Girl Scout Highest Awards

Girl Scouts of WNY announces Ava Giangrasso as a 2020 Gold Award Girl Scout

Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce Ava Giangrasso of Clarence, NY, as a 2020 Gold Award Girl Scout. Giangrasso’s project, Music and Memories, involved visiting nursing homes to perform violin versions of songs popular during the residents’ youth in the 1950s and ‘60s to promote memory recall and improve their moods. She recorded videos of her performances to be replayed at any time and expand on the number of people she was able to reach. Giangrasso’s violin that she uses for the performances belonged to her great uncle who was a fighter pilot during World War II.

Giangrasso explained, “I learned about communication and interaction from my project. I also learned leadership skills when I had my Girl Scout troop perform with me on one of my holiday performances. I am extremely happy with how my project turned out and I’m very proud. The most successful part was improving the moods of the residents. It made me happy to see the impact my music was having on people’s lives.”

Giangrasso provided information to the nursing home residents and their caregivers that walked them through how to access her YouTube videos if they ever wanted to rewatch the performances. She was very excited any time she was able to provide a live performance, commenting that often residents would come up afterward to talk about how they used to play violin or mention that a particular song she performed was a favorite from a high school dance.

When asked what advice she would give to other Girl Scouts preparing to earn their Gold Award, Giangrasso stated, “You should really pick something you’re passionate about. This didn’t even feel like a project for me. I enjoyed going every week to play for the residents and it was a feedback thing for me. Don’t just go for your Gold Award just to get it. I think you actually have to have a drive to get something out of it.”

Visit to see Giangrasso’s Gold Award videos.

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

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