Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce Zaria Gibson-Stevenson of Rochester, NY, as a 2020 Gold Award Girl Scout. Gibson-Stevenson’s project, Inspire You, involved creating a video to show diversity in Girl Scouting, primarily, black and brown Girl Scouts in the community for recruitment and awareness.
Gibson-Stevenson’s noted, “While going on Girl Scout cookie fundraisers/troop activities, my Girl Scout sisters and I would often get comments from others in the community about how surprised they were to discover that black and brown girls were involved in Girl Scouting. They would comment how many of my Caucasian/White Girl Scout sisters were often visible in the community, and that they did not know any black/brown troops existed. I wanted to do something to change that.” Gibson-Stevenson partnered with the Rochester Central Public Library, Soulstanable Living, LLC., the Williams Park Service Unit, Aenon Missionary Baptist Church, Girl Scouts of Western New York, and WDKX (103.9FM).
“My Gold Award Project video helped others by showing brown and black girls the benefits of Girl Scouting. It also showed positive images of brown and black girls doing positive things. I bonded with my Girl Scout sisters, and encouraged them to one day complete their Gold Award Projects. I served as a role model to them, and that made me feel good. Many of my Girl Scout sisters in my Williams Park Service Unit stated how they now wanted to work on their Gold Awards. I was humbled and honored to be an inspiration to my younger Girl Scout sisters. It has taught me that you never know who is looking at you, and it is always important to set a good example.”
Gibson-Stevenson said that “Girl Scouts made me become more independent and I learned new things about myself and others.”
By earning her Gold Award during the 2020 Girl Scouting year, Gibson-Stevenson will be included in a virtual acknowledgment this June. All 2020 Gold Award Girl Scouts will receive the option to be a part of the 2021 in-person Gold Award ceremony next year to receive their Gold Award pin. The Girl Scout Gold Award is the most prestigious award in the world for girls.
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.
To learn more, visit gswny.org.