Girl Scouts of WNY announces Mallory Edgell as a 2020 Gold Award Girl Scout

Girl Scouts of Western New York is proud to announce Mallory Edgell of Fairport, NY, as a 2020 Gold Award Girl Scout. Edgell’s project, Inspiring Through Art: Perinton Pedestrian Bridge Mural, involved collaborating with the Fairport Public Arts Committee, Fairport Public Works, and local mural artist Lorraine Staunch to create a work of public art for the community.

Edgell’s artwork is located along a pedestrian bridge along the canal, outside the village of Fairport. The mural features the quote, “let’s root for each other and watch each other grow.” After getting paint donated by Sherwin Williams, Edgell enlisted the help of as many people as possible to paint.


“I wanted them to see that anyone can create art,” said Mallory Edgell. “By helping they learned basic painting skills, and can now see something they helped with have a permanent place in the community. I hope this will inspire others to take action like I did and express themselves creatively in ways that will benefit their communities. I was very lucky to have been able to see the effect my project immediately had on the community. As I was painting many people came up to me and asked about the project. I explained my goals and process for the project. One of the best conversations I had was with a woman who had been running past my mural for many days. She had been training for a marathon and seeing the mural pop up and the progress each time she went past it was the best part of her run and inspired her to keep going.”


Edgell said that “Girls Scouts has provided me the opportunity to grow as a person and explore all the opportunities and possibilities out there in life. It has made me a stronger and more resilient person, while also encouraging kindness and respect as everyday values. Most importantly it has provided me the opportunity to empower other young women and girls and show them that they truly can do anything they set their mind to.”


By earning her Gold Award during the 2020 Girl Scouting year, Edgell 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.

Gold Award mural for visitation center

Last year, Girl Scout Emma Smith completed her Gold Award mural for the Monroe County Visitation Center, a part of the Society for the Protection and Care of Children. We receive a story of Emma’s hard work from SPCC itself last year and included that in a prior blog post. Emma recently sent us additional photos and information.

Emma stated, “I chose this project because I wanted to use my love and skills for art to make a difference for the children going through hard times at the Visitation Center. The project impacted my community by brightening up the environment for the children.”

Emma explained, “I had to do research about foster care in Monroe County and how to paint a mural. I’d never painted something so large before! I had to connect with staff at the Society for the protection and Care of Children, the Monroe County Department of Human Services, Girl Scouts of Western NY, and other professionals. I submitted personal designs and got approval from the county to begin painting. I used the money I had earned in Girl Scouts selling cookies over the past ten years to fund my project and purchase the supplies I needed, then there was the painting itself, which I did over a four-day period.”

Her mural is of the downtown Rochester skyline and features landmark buildings and the Frederick Douglass-Susan B. Anthony Memorial Bridge that stretches over the Genesee River.

Emma is an official GSWNY 2020 Girl Scout Gold Award recipient. She will be receiving her Gold Award accolades including her pin this year and will be included in a virtual acknowledgement of this year’s awardees. This year’s recipients will also be offered the opportunity to be recognized at the 2021 in-person Gold Award ceremony.

Gold Award Girl Scout Anna Jegierski shows the sustainability of her project

A major component of a Gold Award project is its sustainability, so we love hearing how Anna and her sister Paige are continuing this work!


Girl Scout alum Anna Jegierski was home from Alfred State College for winter break and continued to spread the word and Take Action for Danny’s Helping Hands.

Danny’s Helping Hands was part of Anna’s 2019 Gold Award project and has been serving the students at Alden Middle School since the Fall of 2018.

Recently, Anna discussed her project and collected 4 large boxes of hygiene products that were generously donated by the Alden Garden Club. She then delivered the items to the Alden Middle School for use by students in need. A hygiene cabinet and bank account were established as part of the project, and both benefit students who are being bullied due to lack of good personal hygiene.

Anna has been receiving help with carrying on this project from her sister, Paige, an Ambassador Girl Scout currently working towards her own Gold Award Project. Anna is happy that she still receives support for Danny’s Helping Hands from the kind and generous community of Alden. Anna shared her thanks for the ladies of the Alden Garden Club!

More of Ava’s musical work toward her Gold Award!

Girl Scout Ava is continuing work on her Girl Scout Gold Award. A portion of her project has been live violin performances in nursing homes in her local area. She’s expanded to include her troop in her performances at 2 locations recently. Can’t wait to see her get her Gold Award in June at the ceremony! 💛💛💛

Emma Smith completes her Gold Award project, a mural at the Monroe County Visitation Center

[The information and quotes for this post were gathered from the ‘Girl Scout Gold Award Project: Mural at the Visitation Center‘ post on the Society for the Protection and Care of Children’s website. To learn more about her project, click here to read the full submission.]

Recently, Emma Smith, high school junior, completed her Gold Award project. Pulling from her love for art, Emma decided to paint a mural at the Monroe County Visitation Center, where there are 1,500 supervised visits a month between foster children and their parents/families.

Image via SPCC

Her inspiration came from the ‘Freddie-Sue’ bridge in downtown Rochester, named for Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony. She added some of the city skyline, the Genesee River, and a peregrine falcon. She wanted a design that would appeal to both children and adults who passed by it when coming to the Center.

She spent many hours researching foster care in Monroe County and working with different organizations to get the project and mural design approved. Once the details were finalized, Emma spent four days painting the mural.

To fund her Gold Award project, she pulled from profits she’s earned during her 10 years of selling Girl Scout cookies!

Based on her submission, the mural began bringing joy before it was finished, with children smiling and looking at it as they passed by when Emma was in the process of painting it.

Well done, Emma, and congratulations!

Zaria’s Gold Award project, ‘Inspire You’

Zaria Gibson-Stevenson recently completed her Gold Award project! Watch her project and learn more about it, in her own words!

“I did a Girl Scout recruitment and awareness video that interviewed African American/Black Girl Scouts from all troop levels talking about how fun and exciting scouting can be. My Gold Award Project video, Inspire You, will hopefully help brown and black girls stay in Girl Scouting to the Ambassador level, and encourage new girls to join Girl Scouts.”

“My Inspire You 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. It also gave my Girl Scout sisters and I another positive experience in Girl Scouting.

I was able to bond with my Girl Scout sisters, and encourage them on one day completing their Gold Award Projects. I was able to serve as a role model to them, and that made me feel good. Another good thing that came out of my Gold Award Project was that many of my Girl Scout sisters in my Williams Park Service Unit stated how they now wanted to work on their Gold Awards.

One of my Girl Scout sisters told me that when she heard that I was doing my Gold Award Project, it motivated her to complete her Silver Award. 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.”

“I hope to encourage African American/Black girls to join Girl Scouts, to stay in Girl Scouts, and to see all of the benefits of Girl Scouting. I want my video viewers to learn about the importance of being a good Girl Scout sister, the activities/journeys some scouts participated in, the Girl Scout Promise and Law, and how to be a sister to every Girl Scout.

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 scouting, and that I was involved in a predominately black/brown Girl Scout troop. They would often comment how many of my Caucasian/White Girl Scout sisters were often visible in Girl Scouting, and that they did not know any black/brown troops existed. I wanted to do something to change that.”

Congratulations for your incredible work, Zaria!

Ava G’s musical Gold Award project!

Ava Giangrasso is currently working on her Gold Award. She is creating a video series of her violin performances and then traveling to local nursing homes to perform in-person. She is providing the residents and staff with resources and info to access her videos so they can be viewed at any time. In the photo below she is performing at Brompton Heights and they loved her so much they asked her to come back next week.

Danielle’s Gold Award Story

[The following was submitted to GSWNY from Danielle’s mother and troop leader Elizabeth Bellis.]

Danielle Bellis loves soccer. She started playing in the local league’s in-house program when she was five years old. She has since played on the league’s travel team, and the school’s modified, junior varsity, and now varsity teams. She worked as a referee for the league’s in-house program and volunteered as a coach for an ad-hoc preschool program they were considering. Then when Dani decided to go for her Girl Scout Gold Award, which requires completing a sustainable community service project, something soccer-related seemed like a logical choice.

The league president suggested she create an official preschool soccer program that they would maintain in the future and offer free. Dani jumped at the idea of creating a soccer program for the community. She could share her love of soccer while starting young kids on the road to a healthy lifestyle of physical activity, self-confidence, and team work. As she considered the benefits the program could provide the community, she realized her program could benefit more than just the preschool kids.

?

This was also an opportunity to get older kids involved as coaches and encourage them to start volunteering in their community. She could create a coaching packet to make it easy to coach even without any soccer experience.

This past spring Danielle did just that. She created a teen-led and coached soccer program for preschool age kids and called it “First Kicks.” She put together a coaching binder of activities and games, as well as a few coaching tips. She registered 60 preschool participants and recruited nine teenage coaches beside herself. She ran a six-week program with two 45 minute sessions on Saturdays, one for 3-year-olds and one for 4-year-olds.

At the end of the season, Danielle provided the league with all the materials it needs to continue the free program including an annual schedule and budget, advertising materials, a list of contacts, and the coaching binders.

Danielle completed the requirements of the community service project and earned her gold award. She will graduate this spring and plans to continue volunteering for the First Kicks program.

Girl Scouting is a year-round experience

We’re about halfway through our 2018-19 Membership Year, which leaves many potential Girl Scouts thinking there’s no reason to join now. The school year is almost over, which means Girl Scouts is about to shut down too, right?

Actually, this isn’t right at all. While most troops choose to take the summer off, the Girl Scout experience doesn’t end in May. Joining now still gives you tons of time to get involved and begin your Girl Scout journey.


#GirlScoutingYearRound is a new way to remind people that we have exciting opportunities all year long. It might be too late to sell cookies, but there’s still tons of time for camp, community service, and getting to know your troop.

Starting now means you settle into being a Girl Scout and when the new year roles around, you’re ready to experience everything new we have planned. You’ll learn more about our programs and your troop. Plus, you can use the summer to earn badges and learn new and exciting things!

We have programs over the summer around our council, including tours at the Lockport locks and cooking lessons at an animal sanctuary. We believe in providing the fun all year long.

If you or your girl is older, joining now can give you an edge in your future. Our higher awards – the Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards – are designed to help you get involved with your community to make a difference. You don’t have to earn them all, meaning you can start as a Girl Scout in 10th grade and work toward your Gold Award.

Once achieved, you can use this as a way to start in the military a whole rank higher or on your college applications as a way to stand out.

What makes our program unique is we are girl-led, meaning we let our Girl Scouts decide where they want to go and what they want to learn. Joining us at any time means you can define your experience, allowing you to pursue your passion for STEM, get outdoors, learn more about the history of our region and so much more.

The limit does not exist when it comes to your potential with Girl Scouts.

Register Today

Did You Earn the First Class, Curved Bar, Golden Eaglet, or Gold Award?

[The story originally appeared on GirlScouts.org]

Prior Highest Awards Join Gold Award Family

Girl Scouts who earned their First Class, Curved Bar, Golden Eaglet, or Golden Eagle of Merit, are a part of the Gold Award Girl Scout family. To make it official, we’re debuting a digital credential for you to display on LinkedIn (and other digital platforms) to show that you earned the highest award in Girl Scouting. Now you can display your award with pride and show the world—and potential employers—that you can triumph over any challenge that comes your way! Fill out the form below to access your digital badge, and if you are a recipient of one of the prior awards, you can get your Gold Award pin, too! 

Official Gold Award Status

WHEREAS, since 1916, Girl Scouts have accepted the challenge of earning the Movement’s highest award, thereby demonstrating a commitment to bettering themselves, their communities, and the world; and
WHEREAS,this highest award has had different names over the years, including the Golden Eaglet (1916–39), the Curved Bar (1940–63), First Class (1938–40, 1963–80), and, since 1980, the Girl Scout Gold Award; and
WHEREAS, those who have earned it have shown the same outstanding leadership skills, determination, and resilience that have made Girl Scouts’ highest award a unique rite of passage for young women across the Movement;
NOW THEREFORE, I, Sylvia Acevedo, chief executive officer of Girl Scouts of the USA, do hereby proclaim that all who have earned the highest award in Girl Scouts can on this day, January 15, 2019, and henceforth be recognized as Gold Award Girl Scouts, united by their similarities and their ideals, with all rights and privileges therein.

Request your Gold Award Pin and Digital Credential

Through the Years

The highest award in Girl Scouting has gone through many name changes since it was established in 1916 as The Golden Eagle of Merit. Now it’s called the Girl Scout Gold Award, but the essence remains the same. It is awarded to girls who embody community leadership through their actions.