Kennedy Craven: 2019 Gold Award Girl Scout

Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce Kennedy Craven of Cheektowaga, NY, as a 2019 Gold Award Girl Scout. Craven’s project was titled “Timmy’s Battle Blood Drive.”

Craven explained, “The idea for my Gold Award came to me when my friend, Timothy, was diagnosed in February 2018 with Leukemia. Holding a blood drive was a great way for my friend’s story to get out into the community and a way to save lives. Teaming with UNYTS, we also brought the United We Give Campaign on board. My troop had already been hosting blood drives for the past seven years for one of the girls in my Girl Scout troop. She had a heart transplant a few years ago. Knowing how important blood and tissue donations and transplants are, I felt this was a great way to educate my community on that matter. Timothy, who has aspirations to become a firefighter like his father, inspired me to reach out to my local fire station where his father is a member, to see if it was possible to hold the blood drive at their fire station. I received notice from their Board of Directors that they were willing to lend their space for the blood drive, which I named Timmy’s Battle Blood Drive. UNYTS set me up so I could schedule appointments and the community could schedule their own. They also gave me posters that I helped design to help spread the word. My high school principal granted me approval to hang posters around school to help gain support from our fellow classmates. The support from my family, friends, and community members was overwhelming. Not only did we double our goal of double red collections, we also received ten whole blood donations. Each time a person donates they save up to three lives.

Craven added, “Girl Scouts made me become friends with people that otherwise I would have not had the chance to be friends with. It taught me how to mentor young girls and the importance of community service.”

Craven 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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