Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce Reagan Gensiejewski of Victor, NY, as a 2019 Gold Award Girl Scout. Gensiejewski’s project was titled “For the Love of Softball.”
Gensiejewski explained, “I started with the idea of collecting gently used softball equipment and donating it to a city school in need, then I decided to create a softball 101 video to post on YouTube and run a clinic with girls from the city school. The clinic was a way for me to directly impact girls who live less than 30 minutes away from me. I was connected with School 17 in Rochester and put on the clinic with about 20 girls. I brought two of my former teammates with me, as well as all of the equipment. I collected 13 gloves, 3 pairs of cleats, 25 helmets, 11 bats, 4 masks, 7 bags, and one set of catcher’s gear. We had different stations for the girls to learn different skills. Teaching them a sport I love so much that has brought me so much joy and then watching them have fun with the sport, laugh, smile and bring them joy was remarkable. Telling the girls they got to keep the equipment was so exciting because of the joy that came over their faces, then to have their coach ask them if they wanted to start a team and hearing 20 girls scream “yes!” was so rewarding. I was recently informed that School 17 is officially in progress of putting together a team, which is by far the greatest reward.”
Gensiejewski added, “One thing has always remained a constant in my life: Girl Scouts. Having a place where I can express myself without fear of being judged was sacred. Thirteen years in Girl Scouts is a long time and I wouldn’t trade the experience for the world. My troop is my family. Without Girl Scouts, I don’t think I would have even been friends with some of these girls, which would be such a shame because they are some of the most amazing people I have ever met. [Girl Scouts] is a place where I can be myself, a place where I can help make a difference and a place where I have made everlasting friends that have turned into family. Without Girl Scouts I wouldn’t be ambitious, and I wouldn’t have the morals to shape these dreams.”
Gensiejewski will receive her Gold Award at the Gold Award Ceremony on June 1, 2019. The Girl Scout Gold Award is the most prestigious award in the world for girls.
The Gold Award project is the culmination of all the work a girl puts into “going for the Gold.” A Girl Scout’s project should be something that a girl can be passionate about—in thought, deed, and action that encompasses organizational, leadership, and networking skills. The project should also fulfill a need within a girl’s community (whether local or global) and create change that has the potential to be on-going or sustainable. Approximately 80 hours of community service are involved in the project. Completion of the Gold Award also qualifies the Girl Scout for special scholarship opportunities and to enter the military a full rank higher than her peers.
The Girl Scout Gold Award, the most prestigious award in the world for girls, acknowledges the power behind each recipient’s dedication to not only empowering and bettering herself, but also to making the world a better place for others. These young women are courageous leaders and visionary change makers.
The Gold Award requires a Girl Scout to identify an issue and investigate it to understand what can be done to address the problem. The girl then forms a team to act as a support system, including a project advisor close to the issue who is not a troop leader or family member, while she leads the project. The Girl Scout creates a plan to ensure they know what steps they must tackle while working on the project. The Girl Scout submits a proposal for her project to her local Girl Scout council. After acceptance, the girl begins to work through the steps of their plan utilizing the assistance of her support team where necessary. Lastly, the project is used to educate and inspire others about the cause they are addressing.
To learn more, visit gswny.org.