Girl Scouts of WNY announces Emma Nelk as a 2020 Gold Award Girl Scout

Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce Emma Nelk of Pittsford, NY, as a 2020 Gold Award Girl Scout. Nelk’s created her project, Grief is Different for Everyone: A Teen’s Point of View, to help teens deal with a sudden loss in their family.


Nelk worked with the Tragedy Assistance Program (TAPS) and the NYS Veteran’s Outreach Program to create an informational pamphlet aimed at teens who have lost a loved one in the military. “I focused on teens because there wasn’t much information to help my age group deal with the loss of a sibling or loved one,” said Emma Nelk. Nelk is currently working with TAPS to distribute the pamphlet she created on a national scale.


Nelk said that “Girl Scouts opened me up to making new friends and new experiences. It encourages me to step out of my comfort zone.”


By earning her Gold Award during the 2020 Girl Scouting year, Nelk 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.

3 thoughts on “Girl Scouts of WNY announces Emma Nelk as a 2020 Gold Award Girl Scout

  1. Angela Ventura June 19, 2020 / 7:24 pm

    Congratulations Emma! So proud of you for going for the gold and all you have accomplished in Girl Scouts and beyond! You have had to live through one of the most difficult experiences in life with the loss of a sibling and in spite of all the pain and loss you found a way to help other teens through it. You will make a difference in the lives of many teens and I can’t wait to see how many others you will help after pursuing art therapy in college. You honor Joseph in everything you do. I wish you all the best life has to offer and I hope we always stay in touch. I am always here for you. Class of 2020 will be the strongest group of women yet! Congratulations to all the gold awardees!

  2. Lynda rheude June 23, 2020 / 5:10 pm

    CONGRATULATIONS emma, you embody all of life’s finest qualities.
    Your insight, determination and moral character speak volumes about your upbringing, your family values and your priorities.
    And to think I held you when you so very tiny.
    Makes me proud to have wat he’d you grow into the woman you are.
    I know joseph is smiling on his little sis.

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