affirmations, made friendship bracelets for kids at a local family law office, put together blessing bags—all to help people be a little happier. Way to stay positive, Juliana!
Did you know that 94% of expired prescriptions are thrown in the trash? #GoldAward Girl Scout Tatum did, and she set her sights on educating her community about it! She collected 25 pounds of medicine in just one day for proper disposal. That's 25 pounds that won't be ingested by wildlife or end up in a landfill. Way to go, Tatum, for making our city safer!
Elena’s project focused on supporting the needs of the Ronald McDonald House by providing access to books to kids who have to stay for long periods of time due to a family member's hospitalization. Elena held a book drive to donate books for the kids to read, along with recordings of the books for kids who might not have strong literary skills yet, and need someone to help, even if their parents are preoccupied at the hospital.
Madeline’s project aimed to help close the gender gap for women in technology fields by providing engaging STEM activities for young women within the inclusive environment of Girl Scout camp. Girls participated in fun activities, such as coding in Minecraft, coding using drag and drop coding for younger girls, making binary code bracelets, and playing a game to teach them about algorithms using LEGO Friends. These activities were specifically designed to be more stereotypically girly, and the girls had lots of fun participating in them with their friends.
Remi addressed the lack of activities and materials needed for teens to stay active while they are in the hospitals by creating Boxes of Joy. The boxes focus on skill development; creativity with sketchbooks and origami, writing skills from journaling, and positivity by learning more about themselves and what they can achieve. Remi’s project can be used by other hospitals that see the impact that it has on the teens, allowing for the boxes to reach not only locally but further than Remi imagined.
"I love feeling that I have helped other kids like me." Kids with autism and ADHD can sometimes experience sensory overload in classroom settings. But weighted blankets and lap pads can sometimes help to cut through the noise and help them focus better. For her #GoldAward project, Natalie sewed and donated 30 lap pads to three different local elementary schools. She also showed students and teachers how to use the accessibility device. Neurodivergent children are already enjoying them, and will for years to come. Way to give back, Natalie!
Aurora’s project focused on advocacy for women in domestic violence situations, teaching people signs of domestic violence, places to get help such as resource centers, and in her own way helping by giving blessing baskets. Aurora was able to donate 50 blessing baskets to the Women’s Resource Center. Aurora spread awareness of domestic violence through social media, through an article that was published in local newspapers and through flyers posted at different public locations such as libraries, community centers, etc.
Wanting to help lonely senior citizens find companionship, Alexandra created the Letters of Love project. During visits to see her great aunt, she realized how many residents didn’t have any visitors which has only been heightened during the pandemic. She also wanted a way to engage with younger Girl Scouts, and she reached both goals by establishing pen pal programs with local troops and elderly living facilities. She also created flyers and infographics about elderly depression to bring awareness and encourage others to get involved.
Taylor wanted to make a difference in the fight against poverty in Tampa Bay. She worked with the Florida Resurrection House, Inc. for her #GoldAward project and completely re-decorated one of their rooms for kids to play in. A forest-themed paint job, new furniture, books and beanbags all went into the space. Mothers visiting the house for classes will be able to save on daycare and leave their children to play in a safe, enriching environment. "I've heard that the kids don't want to leave the room, and the mothers are extremely happy with the result." Fantastic, Taylor!
"How do you encourage healthy habits and bring people together at the same time? Start a garden! Emily taught a group of kids at a local summer camp about how and why to eat better for her #GoldAward project, but she didn’t stop there. She planted a garden with them to encourage teamwork and show them how they could eat more veggies at home. Good growing, Emily!
Wouldn't it be nice to be complimented every time you had a cup of coffee? Maggie knew that families at the Ronald McDonald House needed support, so she met with her local branch to see what she could do to help. It soon became clear that what families needed most were kind words…and new coffee mugs. Her #GoldAward project was born! Maggie made over 100 custom mugs with inspirational messages and donated them to the house to give families some joy during their stay. Wonderful idea, Maggie!
Sophia loves books. But she knew not every child can regularly visit a library, so she decided to build her own library! A couple, actually. For her #GoldAward project, Wonderful Words Children's Literacy, she built two small libraries recycled from old Tampa Bay Times newspaper boxes. After completely overhauling them and filling them with books, she set them up at the Presbyterian Church of Bloomingdale and Seeds of Hope, both areas that get a lot of visitors. Great job, Sophia!
Abigail addressed the issue of harsh beauty standards and their effect on young girls, specifically those in middle school. Often, social perception of beauty may lead to issues of self-worth and change how girls see themselves. This issue, besides impacting mental health, can also cause illnesses such as depression and anorexia. Abigail created a slideshow addressing social norms and beauty standards, and how these impact self-esteem to educate girls on these issues and inspire change through awareness. Abigail contacted leaders and sponsors of multiple groups at middle schools and in Girl Scouts, distributed the slideshow to spread the message to schools and organizations across the county, and the slideshow will continue to be presented into the future.
One in every 2,000 people in the U.S. have a limb difference, and #GoldAwardGS Sarah is one of them. As she got older, she knew there were challenges in her life that no one else understood. She didn't just want to find a community, she wanted to make one. She created an online Facebook group called Uniquely Fabulous, a place for other people with arm and hand disfigurements to safely talk about everything from school and workplace accommodations to dating advice! Under her leadership, the group even purchased books for a local elementary school to spread awareness about upper limb differences. Amazing self-advocacy, Sarah!
"For the homeless population, buying that one box of bandages can mean not having enough money for food the next day." #GoldAward Girl Scout Breana knew that not everyone has the same access to medicine. But setting up a pantry with medical supplies for those in need at the Shepherd Center wasn't enough for her. She also wrote and printed five different informational pamphlets about how to identify and treat common injuries and illnesses (like the flu, burns, and concussions), along with a list of local free or low-cost medical aid. Thanks for making the world a better place, Breana!
Emma has always had a strong understanding of mental health, but throughout middle and high school, she noticed that her peers were struggling to even talk about it. For her #GoldAward project, she teamed up with HCA Florida Healthcare in Trinity to create a mental health awareness patch program, "for girls, by girls," to educate them on the language of mental wellness. Over 360 girls signed up for the program, and nearly all of them said they felt more comfortable discussing mental health after finishing. Thanks for making a difference, Emma!
Reilly wanted to find a way to honor the memory of veterans and their service. Since friends and families often visit cemeteries to honor their loved ones, she started cleaning veteran headstones at Oakside Cemetery in Zephyrhills for her #GoldAward project. "Families might not have the resources for the upkeep of their family's graves," she noted. She also shared the stories of veterans on social media and gave talks to the City of Zephyrhills - Government and other local organizations about her project to encourage more people to help. Well done, Reilly.
Kelly started Gardens for Grandparents to break the stigma associated with memory care and dementia. She created YouTube videos that educate viewers on dementia and explain how specific herbs are beneficial to people with memory issues. She also built and planted garden beds for the Memory Care Unit at Discovery Village. The gardens are filled with the different memory-supporting herbs Kelly discusses in her videos, and the residents of Discovery Village not only get to enjoy tending the gardens but also reap the benefits the herbs provide. Kelly is graduating from Alonso High School in 2022.
Anna wanted to empower middle-schoolers to get help with eating disorders. She felt that the stigma could only be overcome with education. For her #GoldAward she worked directly with pre-teens and their parents to educate them on eating disorders, and how to effectively talk to others who have them. Her website will remain a permanent resource at Wilson Middle School in Tampa. Good job, Anna!