Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce Jessica Roman of Orchard Park, NY, as a 2022 Gold Award Girl Scout. Jessica is a member of Troop 30275.
What Jessica said about Girl Scouts
Being a Girl Scout really has changed my life. In kindergarten, when my troop and I learned the Girl Scout Law and the Girl Scout Promise, I never really knew why we had to say those before our meetings. As I grew up, I started to really understand what they were saying and what they truly meant. “Make the world a better place” has actually become one of my life mottos. I always asked myself, “How can I make today better not just for me, but for everyone and everything around me?” I strive each day to make a difference.
Being a Girl Scout has helped me shape my future for what I want to do. I started to volunteer more because of the experiences I had with my troop. After each time I was done volunteering, I always felt amazing and I wanted to do it more. Being a Girl Scout helped me get the top scholarship at the school of my dreams. Because of Girl Scouts and always wanting to help others, that became my goal for a career. It led me to nursing. Being a Girl Scout helped me see that I want to help people everyday, and have a positive impact on their lives. The transformation of myself when I truly learned what it meant to be a Girl Scout was inspirational. When I was younger, I would usually listen and follow others. Now I am a leader. I am confident, courageous, hopeful, and strong. I am who I am today because I was a Girl Scout.
Project: Inspirational Rock Garden
For my Gold Award, I created an inspirational rock garden at Nativity of Our Lord Parish in Orchard Park, NY, a local church in my community. There was already a garden at the church, but it has not been taken care of for a few years. It was covered in weeds and leaves. I wanted to make it more appealing so people would appreciate the garden. It was in a very visible area in the Town of Orchard Park. People drive by it all the time and walk right by it on the sidewalk in the spring and summer.
Over the course of beautifying the garden, I had to pull many weeds, rake lots of leaves, find rocks by the beach to wash, paint, and write inspirational words on, put down mulch, and planted flowers. I painted lots of fun colors on the rocks and also cute designs. After they dried I wrote inspirational words and phrases on them like “faith,” “hope,” “peace,” and “stay strong.”
The main purpose of my garden was to focus on mental health and the environment. In 2020 when COVID-19 hit, it affected the entire world population and had an impact on mental health. Everyone had to adjust to the different circumstances in their lives. People became sad and lonely because they could not see family or friends. They needed inspiration in their life and that’s what I did. I started painting more when we were in quarantine. That was a hobby I developed. During that time I thought how it would be such a great idea to bring inspiration to people: having something out in the public that could make their day or make them smile. Also nature and the environment can have a positive impact on the mind. Just having a little desk plant can help them get a positive mindset, but a whole garden is even better. Nature is a very beautiful thing and we have to take care of it.
Beautifying this garden after a year or two when it was neglected has a great impact on the environment. I created this garden to help with mental health and help the environment because I wanted people to walk by something nice and colorful that was around the church. The inspirational words on the rocks will have a positive impact on someone and cleaning up the garden has a positive impact on the environment. With a little bit of work and lots of effort you can transform an area into something beautiful.
About the Girl Scout 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.