Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce Christina Faller of Sanborn, NY, as a 2021 Gold Award Girl Scout. Christina is from Troop 70258 and has been a member of Girl Scouts for 14 years.
What Christina said about Girl Scouts
Girl Scouts has given me the opportunity to travel, meet new people, and have great experiences I never would’ve had otherwise, as well as given me a way to stay close to old friends throughout high school. I’m grateful to have made a lot of those memories with my mom who was one of my troop leaders. Programs through Girl Scouting also awarded me the additional scholarship money that I needed to attend one of my top choice universities and grow to my full potential as a musician and student.
Project: Hidden Figures of Herstory
For my Gold Award I chose to create a patch program in which kids learn about important women (focusing on Gladys West, Barbara Gittings, Florence Price, and Rani Lakshmibai) who are rarely covered in history curriculums in fun, interactive ways. My project also teaches kids about bias in history, the lingering influence of racism, sexism, and homophobia in curriculums, and how to view what they’re taught through an intersectional lens. It was important to me that I do this project precisely because of those reasons. I lead this program with a troop from Sanborn, NY.
I addressed the root cause of the issue by bringing attention to it – many people aren’t taught from a variety of perspectives, so it doesn’t necessarily enter their mind that there might be history they’re missing. However, my project alone cannot undo such systemic problems such as colonialism or racism.
The leadership skills I put into practice were leading a troop of girls and adults completely on my own – it felt good to be the “expert” helping other people engage and learn about something I had worked so hard on and had become so passionate about. The most successful part of my project was the card game. When I was doing my badge with the girls, I could tell that they were being shy and weren’t very confident in the discussions we had. During and after the game, they loosened up, talked louder, laughed, learned more, and just seemed more confident. It was also the part of my project that I most enjoyed creating.
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.