Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce Carmen Ponce of Pittsford, NY, as a 2020 Gold Award Girl Scout. Ponce’s project is Improving the Display of Fallen Law Enforcement Officers’ Pictures & Information, and honors police officers, federal agents, troopers, sheriffs, and military personnel who died in the line of duty and have family members in the Genesee Valley area.
Ponce completed this project to benefit the organization, Concerns of Police Survivors (COPS). She created large laminated photo boards and a PowerPoint that honors the heroes to be displayed annually at the Candlelight Vigil to honor line of duty deaths and other events hosted by COPS. Ponce’s project was featured this year at a ceremony for fallen officers.
“I chose this project because this was the organization my father wished for people to donate to at the time of his passing and I am very connected to the law enforcement community,” said Carmen Ponce. “The project impacted the community by providing more awareness to the COPS organization and the needs and grief of survivors.”
Ponce says that “Girl Scouting has made me more open to trying new things, it furthered my education and fostered my love for adventures. It has made me a confident young woman and has encouraged me to better my community and support those around me as well as to stand up for change.”
By earning her Gold Award during the 2020 Girl Scouting year, Ponce will be included in a virtual acknowledgment this June. All 2020 Gold Award Girl Scouts will receive the option to be a part of the 2021 in-person Gold Award ceremony next year to receive their Gold Award pin. 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 she can enlist in the military at a higher starting pay grade.
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.