Kayla Stevens: 2019 Gold Award Girl Scout

Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce Kayla Stevens of Pittsford, NY, as a 2019 Gold Award Girl Scout. Stevens’ project was titled “Connections Through Music.”

Stevens explained, “Music has always been a huge part of my life, and I currently play the clarinet in the youth orchestra at The Hochstein School, a music and dance school in Rochester. When brainstorming what I could do for my Gold Award Project, I knew I wanted to give back to Hochstein’s wonderful community. I sorted through Hochstein’s paper files and historical documents about the staff, faculty, and board members, then I entered key information from these papers into a Google Sheets document. With the information I found in paper files, I was able to create columns in the spreadsheet for data about members’ names, jobs, years they worked at Hochstein, last-known addresses or phone numbers, and some biographical information found in files or online. Before creating this digital system, it was very difficult to find specific information about people connected to Hochstein, since everything was on paper and stored all over the building. But now, all that information is easily accessible since it’s consolidated into one place on the Google Sheets document. In the future, this document will help Hochstein reconnect with its history and community in preparation for its 100th anniversary celebration in 2020 and many years beyond.”

Stevens added, “My Girl Scout troop currently consists of 8 girls from 3 different schools. Even though not all of us hang out together outside of Girl Scout events, we have a great level of trust in one another and turn to each other for support and advice. If it weren’t for Girl Scouts, I do not think I would have this amazing group of girl friends who promote so much positivity and vibrancy in life. I am so glad I have remained a Girl Scout in high school because I feel as though the close friendship I have with these girls is an extremely special and unique experience.”

Stevens 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.

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