Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce Audrey Huff of Fairport, NY, as a 2020 Gold Award Girl Scout. Huff’s project, Girls on the Run 10-Hour Relay, was an event she used to fundraise for the purchase of running gear and running event fees for girls at Young Women’s College Prep (YWCP), a charter school in Rochester.
Huff explained, “For my Gold Award, I hosted a 10-Hour Girls on the Run Relay on the track at Our Lady of Mercy High School. All proceeds and donations from the relay went to buy sneakers, running socks, and to cover the end-of-the-season 5k entry fee for girls at YWCP. For the relay to be successful, the baton had to be in motion at all times around the track. This means that at least one person had to always be walking, skipping, running, or jumping around the track, with the baton in their hands during those 10 hours. My project directly served over 500 girls at YWCP. Those who donated to my event became aware of the economic disparity that women are facing in a school less than 15 miles away from my own. My Gold Award project addressed the inequality between men and women in athletics, especially for women in lower socioeconomic standings. Girls have 1.3 million fewer opportunities to play high school sports than boys and often have to look outside their school for opportunities. On average 14-year-old girls are dropping out of sports at two times the rate boys are. There are many reasons as to why teenage girls are less active than their male counterparts. A lot of it has to do with the embarrassment of being seen as unathletic or lack of ability to buy the equipment needed to participate. Through my project, I hoped to give more girls the chance to participate in athletics and relieve the social stigma around women being physically active.”
Huff stated “I wanted to show that women can be active too. Sports are not just for men. Today, women athletes are getting paid less than their male counterparts and female professional coaches are far and few. Exercise for teenage girls helps them manage emotions, improves relationships, creates optimism about the future, and fosters a stronger sense of self-worth. Exercise releases endorphins, lowers stress, helps sleep patterns, and increases body positivity. Exercise raises self-esteem making the girls more likely to accomplish their goals in the future. My project will be sustained by the Mercy Cross Country team as they already have plans to continue the relay next year.”
By earning her Gold Award during the 2020 Girl Scouting year, Huff 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.