Girl Scout Highest Awards

Bethany Sielski: 2019 Gold Award Girl Scout

Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce Bethany Sielski of Lockport, NY, as a 2019 Gold Award Girl Scout. Sielski’s project was titled “Community Book Drive.”

Sielski explained, “For my Gold Award, I hosted a book drive at Roy B. Kelley Elementary School in Lockport. I worked with the students and staff at the school and encouraged them to bring in any unwanted books they owned for me to collect and donate. Also during this time, I visited each classroom and completed activities I created with the students that taught them lessons about the flexibility of language and the power of creativity. Overall, I collected 1,517 books over the course of three weeks. I then worked with the Liberty Club at Lockport High School, Pinnacle Community Services, and the VVA Buffalo program to distribute these books to places in need. My entire project followed a theme very important to me: language. In the Fall I will be attending college as an English major, and I wanted to inspire a love of the English language in younger kids, as well as provide access to books to those who may be less fortunate.”

Sielski added, “Girl Scouts has taught me so many practical skills, but it has also given me a platform to improve my community. I’ve made so many friends through Girl Scouting, as well as a lot of connections that will help me in the future.”

Sielski 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.

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