Shira Silverstein: 2019 Gold Award Girl Scout

Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce Shira Silverstein of Honeoye Falls, NY, as a 2019 Gold Award Girl Scout. Silverstein’s project was titled “Garden of Dreams.”

Silverstein explained, “I discovered the Rochester International Academy, an inner-city school for refugee students, most of whom had nothing and lived in extreme poverty. Over the past five years I have run a very successful book drive. I have collected thousands of new and gently used books for these students to keep as their own, which is something they had never had. For my Gold Award, I wanted to do even more to make the lives of these students better. At the suggestion of the Academy’s principal, I helped to create a safe space and made a reading Garden of Dreams in the school’s overgrown and undeveloped courtyard. The courtyard is now a beautiful space, complete with benches and tables, for students to find peace and to read.”

Silverstein added, “Girl Scouting helped form my passion for helping others. It has made me appreciate the value of hard work and true friendship. I will always be a Girl Scout at heart!”

Silverstein 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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