Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce Emma Smith of Pittsford, NY, as a 2020 Gold Award Girl Scout. Smith’s project, Mural for the Children at the Monroe County Visitation Center, involved working with multiple county agencies and painting her approved design at the visitation center in Rochester to welcome visitors, especially children, and foster a positive environment.
Smith collaborated with the Monroe County Department of Human Services, Society for the Protection and Care of Children, Girl Scouts of Western New York, and other individuals throughout the process.
She wanted to use her love and skills for art to make a difference for the children going through hard times at the Visitation Center. The project impacted her community by brightening up the environment for the children. She had to do research about foster care in Monroe County and how to paint a mural because she had never painted something so large before! Smith explained, “I submitted personal designs and got approval from the county to begin painting. I used the money I had earned in Girl Scouts selling cookies over the past ten years to fund my project and purchase the supplies I needed. Then there was the painting itself, which I did over a four-day period.”
Smith said, “Girl Scouts has benefitted me in my life by teaching me valuable lessons on how to use my skills to make the world a better place.”
By earning her Gold Award during the 2020 Girl Scouting year, Smith 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.