Gold Award Girl Scouts 2021

Hannah Kenefick earns 2021 Girl Scout Gold Award

Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce Hannah Kenefick of East Aurora, NY, as a 2021 Gold Award Girl Scout. Hannah is from Troop 31130 and has been a member of Girl Scouts for 13 years.

What Hannah said about Girl Scouts

Girl Scouting has allowed me to have experiences that are one-of-a-kind and given me a set of skills that are very unique. I can now say I am first aid certified, know how to build a stretcher in the woods out of t-shirts, and can lead others around me to making the best decisions in an emergency situation. Girl Scouts has led me to loving the outdoors and a yearning to always learn more. Being in Girl Scouts has not only given me skills that I will always keep with me, but hundreds of memories and relationships I built throughout the years.

Project: ACL/Sports Injury Prevention

For my Gold Award Project I created a program that educated people on what an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is, how it gets injured, and how to prevent such injury. This project was located in East Aurora, and I collaborated with my Orthopedic Surgeon at UBMD Orthopedic’s and the East Aurora High School Athletic Director. This project had a place close to my heart because I suffered two ACL tears throughout my 4 years of high school and I was never given information, such as: women have a higher chance of tearing their ACL because of their body shape.

The purpose of the project was to show people there are ways to prevent injuries, such as avoiding specific cleat patterns, doing an in-depth warmup, strengthening your core, and stretching. My project affected my community by giving parents, students, athletes, and coaches information on how to keep everyone injury-free. Compared to 2 ACL injuries in my school in 2019, and one in summer 2020, our school currently has no people who have torn their ACL this year.

For my project I reached out to local sports teams to present to them my information including the summer soccer league in East Aurora, and due to COVID I was restricted to making my presentation over Zoom with many groups, including a Girl Scout troop from my Service Unit. To reach the maximum amount of people I contacted my school’s athletic director to find a safe way to reach more people. We came up with the idea of making a video presentation on our athletic page!

Finally as I became more and more immersed in the project I decided to create an injury prevention Instagram to share with others the key exercises to preventing any injury, in addition to the original cleat patterns to avoid in my informational packet. This Gold Award has led me to be able to adapt to changing situations and opened my eyes to the love of medicine.

About the Gold Award

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.

For more information on the Gold Award, click here.

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