Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce Emily Styn of Williamsville, NY, as a 2021 Gold Award Girl Scout. Emily is from Troop 30970 and has been a member of Girl Scouts for 14 years.
What Emily said about Girl Scouts
For me, Girl Scouts was about making lifelong friends, memories, and learning life lessons I’ll never forget.
Project: At Home Bags for Foster Care
For my Gold Award project, I collected donations for Foster Love Closet. I asked for underwear, socks, hair brushes, toothbrushes, and backpacks. My goal was to pack bags filled with items that were new or unused for the foster kids to grab when they went to Foster Love Closet that they could then fill with clothing they picked out.
The reason I decided to do this was that I saw a video about how foster kids usually only have the clothes on their backs when they arrive at their foster home. I knew it was probably a struggle for the family to go out and buy these kids an entire wardrobe and I wanted to do something to help. When I found Foster Love Closet on Facebook I knew I had to reach out.
Some strengths I developed during my project were communicating well with others and hard work to accomplish everything. The skills I enhanced were public speaking and researching. I also learned that you just have to ask people for help because most people are always willing to help. I improved my skills as a leader and I learned that I can do anything I put my mind to and that I can make a difference.
The issue my project addressed was the kids in the foster system and how little they have. These kids are usually taken out of really bad situations and if they have personal belongings they don’t always have the time to grab them. Plus, it’s expensive to dress one kid, let alone multiple kids. There aren’t many places trying to help these children and offer them some clothing or toys. Foster Love Closet doesn’t really receive donations of unused items and people aren’t thinking about these everyday necessities that these kids might need.
Once the pandemic is over, my plan is to distribute the brochures I made to social workers at school and other places that take care of kids in foster care. By spreading the word about Foster Love Closet to as many foster families as I can, I can hopefully help future foster kids to have access to a place they can go and get clothing and other items they might need. So many kids have nothing, are unconnected, and deserve so much better.
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.