Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce Ava Flores of Oakfield, NY, as a 2021 Gold Award Girl Scout. Ava is from Troop 42141 and has been a member of Girl Scouts for 12 years.
What Ava said about Girl Scouts
It’s given me leadership and volunteer opportunities that have helped me get more involved in my community and see my true potential. Without Girl Scouts, I would’ve never developed the skills needed to put myself out there and be the strong, independent person I am today.
Project: Feed the Need
I collaborated with FoodLink, the Oakfield-Alabama food pantry, and the Oakfield United Methodist Church to create a discreet food pantry that people can borrow recipes from to educate themselves on how to cook with the food that they get from the pantry so they can provide for themselves later.
My Gold Award was aiming to address the shame of asking for help and support in the community. There is a big need for food in my community and there aren’t many places that food is easily accessible to people in need. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, there aren’t many ways for these families to be able to support themselves and their children. This would be an easy and sustainable way for children to learn to provide basic meals for themselves and for their families to be able to discreetly access food.
My project goals were to lessen the stress and shame over asking for food. The community will hopefully gain a closer sense of unity by either donating to the food pantry or knowing that there are people there to help them. There will also hopefully be a desire to learn how to make these meals for themselves so they can head to the local Dollar General and be familiar with the ingredients they need and what materials they need at home to be able to prepare meals.
The food pantry was advertised over social media, the church’s congregation, and will be recognized by the Batavian newspaper. This will make sure that the pantry is widely known about and that people feel free to use it and access it anytime.
The recipe box in the food pantry is another aspect of sustainability that my target audience can use so that they can find cheap recipes that are easy to make and leave lots of leftovers so there are go-to ways for them to create meals for their families.
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.