Jamila Blake, 2012 graduate of Paul R. Wharton High School, has been honored by Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) as one of its 2013 National Young Women of Distinction.
A truly exclusive and special honor, the National Young Women of Distinction designation is conferred every other year by GSUSA on 10 young women who have earned the Girl Scout Gold Award – the highest and most prestigious award in Girl Scouting. Each of this year’s recipients, including Jamila Blake, completed Gold Award projects that demonstrated extraordinary leadership, had a measurable and sustainable impact, and addressed a local challenge that related to a national and/or global issue.
As part of her Gold Award project, Jamila advocated to Congress on behalf of the victims of civil war in Uganda. Check out a video about her inspiring project below!
Jamila’s personal journey toward the Girl Scout Gold Award, and ultimately being named a National Young Woman of Distinction, began in the seventh grade when she was introduced to Invisible Children, an organization dedicated to raising awareness about the plight of the youth of war torn Northern Uganda. She was immediately inspired to bring to light the heinous crimes of Dictator Joseph Kony and the need for education and rebuilding of Uganda.
Working in partnership with Invisible Children, Jamila started the Global Outreach Club at Paul R. Wharton High School and focused on promoting awareness and aid for children in need in our local communities as well as on a global scale. Through the Global Outreach Club, Jamila hosted Invisible Children screenings for her peers and worked to bring a student guest speaker from Uganda to her high school to share her story. Jamila also planned and organized Roots for Peace, a community festival to help spread awareness of the plight of the children of Northern Uganda. Additionally, Jamila advocated with local legislators about the importance of Invisible Children and its work; she was instrumental in encouraging these legislators to pass the Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and allocating funding for Northern Uganda Recovery Act.
Currently a student at the University of Delaware, Jamila is studying wildlife conservation with a minor in sociology. Because of her deep ties to Invisible Children, she was selected to attend the organization's leadership summit this past August, and she hopes to once again work more closely with the organization upon graduation. She has plans to visit Uganda before she turns 25.
Interested in learning more about the National Young Women of Distintion Award? Contact Alison Wernicke (813-325-1875) for more information.