Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce Maeve Devine of Lancaster, NY, as a 2019 Gold Award Girl Scout. Devine’s project was titled “The Powerful Me.”
Devine explained, “I created an empowerment workshop and 50-page activity workbook called “Powerful Me” to empower kids with less opportunity than I had or had dealt with a traumatic experience. My goal was to use art and poetry to foster self-love, confidence, and dreaming big into the kids I worked with. I want every single kid to know they are powerful and awesome just the way they are. I used to not like myself and was afraid of who I was, but I had opportunities to help me and I wanted to do the same for these kids. Some of the agencies in Buffalo I worked with were Westminster Economic Development Initiative (WEDI) that holds a refugee literacy program; Buffalo Center for Arts and Technology (BCAT), an afterschool art non-profit; and Cornerstone Manor, a womens’ and kids’ shelter. A favorite memory was giving kids at WEDI a letter that encouraged them to follow their specific dreams from our workshops. I hope they keep and remember that letter as a piece of encouragement. At a Boys and Girls Club, one girl was very pessimistic and not self-confident, but by the end of the workshop her whole demeanor changed and she actually believed in herself and her dreams. I even got her to start a YouTube channel (a dream she originally thought she could never do.) Multi-day workshops consisted of vision boards, poetry, positive word bracelets, ‘Powerful Me’ masks, a lot of encouragement/empowerment talks fused in, and so much more!”
Devine added, “Girl Scouting has given me the opportunities to explore my passions and become the leader I am today. Without it, I think I would never have been able to accomplish all of the things I have done, and I would have never met some of the lifelong friends I am still so close with. Girl Scouts has helped me realize who I am and what I want to do with my life, and has given me confidence in myself and in my leadership abilities.”
Devine 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.